A week of advocacy and activism to honor and celebrate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Champlain College is proud to present Kiah Morris as the keynote speaker for the College’s 2020 MLK Celebration, and a full schedule of events to challenge, inspire, and motivate students, staff, faculty, and the Burlington community.
“To honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, it is important to reflect on where we are as an academic community,” says Nadia A. Mitchell, Champlain’s Equity Initiatives Director. “As we challenge ourselves to understand the full legacy of this remarkable man, we are exploring the theme of Advocacy and Activism: Advancing Social Justice Together on our campus.”
Champlain’s neighbors and the general public are invited to join us in this celebration as we learn, engage, and serve.
LET US TEACH: Monday, January 20
- 9:00–5:00 PM: A full schedule of workshops, discussions, and readings.
- 3:30–5:00 PM Keynote Address: False Advocacy in Academia: Unpacking Performative Anti-Racism and Lethargic Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Higher Education by Kiah Morris.
A Cappella Performance by Purposeful Dissonance
LET US ENGAGE: January 21–23
- Students, staff, and faculty will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in a week of engagement and education, including screenings of Selma and Harriet, and a “Mobilize Your Mind” educational presentation on activism by our student Diversity Ambassadors.
LET US DISCUSS: Wednesday, January 22
- 11:30 AM-1:30 PM: Meet our Social Impact Scholars in Fireside Lounge for a drop-in discussion on how to talk about social political issues using non-violent communication techniques. Led by Professor Eric Ronis, each table will introduce a topic and invite people to discuss.
LET US SERVE: Friday, January 24
- Students can participate in a day of service supporting local organizations like Clemmons Family Farm, Fletcher Free Library, Lund, Migrant Justice, ReSource, US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants Vermont, or help make lasagna for a handful of other community agencies. Click here to sign up before space fills up.
About Kiah Morris
Kiah Morris is most recognized for her political career and as a past member of the Vermont Legislature, where she served in the general assembly as a State Representative from 2014–2016 and 2016–2018. She is the first African-American and person of color elected from Bennington County and the second African-American woman to be elected to the legislature in Vermont history. Her story of success, and then premature resignation from her post, as the only Black female lawmaker in Vermont last year, made national headlines when over four dozen media outlets including CNN, The Huffington Post, New York Times, and Washington Post chronicled her story of years of racial harassment.
In addition to her distinctive political career, Kiah has an accomplished artistic career as an actress of stage, film and television, spoken word performance, and as a singer, dancer and arts manager. Her work as a diversity, equity, and inclusion consultant focuses on the amplification of the voice of the oppressed, issues of human rights and social justice. She is the co-owner of TESA Collective Cooperative, Director of the Vermont Coalition for Ethnic and Social Equity in Schools, and Sisters on the Planet Ambassador for Oxfam America. As part of the scheduled events, Kiah will spend additional time connecting with various community members and will advance our event theme, Advocacy and Activism: Advancing Social Justice Together, through her presentation.