Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commemoration

Each year the Wooster campus community takes time to engage in meaningful exploration and dialogue about issues that connect with Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s work and vision on matters relating to civil rights and social justice, activism, responsibility, and engagement.

Keynote Speakers

Sher Kornma head shotSarem (Cher) Kornma ’22
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.
LaToya Robertson head shotDr. LaToya René Robertson
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.

Beatrice Adams portraitDr. Beatrice J. Adams 
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. She enjoys shopping for basically everything, listening to audiobooks, and visiting obscure historical sites.
Timeka Rashid head shotDr. Timeka Rashid ’99
Dr. Timeka L. Thomas Rashid is the Vice President for Student Affairs at Baldwin Wallace University.  She arrived June 1. Her responsibilities include: the day-to-day management of eight areas of the co-curricular experience for BW which include Student Involvement, Athletics, Community Service Engagement, Residence Life, Counseling Services, Health and Wellness, Campus Recreation Services and the Student Union. She also serves as an officer and member of the President’s cabinet working to support the University President and other BW areas across the university. She serves and facilitates several university committees. Dr. Rashid has held a variety positions in her 20-year career in the field of student affairs. Some of her areas of oversight have included: student activities, union, fraternity and sorority life, leadership programming community service, first year experience, residence life, multicultural affairs, athletics, and student conduct. A proud Clevelander, Dr. Rashid believes in giving back to her hometown. In addition to her professional responsibilities, Dr. Rashid is active in community and civic organizations. She serves on the Shaker Heights Library Board. She is also a member of the Cleveland NAACP, the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW) and a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated. Dr. Rashid received her Bachelor of Arts in a double major of History and Black Studies from The College of Wooster in 1999. She received her Master’s in higher education administration from The Ohio State University and her doctorate in higher education administration from Ohio University. She resides in Shaker Heights, Ohio with her family.

Full Schedule of Events

TimeEventSummaryPresentersPresentation Registration Link
8:00 - 9:30 a.m.Interfaith Prayer GatheringReligious & Spiritual Life at The College of Wooster invites you to the Interfaith Prayer Gathering, the kick-off event of the 2022 MLK Day Celebration. This year's gathering will be virtual and feature several College of Wooster students from a variety of religious and spiritual backgrounds. Students and other guest speakers will offer readings and/or prayers from their respective traditions, reflecting on themes consistent with the life, legacy, and commitments of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Please register for the event and join us from the comfort of your home or office with a warm beverage and/or breakfast!Register for this Zoom Event.
10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.Opening Ceremony | Our Legacy Matters: If Not Us Then Who? Sarem (Cher) Kornma '22, Dr. LaToya René Robertson, Dr. Beatrice J. Adams, Dr. Timeka RashidWatch the Live Stream
12:15 - 1:30 p.m.Justice Dialogue 2 | Beyond Stigma: A Dialogue on Advocacy, Mental Health, and Neurodiversity in STEM“There needs to be conversation in scientific academia about shifting our values and definition of success from what we publish and produce, to the impact that we have on our own well-being and those of others.”
–Dr. Fátima Sancheznieto

With this in mind, the STEM Success Initiative has invited Dr. Sancheznieto, a training and interventions scientist at the University of Wisconsin, to discuss her personal experiences and work advocating for systemic and cultural changes to improve higher education STEM training environments to better cater to students' mental health.
Dr. Fátima Sancheznieto, Kara Melrose, Dr. Laura DeGrootRegister for this Zoom event.
1:45 - 3:00 p.m.Justice Dialogue 3 | Deconstructing the Ivory TowerThe focus of our presentation is addressing the elitism in STEM which prevents minorities from pursuing STEM fields and how that elitism affects the application of that science for minoritized communities and the general public. We will also talk about the overshadowing of marginalized communities in terms of their contributions.Raisa Raofa '23, Katiasofia Gonzales '23Register for this Zoom Event.
1:45 - 3:00 p.m.Justice Dialogue 4 | "If I am not for myself, who will be for me?": Being Jewish in AmericaHillel Board members will present about what it means to be Jewish in America. Inspired by this year's theme and Rabbi Hillel's famous quote, we want to answer, "If I am not for myself, who will be for me?" Our presentation will cover the antisemitism that American Jews have experienced historically and presently, asking who will educate if not us. But we will also focus on the joys of being Jewish in America, asking who will celebrate our Judaism if not us. Our legacy matters as we continue to fight antisemitism with our love and passion for our faith.Saralee Renick '22, Ellie Shafron '22, Ryan Tepperman '24, Lilah Weiss '23Register for this Zoom Event.
3:15 - 4:30 p.m.Justice Dialogue 5 | We All Have Bias. Now What?It has been proven that everyone in our society has bias based on our past experiences. Having bias isn’t a problem until we start to discriminate based on these implicit biases without cause or justification. In this workshop we will discuss what some of our biases are and where they stem from. We will discuss practical ways to combat our bias on a daily basis.Lillian EvansRegister for this Zoom event.
3:15 - 4:30 p.m.Justice Dialogue 6 | Collectively Envisioning Inclusive Mentoring at WoosterA facilitated discussion on the current state of mentoring at Wooster—what works, what doesn’t, and what barriers hinder inclusive practices. Following this, small groups will work together to envision what inclusive mentoring can look like at Wooster and actionable solutions to achieve this vision.Facilitated by Dr. Fátima Sancheznieto, organized by Dr. Laura SirotRegister for this Zoom Event.