City, BU, New England Conservatory present Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration

The City of Boston, along with the New England Conservatory and Boston University, presented the 2022 celebration of the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his wife, Corretta Scott King virtually on January 18. The event was live-streamed from the Boston University Howard Thurman Center for Common Ground.

Titled “A Celebration of the Lives and Legacies of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott King,” the program included both live and pre-recorded remarks on topics ranging from democracy to honoring Dr. and Mrs. King to looking towards the future from many different individuals, as well as musical performances from New England Conservatory students and Boston University’s Inner Strength Gospel Choir. 

Speakers for the program included:

• Brianna Bourne, Boston University Arts & Sciences ’24, Boston Latin Academy ‘20

• Saida Grundy, Assistant Professor of Sociology, African American Studies, and Women’s and Gender Studies at Boston University

• Katherine Kennedy, Director, Boston University Howard Thurman Center for Common Ground

• Jean Morrison, Provost and Chief Academic Officer, Boston University

• Jean-Luc Pierite, Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana, President of the Board of The North American Indian Center of Boston

• Kelsey Russell, Boston University Arts & Sciences ‘22

• Tanisha Sullivan, President of the NAACP Boston Branch

• Andrea Taylor, Senior Diversity Officer, Boston University

Martin Luther King, Jr. was a graduate of Boston University, while Coretta Scott King graduated  from the New England Conservatory.

“We are pleased to partner with the City of Boston and New England Conservatory to celebrate the life and legacy of Martin Luther King and the enduring work of Coretta Scott King,” Boston University President Robert A. Brown said in a press release sent out ahead of the event. “We pause in our busy lives to reflect on Dr. King’s achievement and sacrifice so that we can renew our commitment to do all we can to make our society, our world, just and equitable.”

During the program, Mayor Michelle Wu said, “Dr. King, Mrs. Coretta Scott King, and so many activists, dedicated their lives to fighting poverty, systemic racism, and oppression. In Dr. King’s case, he both dedicated and lost his life in this fight. His legacy, his impact, endures. It is on this legacy, that of the civil rights movement, the legacy of the fight for racial equality, the legacy of these giants of history, that today’s activists build a brighter future for us all.”

New England Conservatory President Andrea Kalyn said in the press release, “We are so pleased to join Boston University and the City of Boston in celebrating the work and contributions of Dr. and Mrs. King, and for the opportunity to reflect together on how their leadership inspires and informs our own responsibility to advance equity, justice, and community.”

The full recording of the celebration can be found on the Boston City TV YouTube channel. 

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