Tufts community celebrates legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.

“Isn’t it ironic that the least amount of racial progress can be found at King Drive?” Tufts senior Cameron Flowers performs spoken word at the Annual University Celebration of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Goddard Chapel on Jan. 26, 2016. Sofie Hecht / The Tufts Daily

Students and faculty remembered the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. in an event entitled “Moving the Movement Forward” held yesterday at Goddard Chapel. This year’s celebration surrounded five themes: faith and hope, equality, unity and collective action, justice as well as action. The event began with a spoken-word performance by senior Cameron Flowers, who urged for unity and continued progress in combatting racism.

Next, University Chaplain Greg McGonigle introduced the program, discussing the presence of racism in society and on campus. University President Anthony Monaco said that Tufts has made progress in addressing racism on campus, but the university must continue to act to eliminate its presence. He referenced the #TheThreePercent movement as an example of sustained activism on campus. His speech was followed by a series of speakers, including Africana Center Director Katrina Moore and Chief Diversity Officer Mark Brimhall-Vargas. Students also spoke about the themes of the event, shared personal experiences and called upon the university to take action.

Student speakers and performers included first-years Eitan Bloostein and Jonathan Innocent, sophomores Nicole Morris and Fatima Ajose, juniors David Ferrandiz and Yonas Dinkneh and seniors Isabel Obrien, David Asamoah-Duodo and Avram Ellner. During an interlude, male a capella group S-Factor performed songs written by slaves, sharecroppers and other victims of racism. The ceremony concluded with a closing speech by Denise Phillips, coordinator of programs and special projects at the Africana Center, followed by a candlelight vigil.