​​​Martin Luther King Legacy Day

Martin Luther King, Jr. Legacy Day The Babson community remembers, reflects upon, and celebrates the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. This annual event initiates and continues conversations about the realization of King's vision of justice, equality, and peace in our own community and in the world at large.

14th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Legacy Day ​

Wednesday, February 15, 2017 at 5:00PM in the Carling-Sorenson Theatre
Keynote Speaker:  Thomas Chatterton Williams

Thomas Chatterton Williams is the author of the memoir Losing My Cool: Love Literature, and a Black Man's Escape from the Crowd, Babson's 2015 New Student Read.  Williams is also an active public intellectual whose worked is regularly featured in leading newspapers and journals.  He blogs for The American Scholar about his life in Paris, and recently, he had essays selected for both The Best American Essays 2016 and The Best American Travel Writing 2016.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Legacy Day Creativity Contest

2017 Call for Submissions

Submissions for the 2017 contest have ended. 

In honor of keynote speaker Thomas Chatterton Williams and his diverse interests, we invite all current undergraduate and graduate students to participate in a creativity contest which considers and responds to some or all of the following:

  1. Many cultural texts, including Thomas Chatterton Williams’ memoir Losing My Cool: Love, Literature, and a Black Man’s Escape from the Crowd, contend with the place and importance of hip-hop, particularly in United States culture.  Williams describes hip-hop as “intoxicating,” in every sense of the word. Mogul Russell Simmons says “hip-hop is a voice for voiceless poor people.” The FX show Atlanta has questioned the way children and others learn from and are influenced by this American art form.
    - What is your relationship to hip-hop?
    - If you are a fan of hip-hop, why are you a fan?
    - Is there anything about the art form that is worthy of concern?
    - Why does hip-hop have the cultural power that it does?
    - Why is hip-hop so controversial?
  2. Thomas Chatterton Williams wrote of the power of travel, “the more I’d ventured from my own backyard and projected myself into the world—the more I found myself unwilling to preemptively cordon off any of it.” How has your travel changed the way you view the world and the people in it?
  3. Thomas Chatterton Williams, in an essay in which he meditates on black and white bodies, wrote, “in the realm of lived experience, race is nothing if not an improvisational feat.”  What do you think Williams means by this phrase?  In a world in which it is increasingly difficult to support the notion of separate biological races, in what way might this “improvisational feat” function?
  4. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a well-educated man, earning his PhD in Systematic Theology from Boston University in 1955.  Undoubtedly, this formal education enabled Dr. King’s success; he used his education, language and poetry to change the world and give a voice to the needs of many. Similarly, the world-expanding power of education is a key theme in Thomas Chatterton Williams’ memoir Losing My Cool: Love, Literature, and a Black Man’s Escape from the Crowd. Can you point to a specific course, text, teacher or educational moment that transformed your thinking and set you up for success? 
Interested students should submit all work to Professor Kerry Rourke via email at krourke@babson.edu.  Please submit written work as a Word document so that we may redact your name for judging.  Pieces of music may be submitted as mp3 files.  Videos may be submitted in various formats; please email Professor Rourke if you have questions.  Kindly arrange with Professor Rourke for all other works of art to be dropped off at a mutually convenient time.

2016 Contest Winners

  • Chi Obasi '16
  • Bradley Darling '18
  • Savannah Carlin '17

View photos from past Martin Luther King Jr. Legacy Day celebrations »​​​​​​​​​​