This year’s celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day will include the unveiling of a major public memorial on the Boston Common and more than a week of programs at Suffolk exploring Dr. King’s legacy and his enduring call for social justice, equity, and inclusion.
Friday, January 13 will mark the official dedication of The Embrace, a towering bronze sculpture designed by artist Hank Willis Thomas and the MASS Design Group. The sculpture, which shows two interlocking arms folded in a tight embrace, was inspired by a photograph of King and his wife, Coretta Scott King, taken after he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
Imari Paris Jeffries, executive director of Embrace Boston, the organization behind the memorial, has said he hopes The Embrace will become “Boston’s Statue of Liberty,” and a symbol of the Kings’ shared belief in the power of love to drive lasting change.
The ceremony on Boston Common—which will begin at 1 p.m. and will be broadcast live on NBC10 Boston and live-streamed on NBC10Boston.com—will also honor 65 other Boston-area civil rights leaders, including Suffolk Law alumnus Harry Hom Dow, JD ’29 (1904-1985). The first Chinese American to be admitted to the Massachusetts Bar, Dow went on to become a respected immigration attorney and one of Boston’s leading community activists. Members of Dow’s family will attend the ceremony.
Suffolk will honor Dr. King with a series of events beginning on January 17 and running through late January, including the annual “Creating the Dream” Award Ceremony on January 24, which will also feature a procession to view The Embrace. Events include:
National Day of Racial Healing
Tuesday, January 17, 12-1 p.m. 73 Tremont, 11th Floor Conference Room
Racial healing is a process that restores individuals and communities to wholeness, repairing the damage caused by racism and transforming societal structures into ones that affirm the inherent value of all people. Join members from Suffolk’s Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation Initiative to discuss and explore innovative ways to build community among University stakeholders. Register here.
Failing Forward: A Conversation With Rachel Deleveaux, MEd ’07, EdD
Thursday, January 19, 4-5 p.m. 73 Tremont, Career Center, Room 140
The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was an inspirational leader and change agent, yet he faced frequent hardships and setbacks throughout his journey. Rachel Deleveaux, MEd ’07, EdD—president of the College of Arts & Sciences Alumni Association Board and a member of the Suffolk University Black Alumni Network’s leadership committee—shares her own story of overcoming challenges and her path to success as Simmons University’s assistant vice president for organizational culture, inclusion & equity. This event is sponsored by the Center for Career Equity, Development & Success, the Office of Advancement, and SUBAN.
African Diaspora Show
Friday, January 20, 6-8 p.m. Modern Theatre
Sponsored by the Black Student Union, this hugely popular annual event celebrates all peoples from the African Diaspora and our allied communities by showcasing student performers and local Boston talent. This year’s show also features a fashion show highlighting young BIPOC designers. Admission is free, but guests are encouraged to arrive early.
Suffolk MLK Volunteer Event
Monday, January 23, 5:30-6:30 p.m. Sargent Hall, Keches Room
Join the Center for Community Engagement, the Center for Student Diversity & Inclusion, and the Program Council for unity through service. Volunteers will package 6,000 meals with help from the Outreach Program, to provide food to those in need locally. Register here.
Creating the Dream Award Ceremony
Tuesday, January 24, 6-7:30 p.m. Sargent Hall, Keches Room
Suffolk’s annual “Creating the Dream” Awards honor individuals and organizations that work toward creating an inclusive, respectful, and safe climate for people of color on the Suffolk campus. This year’s honorees are the Middle Eastern North African Association (MENA); Lindsay Dieudonne, Class of 2023, president of the Black Student Union; Kerimal Guerrero, Class of 2023, president of the Black Law Students Association; and Professor Greg Beaver, Sawyer Business School and DEI Fellow.
The event will feature appetizers and musical selections by Soulfully Versed. Following the ceremony, grab a cup of hot cocoa and a free Suffolk scarf and join us as we walk to the Boston Commons to view the MLK memorial The Embrace. Register here.
Everyday Boston: Lunch and Learn
Friday January 27, 12-3 p.m. Sawyer Building, Stoll Room 410
Stereotypes divide us, stories connect us. Join Everyday Boston for a curiosity and connection training. Using interactive, story-based activities, participants practice active listening, framing effective questions, and asking follow-up questions as a group. Sponsored by the Center for Community Engagement. Register here.