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.

2024 Martin Luther King Jr. Legacy Day Event

Thursday, February 15, 2024, 5 p.m. – Free Admission

Wes Woodson

Wes Woodson

Mental Health Advocate Keynote Speaker at 21st Annual MLK Jr. Legacy Day

Wesley Woodson, is a renowned public speaker, mental health advocate, and published author of the book I have Anxiety (so what?). Wes is also the founder and chief storyteller of Wes Woodson Enterprises, a mental health education company on a mission to elevate the world’s self-esteem. As a Babson alum, Wes has chosen a career of humanity by helping others discover the power of self-acceptance in the face of mental health challenges. Through sharing his own story of learning the art of self-acceptance while living with social anxiety, he empowers others to believe the compassionate truth: I AM ENOUGH.

Previous Speakers

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. 

LaTosha Brown

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.

2022

Speaker: James Blake

2021

Theme: Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?
Speaker: Farah Bernier MBA’08

2020

Theme: A Chance In the World for All
Speaker: Steve Pemberton

2019

Theme: The Winding Road Toward Justice and Equality
Speaker: Mónica Ramírez

2018

Theme: Tearing Hatred from the Sky
Speaker: Bree Newsome

2017

Theme: History Under Assault
Speaker: Thomas Chatterton Williams

2016

Theme: Eavesdropping on America’s Conversation on Race
Speaker: Michele Norris

2015

Theme: Resegregation in Post–Civil Rights America
Speaker: Dr. Khalil Gibran Muhammad

2014

Theme: Globalization in the Prison Industrial Complex
Speaker: Angela Davis

2013

Theme: Race and the Persistence of Social Inequality in Contemporary America
Speaker: Ta-Nehisi Coates

2012

Theme: The Quest for Equality: Empathy and Global Justice in a Divided World
Speaker: Rinku Sen

2011

Theme: Sustaining King’s Legacy: Social Justice through a Green Economy
Speaker: Van Jones

2010

Theme: American Culture and the Pursuit of Justice in a Global Society
Speaker: Patricia Williams

2009

Theme: The New Activism: Power, Global Citizenship, and the Path to Equality
Speaker: Kevin Powell

2008

Theme: Freedom and Self-Determination in the Global Era
Speaker: John Edgar Wideman

2007

Theme: Economic Disparity and Race: A Necessary Redress
Speaker: Naomi Tutu

2006

Theme: 50 Years After Montgomery: Is the Dream Deferred, Diluted, or Fulfilled?
Speaker: Juan Williams

2005

Theme: Micro-lending: Banker to the Poor
Speaker: Muhammad Yunus

2004

First Annual MLK Legacy Day
Speaker: Julianne Malveaux

Martin Luther King Jr. Legacy Day

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.

 

Aaron Walton - 2020 Legacy Day

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.”


Aaron Walton ’83
MLK Jr. Leadership Award ’20
Co-founder & CEO, Walton Isaacson
Babson’s First Black Male Student Government Association President

Read Aaron's Story

Award Criteria

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 due by January 15, 2024. Please email nominations to njoseph@babson.edu

2023

Dana Francois MBA ‘19
Zykera Steward ‘23
Santucee Bell MBA ‘23
Dr. Wiljeana Glover Associate Professor, Founding Faculty Director, Kerry Murphy Healey Center for Health Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Dr. Sadie Burton-Goss Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer

2022

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


2021

Jaylen Bell ’21
Shoaib Rahaman ’21
Angela Randolph, Assistant Professor, Entrepreneurship
Tracey Reza, Associate Dean, Undergraduate Administration
Amanda Strong ’87, Babson College Trustee


2020

Zahira Perez ’20
Sienzhi Kouemo ’20
Larinda Cole, Undergraduate Center for Career Development
Donna Stoddard, TOIM Division
Aaron Walton ’83


2019

Duruo Murray ’21
Britney Aguayo ’21


2018

Cristina Corrie ’19
Kevin Bruyneel, Professor of History & Society

2017

Flora Ekpe-Idang MBA’17
Mark Gagliardi MBA’17
Rachel Greenberger MBA’11, Food Sol


2016

Shatiek Gatlin ’16
Khalif Heatley ’17
Nadia Mendes ’18
Tina Opie, Associate Professor of Management


2015

Taelyr Roberts ’15
Kerry E. Rourke, Associate Teaching Professor of Arts & Humanities


2014

Nitiya Walker ’14
Marjorie Feld, Professor of History & Society


2013

Amir Reza, Vice Provost, International & Multicultural Education, Origins of Necessary Equality (ONE) Tower


2012

Rayshawn Whitford ’12
Elizabeth Goldberg, Associate Professor, Arts & Humanities


2011

Miles Masci M’11
Eliana Crosina, Director, Alumni and Friends Network and Service Programs


2010

Winfred Fields ’12
Burl Hash, Director, Sorenson Center for the Arts


2009

Monica Johnson M’09
Mary Pinard, Associate Professor of English, Arts & Humanities


2008

Sarah English ’08, President, Black Student Union
Chris Kandus, Assistant Dean, Campus Life


2007

Asad Rahim ’07
Toni Blackwell, Associate Dean and Director, Student Diversity Programming


2006

Kit Yan ’06
Brent Damrow, Associate Dean and Director, Academic Services


2005

Soriah Anvary ’05
Melissa Shaak, Former Director, Student Financial Services, and Associate Dean, Undergraduate School


2004

Richard Bliss, Associate Professor, Finance

Creativity Contest

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

We invite current graduate and undergraduate students to submit creative works in response to one of the following prompts based on Wes Woodson’s important work. Your creative work may take the form of a non-fiction essay, sculpture, poem, short story, painting, photograph, or spoken word performance, or other creative form.  Winners of this creativity contest will be announced during a celebration on February 16, 2024. 

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.

2022

Co-winners: Madison Spence and Skylar Jackenthal


2021

First Place: Xiomara Kelly ’21
Second Place: Skylar Jackenthal ’23
Third Place: Gioia de la Feld ’21


2020

First Place: Gioia de la Feld ’21
Second Place: Melissa Denizard ’20
Third Place: Wes Woodson ’20


2019

First Place: Gioia de la Feld ’21
Second Place: Melissa Denizard ’20
Third Place: Aswini Melekote ’19


2018

First Place: Melissa Denizard ’20
Second Place: NiaChloe Bowman ’19
Third Place: Temilayo Awefeso ’20

 

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