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Martin Luther King Jr. Legacy Day
The Babson community honors and reflects upon the legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. every year.
This event, hosted by the Office of Multicultural and Identity Programs, is a celebration of Dr. King—and of the many Black leaders who continue to push for the realization of King’s vision of justice, equality, and peace today. It inspires conversations about how all of us can, and should, support this work in meaningful ways.
Voting Rights Activist
Keynote Speaker at 20th Annual MLK Jr. Legacy Day
“How in the world will we ever get to the point that we will have a nation free of racism when we cannot . . . even capture a vision of what it would look like? What would a work day look like? What would institutions look like? What would medical and health care look like? We can’t even envision it, because it’s such a part of who we are, and it’s such a part of what we have accepted as truth. . . . It’s going to require us to do some work. . . . The good news is we can actually create that.”
2023 Martin Luther King Jr. Legacy Day Event
Occurred on February 1, 2023
Babson was honored to host voting rights activist, advocate, and visionary leader LaTosha Brown as the 2023 keynote speaker.
Brown is a contributor to The New York Times op-ed page and a senior practice fellow at the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. As co-founder of the Black Voters Matter Fund organization, Brown is dedicated to increasing the political power of Black people.
The Black Voters Matter Fund was credited with energizing and turning out voters in Alabama’s Black Belt and playing a decisive role in Doug Jones’ election to the U.S. Senate.
Brown and her Black Voters Matter Fund partners often travel through the South and key swing states on what they call “The Blackest Bus in America” to galvanize voters and put a stop to voter suppression. She is also the co-founder of Black Voters Matter Capacity Building Institute, an organization that provides training and support to community-based organizations.
An in-demand public speaker, Brown has distinguished herself as a trusted expert on political strategy, organizing, civil rights, economic development, wealth creation, and rural issues over a 20-year career. She is the founding project director of Grantmakers for Southern Progress and a founding member of the Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors’ Gulf Coast Fund for Community Renewal and Ecological Health. She has advised many national and regional foundations, including the Ford Foundation, Open Society Institute, and the Clinton Global Initiative.
Brown is noted to be a visionary who is leading the charge for a new, inclusive America.
Babson College has proudly hosted impressive keynote speakers for its annual Martin Luther King Jr. Legacy Day event. Below is a list of previous speakers as well as the themes they focused on in their talks.
Speaker: James Blake
Theme: Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?
Speaker: Farah Bernier MBA’08
Theme: A Chance In the World for All
Speaker: Steve Pemberton
Theme: The Winding Road Toward Justice and Equality
Speaker: Mónica Ramírez
Theme: Tearing Hatred from the Sky
Speaker: Bree Newsome
Theme: History Under Assault
Speaker: Thomas Chatterton Williams
Theme: Eavesdropping on America’s Conversation on Race
Speaker: Michele Norris
Theme: Resegregation in Post–Civil Rights America
Speaker: Dr. Khalil Gibran Muhammad
Theme: Globalization in the Prison Industrial Complex
Speaker: Angela Davis
Theme: Race and the Persistence of Social Inequality in Contemporary America
Speaker: Ta-Nehisi Coates
Theme: The Quest for Equality: Empathy and Global Justice in a Divided World
Speaker: Rinku Sen
Theme: Sustaining King’s Legacy: Social Justice through a Green Economy
Speaker: Van Jones
Theme: American Culture and the Pursuit of Justice in a Global Society
Speaker: Patricia Williams
Theme: The New Activism: Power, Global Citizenship, and the Path to Equality
Speaker: Kevin Powell
Theme: Freedom and Self-Determination in the Global Era
Speaker: John Edgar Wideman
Theme: Economic Disparity and Race: A Necessary Redress
Speaker: Naomi Tutu
Theme: 50 Years After Montgomery: Is the Dream Deferred, Diluted, or Fulfilled?
Speaker: Juan Williams
Theme: Micro-lending: Banker to the Poor
Speaker: Muhammad Yunus
First Annual MLK Legacy Day
Speaker: Julianne Malveaux
Martin Luther King Jr. Leadership Awards
These awards honor members of the Babson community who reflect Dr. King’s principles in philosophy and action. A recipient is awarded in each of the following five categories: undergraduate student, graduate student, faculty member, staff member, and alum—groups and organizations can qualify. Babson has bestowed these awards to honor and support Dr. King’s legacy since 2004. The process is organized by the Office of Multicultural and Identity Programs.
Award-Winner Aaron Walton Leads a Beautiful Disruption
“We’re living in this era of intersections. When you surround yourself with people who aren’t like you, the IQ of the group becomes stronger and bigger. . . . We have to have the courage and collide, to go out and try something that we’ve never done before.”
Read Aaron's Story
Aaron Walton ’83
MLK Jr. Leadership Award ’20
Co-founder & CEO, Walton Isaacson
Babson’s First Black Male Student Government Association President
The recipients of this award will have gone above and beyond the requirements of job responsibilities, organizational mission, or charter and will have raised the bar for those who follow in their footsteps. The recipient’s actions and behaviors in working either on or off campus for the betterment of the community will be in a manner consistent with the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. Written nominations must clearly address how the nominee(s) have visibly demonstrated:
- Courage and conviction in valuing differences
- Commitment to “seeing beyond borders” through an inclusive approach
- Acceptance of challenge and risk in achieving goals for the greater good
- Compassion for humanity
Nominations are now closed for 2023.
Kai Lightner ’22
Judithe Registre MBA’22
David Heath ’05 and Andrew Heath MBA’12
Dr. Anjali Bal, Associate Professor, Marketing
Dr. Shakenna Williams ’94, Executive Director, CWEL
Jaylen Bell ’21
Shoaib Rahaman ’21
Angela Randolph, Assistant Professor, Entrepreneurship
Tracey Reza, Associate Dean, Undergraduate Administration
Amanda Strong ’87, Babson College Trustee
Zahira Perez ’20
Sienzhi Kouemo ’20
Larinda Cole, Undergraduate Center for Career Development
Donna Stoddard, TOIM Division
Aaron Walton ’83
Duruo Murray ’21
Britney Aguayo ’21
Cristina Corrie ’19
Kevin Bruyneel, Professor of History & Society
Flora Ekpe-Idang MBA’17
Mark Gagliardi MBA’17
Rachel Greenberger MBA’11, Food Sol
Shatiek Gatlin ’16
Khalif Heatley ’17
Nadia Mendes ’18
Tina Opie, Associate Professor of Management
Taelyr Roberts ’15
Kerry E. Rourke, Associate Teaching Professor of Arts & Humanities
Nitiya Walker ’14
Marjorie Feld, Professor of History & Society
Amir Reza, Vice Provost, International & Multicultural Education, Origins of Necessary Equality (ONE) Tower
Rayshawn Whitford ’12
Elizabeth Goldberg, Associate Professor, Arts & Humanities
Miles Masci M’11
Eliana Crosina, Director, Alumni and Friends Network and Service Programs
Winfred Fields ’12
Burl Hash, Director, Sorenson Center for the Arts
Monica Johnson M’09
Mary Pinard, Associate Professor of English, Arts & Humanities
Sarah English ’08, President, Black Student Union
Chris Kandus, Assistant Dean, Campus Life
Asad Rahim ’07
Toni Blackwell, Associate Dean and Director, Student Diversity Programming
Kit Yan ’06
Brent Damrow, Associate Dean and Director, Academic Services
Soriah Anvary ’05
Melissa Shaak, Former Director, Student Financial Services, and Associate Dean, Undergraduate School
Richard Bliss, Associate Professor, Finance
One of the cornerstones of Dr. King’s legacy is his call for civic participation and the fight to counter voter suppression. We invite current undergraduate and graduate students to submit creative works made in response to our prompts, updated annually and related to voting rights and access. Creative work may take the form of a nonfiction essay, sculpture, poem, short story, painting, photograph, spoken word performance, or other creative form. Winners will be announced during the celebration.
Entering the Creativity Contest
For the 2023 Creativity Contest is now closed. For future contests, please consider and respond to ONE of the following prompts. Your response will be a creative work in the medium of your choice. Submissions are due by January 27 each year. Submit to the Office of Multicultural and Identity Programs in Park Manor Central or via email@example.com.
Previous Creativity Contest Winners
Babson has held this contest as another way of celebrating and supporting Dr. King’s legacy since 2004. The contest is organized by the Office of Multicultural and Identity Programs.
Co-winners: Madison Spence and Skylar Jackenthal
First Place: Xiomara Kelly ’21
Second Place: Skylar Jackenthal ’23
Third Place: Gioia de la Feld ’21
First Place: Gioia de la Feld ’21
Second Place: Melissa Denizard ’20
Third Place: Wes Woodson ’20
First Place: Gioia de la Feld ’21
Second Place: Melissa Denizard ’20
Third Place: Aswini Melekote ’19
First Place: Melissa Denizard ’20
Second Place: NiaChloe Bowman ’19
Third Place: Temilayo Awefeso ’20