Press Releases

Alfred University sets slate of activities for MLK Week 2019

Alfred University | 1/09/19

Alfred University has scheduled a week of events in honor of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. MLK Week 2019 begins on Monday, Jan. 21 – observed as Martin Luther King Jr. Day – and culminates with a community dinner with keynote speaker on Sunday, Jan. 27.


ALFRED, NY – Alfred University has scheduled a week of events in honor of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. MLK Week 2019 begins on Monday, Jan. 21 – observed as Martin Luther King Jr. Day – and culminates with a community dinner with keynote speaker on Sunday, Jan. 27.

The MLK Community Dinner and Keynote Presentation is set for Sunday, Jan. 27, from 6-9 p.m. in the Knight Club, Powell Campus Center. The keynote speaker will be Steve Prince, Distinguished Artist in Residence at the Muscarelle Museum of Art at the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, VA. Prince is also director of engagement at the College of William & Mary. The title of Prince’s presentation is “The Great Commission.”

Prince is an award-winning artist born and raised in New Orleans, LA, who combines spirituality, history, humor, and musical performance art to both entertain and educate audiences about social justice, community, and civic responsibility to one another and the broader community. His work is widely regarded by both civic and academic colleagues, where he has been invited to produce works for municipalities, churches, and schools. Samples of his work can be found on the website for the Eyekons Gallery, Grand Rapids, MI.

Anyone wishing to attend the dinner and presentation by Prince can RSVP here. Attendance at the dinner is by reservation only and is limited to the first 110 individuals.

The University has scheduled a number of other events during the week preceding the MLK Community Dinner.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Monday, Jan. 21, kicks off the week-long celebration of King’s legacy as a civil rights activist. A Day of Service in Alfred and surrounding communities will have volunteers participating in various community service projects. The program will run from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.; breakfast will be served to volunteers from 9-9:45 a.m. before they depart to their service sites. For more information about the Day of Service and to sign up to volunteer, click here.

“The Human Library Project,” co-sponsored by the Alfred University libraries and the Institute for Cultural Unity, will be held on Wednesday, Jan. 23, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Herrick Library. Volunteers from the University community will serve as “human books” that can be “checked out.” The human books will, according to organizers, “share their insights and life experiences, stories, and musings to both entertain and to educate.”

Also on Wednesday, an informational meeting will be held to discuss formation of a Sustained Dialogues Club. The meeting will be from 5-6 p.m. in Nevins Theater, Powell Campus Center.

Sustained Dialogues International (SDI) is a program which provides training on how to engage in meaningful, substantive, and continuous dialogues on a variety of topics both practical and controversial. According to organizers, clubs and organizations at over 50 college campuses in the United States and Canada have utilized the framework set forth by SDI to help train community members to become facilitators for meaningful dialogues and conversations on a myriad of relevant topics. Brian Saltsman, director of student diversity and inclusion at Alfred University, is a trained facilitator with experience assisting in the creation of sustained dialogues clubs.

A Sustained Dialogues Club at Alfred University would serve to expand the existing Common Ground program initiated on campus at the beginning of the 2018-19 academic year. Common Ground is a program for first-year and transfer students at Alfred University, which aims to promote the institution’s long-standing tradition of inclusivity, respect and understanding. First-year and transfer students were required to complete the Common Ground program during the fall semester as part of an extended orientation. Students were broken into small groups and met throughout the semester to engage in discussions facilitated by members of the Alfred University administration, faculty and staff. Groups were formed to balance race, ethnicity, gender, and academic majors.

According to MLK Week organizers, “The principles utilized in Common Ground only scratched the surface of the potential for this type of interaction at Alfred. This general interest meeting is to begin the process of starting a Sustained Dialogues Club at Alfred with the purpose of expanding Common Ground, facilitating community dialogues and creating a more civil practice of discourse on the University campus.”