Wooster’s 2022 MLK Day celebration to feature multiple voices

graphic that states Our Legacy Matters: If Not Us Then Who? with a photo of a College of Wooster student holding a sign

The College of Wooster’s 2022 Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration on Monday, January 17 with the theme “Our Legacy Matters: If Not Us Then Who?” will feature four keynote speakers who represent multiple voices in the College community, including student Sarem Kornma ’22, staff Dr. LaToya René Robertson, faculty Dr. Beatrice J. Adams, and alumni Dr. Timeka Rashid.

Due to COVID-19 protocols at the College, the MLK Day commemoration will be entirely virtual.

The keynote addresses will launch via a YouTube video at 10 a.m. on Monday at www.wooster.edu/mlk following a virtual interfaith prayer gathering sponsored by Religious and Spiritual Life at The College of Wooster that will start the day at 8 a.m.

To view the keynote addresses and register to the Zoom sessions for the virtual interfaith prayer gathering and the afternoon’s Justice Dialogues, please click the button below.

MLK Day Commemoration

Speakers were selected through a campus wide nomination process and finalized by a committee comprised of faculty, staff, and students coordinating the event.

Sarem (Cher) Kornma (she/her/hers) is a 22-year-old senior at The College of Wooster, who is majoring in political science with a focus on international relations. She is currently an intern for the Center for Diversity & Inclusion and the board of the Black Students’ Association this year. Sarem is working toward completing an Independent Study on the use of political rhetoric on foreign policy. A 2018 graduate of Paint Branch High School, Sarem hopes to pursue a career in grassroots politics and education. As an immigrant and a first generation student, Sarem believes in the importance of strong advocacy and equality.

Dr. LaToya René Robertson, an author, implicit bias researcher, speaker, businesswoman, and educator, joined Wooster’s staff as associate dean of students & director of divisional DEI initiatives this fall. Robertson has overcome many struggles as a first-generation low income student to become a TED Talk Presenter, an accredited television music composer, consultant, educator, three-time author, world traveler, and an implicit bias expert.

Dr. Beatrice J. Adams (she/her/hers) is an Assistant Professor of African American History at The College of Wooster. She received her doctoral degree in African American and African Diaspora History from Rutgers-New Brunswick in the spring of 2021. Her research examines the experiences of African Americans who chose to stay and return to the American South during the Great Migration, and it has been supported by the John Hope Franklin Center and the Andrew Mellon Foundation. While at Rutgers, she also served as a researcher for the Rise Up Newark digital history project and the Scarlet and Black project. She received her B.A. in History and Religion & Philosophical Studies from Fisk University in 2012. She received her M.A. in Social Sciences from the University of Chicago in 2013. She is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc.

Dr. Timeka L. Thomas Rashid ’99, vice president of student affairs at Baldwin Wallace University, has a career in higher education that spans student affairs administration, program development and implementation, strategic planning, and community outreach and engagement. Rashid received her Bachelor of Arts in a double major of History and Black Studies from The College of Wooster in 1999.

Following the virtual keynote ceremony, Justice Dialogues will take place in three sessions throughout the afternoon from 12:15-1:30 p.m., 1:45-3 p.m., and 3:15-4:30 p.m. Led and moderated by Wooster faculty, staff, and students, the dialogues reflect the events theme and will consist of meaningful conversation about issues that connect with King’s work and vision. Titles of the Justice Dialogues include “WooStories: What Is Your Legacy?,” “Beyond Stigma: A Dialogue on Advocacy, Mental Health, and Neurodiversity in STEM,” and “We All Have Bias. Now What?”

In collaboration with the College, students in Wooster City Schools created artwork based on their own interpretation and expression of the theme for the MLK Day commemoration. The artwork will be displayed in the Wooster City School buildings.

The College is also conducting a book drive in conjunction with the event that will benefit Wooster City Schools. Books can be donated in person at Babcock Hall or via an Amazon WishList.

Published Jan. 11, 2022

Posted in Event on January 11, 2022.

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