“The Time is Now: Forward” is a free, virtual event that will celebrate King’s legacy and connection to today’s student activism and engagement.
It will evoke King’s 1965 appearance at the college, where he emphasized the power of peaceful resistance in his address to students as the inaugural speaker in the John F. Kennedy Memorial Lecture Series, with today’s Queens College students quoting passages from his speech.
Musical, dance, and spoken word performances are planned, as well as a special video presentation highlighting the college's history of activism. In addition, a panel of distinguished educators will discuss King’s enduring legacy.
Highlights will include:
• Queens College President Frank H. Wu and Queens College Student Association President Zaire Couloute will serve as event cohosts.
• Borough President Donovan Richards, the first African-American male to be elected to the office, will offer welcoming remarks.
• Queens College Professor Antonio Hart, who directs the Jazz Studies program in the college’s Aaron Copland School of Music, will perform on saxophone.
• Vocalist Alita Moses will perform a musical selection.
• Queens College students Alisha Anderson and Kayra Theodore will present dance and spoken word performances, respectively.
• Queens College History Professor Deidre Flowers, interim director of the college’s Africana Studies Program; Queens College History Professor Sandy Placido, inaugural Dominican Studies Scholar at the CUNY Dominican Studies Institute; and Rabbi Moshe Shur, former director of Hillel at the college, will discuss King’s enduring legacy and relevance, and efforts to achieve racial justice in higher education.
Register for the event here.
“I am enormously proud to lead an institution that in 1965 welcomed the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to address its students,” said Wu. “So much of what we do on our campus today continues to echo Dr. King's message — a tangible commitment to an environment that is respectful and supportive of our diverse student body, the ongoing work of our Center for Ethnic, Racial and Religious Understanding (CERRU), and the maintenance of a special collections archive in the Benjamin J. Rosenthal Library that chronicles the extensive civil rights activism of our alumni.”
Queens College has a longstanding history of involvement in the struggle for equality and social justice. In 1964, Queens College student Andrew Goodman was slain, along with fellow civil rights workers James Chaney and Michael Schwerner, during a voter registration project in Mississippi.
The following spring, as the inaugural speaker in the college’s John F. Kennedy Memorial Lecture Series, Dr. King emphasized the power of peaceful resistance. In 2015, at its 91st commencement ceremony — and 50 years after Dr. King’s address — the college awarded a posthumous honorary doctoral degree to Goodman.