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The History of MLK and Penn

February 11, 2014

mlk_liberalMartin Luther King Jr., a Civil Rights Movement activist and Pastor is reputed to be one of the most influential and impactful men in American History. But as a scholar, Dr. King had an extensive educational background. After graduating from Morehouse College, he enrolled in Crozer Theological Seminary and audited three classes at the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Arts and Science.

Although Dr. King’s short time at Penn is not largely documented, his legacy is continued in various ways on campus.

As most universities across the nation every year, Penn recognizes Martin Luther King Day by cancelling classes. Many clubs and organizations take advantage of this day by giving back to the Penn Community, the surrounding community, or performing acts of remembrance and gratitude. The Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. and the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. hosted a candle light vigil at the W.E.B. DuBois College House that celebrated Dr. King’s Legacy and brought a meaningful end to the day of service.

A Commemorative Symposium on Social Change for Dr. King is also held annually at Penn. The program honors the life and core mission of Martin Luther King by “improving the lives of people victimized by dominant cultural oppressions.” The keynote speakers for the symposium this year were George A. Weiss, Penn’s professor for Law and Sociology, and Dorothy Roberts, a scholar on race, gender and law.

Martin Luther King’s influence is long lasting in every aspect of the American culture and even the Penn culture, which is evident in its efforts to take strides that honor his life.

Toluwaloshe Ayo-Ariyo CAS’17

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