Detroit Mercy celebrates Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy, Black History Month with virtual events

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January 11, 2021
A photo of the clock tower on University of Detroit Mercy's McNichols Campus.

Detroit Mercy is celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy and Black History Month with a series of virtual events and programs throughout January and February.

All events will be held virtually, with the exception of the African mask activity. Members of the Detroit Mercy community can learn more about how to participate in these programs by visiting Detroit Mercy Live.

Martin Luther King Jr. programming

Tuesday, Jan. 19-Friday, Jan. 22
Diversity, equity and inclusion module for employees and students

Brave & Bold Dialogues: Diversity, Equity & Inclusion is a new course requirement for Detroit Mercy students, faculty and staff. This engaging awareness module guides individuals through self-reflection and awareness exercises, allowing them to have constructive conversations on the topics of diversity, equity and inclusion.

The entire Detroit Mercy community is encouraged to participate in Brave & Bold Dialogues.

Wednesday, Jan. 20
Faculty and student panel: The 2020 Racial Protests: What do they mean and where do we go from here?
1-2:30 p.m.

George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Jacob Blake and many other African Americans died at the hands of police in 2020, sparking hundreds of racial protests and growing concern about racial inequity in law enforcement and beyond. A faculty and student panel will discuss what these protests mean, where we go from here and how things may change in the future.

Tuesday, Jan. 26
Discussion and Q&A with Rasheed Ali Cromwell, president of The Harbor Institute
1-2 p.m.

Rasheed Ali Cromwell, founder of Brave & Bold Dialogues: Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, leads a follow-up discussion with the Detroit Mercy community, examining feedback from individuals participating in the awareness module.

Saturday, Jan. 30
Prayer Works: Praying with the Holy Spirit
9-10 a.m.

Detroit Mercy's University Ministry and Gesu Catholic Church collaborate for this series on different styles of prayer. Pat Jones and Monica Moore will facilitate a conversation and experience of praying with the Holy Spirit.

Register for Praying with the Holy Spirit.

Black History Month programming

Tuesday, Feb. 2
Book talk — Pulitzer Prize winner W. Caleb McDaniel on Sweet Taste of Liberty
6:30-8 p.m.

W. Caleb McDaniel, the Mary Gibbs Jones professor of Humanities and chair of the History department at Rice University, will discuss his book, Sweet Taste of Liberty: A True Story of Slavery and Restitution in America, which won the 2020 Pulitzer Prize in History. The book tells the story of Henrietta Wood, who twice survived slavery and successfully sued her captor to receive the largest-known amount of restitution for slavery awarded by a federal court in 1878.

Read more about McDaniel and Sweet Taste of Liberty.

Thursday, Feb. 4
Ecumenical Faith and Justice Conversation: Overcoming the Chains of Injustice
7-9 p.m.

This interactive conversation, drawing inspiration from the biblical passage of Isaiah 58:6-7, is facilitated by our guest, Dexter Sullivan. Learn how the Christian faith can teach the world ways to overcome injustice.

Tuesday, Feb. 9 and Thursday, Feb. 11
Arts and crafts: Make an African mask
5-7 p.m.

Detroit Mercy students and employees can pick up materials from Quad Commons to create their own African mask.

Thursday, Feb. 11
Book talk — Jason Young on Rituals of Resistance
6:30-8 p.m.

Jason Young, an associate professor of History at the University of Michigan, will discuss his book, Rituals of Resistance: African Atlantic Religion in the Kongo and the Lowcountry Region of Georgia and South Carolina in the Era of Slavery. The book is an exploration of the religious and ritual practices linking west-central Africa and the lowcountry region of the United States during the slavery era.

Saturday, Feb. 13
Prayer Works: Praying with the Examen
9-10 a.m.

Dianne Schultz, a spiritual director from Gesu Catholic Church, facilitates a conversation and experience of the Examen.

Register for Praying with the Examen.

Monday, Feb. 15
Love Stories from the Underground Railroad
1-2:30 p.m.

Roy E. Finkenbine, professor of History and director of the Black Abolitionist Archive at Detroit Mercy, presents the story of freedom seekers William and Louisa Swan, who found sanctuary among the Odawa and Ojibwa of northern Michigan during the Civil War. The Swans were befriended by their Native American neighbors, who helped them through a series of tragedies. Detroit Mercy Theatre Company (DMTC) will also perform a dramatic reading, drawn from Louisa’s letters.

Friday, Feb. 19
Music and dance: West African drumming
7-8 p.m.

Join us for a night filled with West African drumming, led by drummer Baba Elliott McCants III. Activities include a performance and discussion on the history and significance of African drumming.

Saturday, Feb. 20-March 13
Gesu Lent Reading Group on Fratelli Tutti: On Fraternity and Social Friendship
9-10:30 a.m.

Join the Gesu community on a four-week series to discuss and pray with the Pope Francis' encyclical, Fratelli Tutti: On Fraternity and Social Friendship. Through the prism of the parable of the Good Samaritan, Pope Francis discusses the social problems plaguing our world and challenges us with the Gospel values needed to build and rebuild relationships. "The spiritual stature of a person's life is measured by love," Francis says. This love, he adds, must grow beyond our families and nation to include all people, where the worth of every person is acknowledged.

Register for the Gesu Lent Reading Group.

Tuesday, Feb. 23
Inaugural W.E.B. Du Bois Community Symposium on Race
9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

ReBUILDetroit’s Science, Technology and Race learning community and the Akoma Center for Pan-Afrikan Research, Self Determination & Nationbuilding host an inaugural symposium on race on the 153rd anniversary of civil rights activist W.E.B. Du Bois’ birth.

This series of events is presented in conjunction with the African American Studies program, the Black Abolitionist Archive, the Detroit Mercy Theatre Company, the Religious Studies department, the Black Student Union, University Ministry and the Student Life Office.

Friday, Feb. 26
Music and dance: The history of jazz
7-8 p.m.

Learn about the history of a music genre that features African American roots with musician Ismail Douglas. ReBUILDetroit’s Institutional Development Core Coordinator Jahzara Mayes will speak on performance and demonstration.

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