Cornell College ICL plans MLK Week events

The Cornell College Intercultural Life Office (ICL) has events planned for MLK week, starting on Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday, Jan. 18, and lasting through Friday, Jan. 22.

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Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. during his appearance at Cornell College in October 1962.

ICL’s theme for MLK Week is Vision 20/20. This year’s commemoration of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. aims to highlight how his legacy and the words of his speech, The “The Drum Major Instinct,” have taken up life in recent events around the country and the world.

Events for MLK Week 2021:

Monday, Jan. 18 

Cornell community members are encouraged to commit random acts of kindness such as donating clothing or non-perishables to local nonprofit organizations. ICL and the Civic Engagement Office are also providing stamped envelopes on campus for people who would like to write a letter to senators about issues that are important to them. Other ideas for this day will be provided on the social media pages of the Civic Engagement Office and the Office of Intercultural Life. 

Tuesday, Jan. 19 

ICL will feature a civil rights-focused film with a discussion to follow. Participants can email for Zoom links and additional information. 

Wednesday, Jan. 20: 

  • MLK Speech Reading: “The Drum Major Instinct,” noon–1 p.m.

Listen to a live reading of “The Drum Major Instinct” over the speakers in Thomas Commons as well as on the ICL Facebook Page and YouTube during the lunch hour.

The vigil will be a prayerful gathering in light of the uprising in our nation’s capital and the realities of systemic racism. The reflection and prayer will be grounded in the healing wisdom of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s teachings on love and non-violence. The Zoom link is available at Co-sponsors include BACO, Gente, Chaplain & Spiritual Life in conjunction with ICL and Civic Engagement. Cornell students, faculty, and staff are welcome.

Thursday, Jan. 21: 

ICL will hold a live discussion on Facebook in honor of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his speech on “The Drum Major Instinct.” This will be a two-hour special welcoming us to 2021 and following the inauguration of our 46th U.S. president.

  • Kemi Alabi and Open Mic Night hosted by BACO and Sustained Dialogue on Zoom, 7–8 p.m.

Kemi Alabi is a Chicago-based writer and cultural strategist. The first hour is for Alabi to explain their work and perform. Then one hour for Cornell students to perform their work. This event is sponsored by BACO and Sustained Dialogue. Participants can email for Zoom links and additional information.  

Friday, Jan. 22:

Join ICL for a night of Jeopardy-style trivia of the events and people of 2020. Please register to play. Small prizes will be available. This event is open to Cornell College students only. All others may watch and cheer them on via our Facebook Live. Those wanting to compete may email for Zoom information. Audience participants may check out the ICL Facebook page to watch.