Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Events

“Be Brave, Show Grace: Advancing Intercultural Action”

MLK photos

Each year Goshen College honors the life and work of Martin Luther King Jr. by holding an all-school Study Day, emphasizing the values and ideals that characterized King’s work.

January 18-19, 2015

Ewuare_Osayande_sm-edit3 Breakfast Speaker: Ewuare Osayande

Ewuare Osayande serves as anti-oppression coordinator with Mennonite Central Committee U.S. An educator, writer and activist, Osayande has led social justice workshops for colleges, churches and community groups across the country and globe. In 2002, he co-founded POWER (People Organized Working to Eradicate Racism), an anti-racism learning experience and workshop series. In 2006, he created Onus Rites-of-Passage, an anti-sexist character development program for African American boys and young men. Osayande has also penned several books, including “Whose America?” and “Commemorating King,” and is editor of “Stand Our Ground: Poems for Trayvon Martin and Marissa Alexander,” a global anthology of social justice poetry. Most recently, he taught African American Studies at Rutgers University in Camden, New Jersey.

kanyere-eaton_editConvocation Speaker: Rev. Kanyere Eaton

Rev. Kanyere Eaton is the pastor of Fellowship Covenant Church, a Bronx-based congregation of the Evangelical Covenant Church that is committed to engaging God’s people for worship, equipping God’s people for service and empowering God’s people for leadership.

Known for her down-to-earth style and engaging delivery, she has preached, taught and led workshops in churches across the United States, as well as in Korea and South Africa. Eaton has worked in both public and private sectors as a social service professional with a background in early childhood education, substance abuse recovery, direct service management, hunger prevention and philanthropy. Between 2000 and 2010, she led The Sister Fund, a private women’s foundation in New York City, as its executive director.

Schedule of Events:

Sunday, Jan. 18, 2015

Voices-n-Harmony Gospel Concert
7-8:30 p.m.
Umble Center
Free admission. The show will be immediately followed by a dessert reception.

Monday, Jan. 19, 2015

Community Breakfast (advance tickets required by Jan. 6**)
7:30-8:30 a.m., Church-Chapel Fellowship Hall

The breakfast is open to the campus and the wider community and will feature speaker Ewuare Osayande.

*MLK Coffeehouse and Talk-back Session
9-10 a.m., Church-Chapel Fellowship Hall

Speaker: Kanyere Eaton
10-11:20 a.m., Church-Chapel (originally listed as 10-11:45)

Workshops and lectures
2:30 p.m.

  • “Making the Invisible Visible: Design as a Vehicle for Social Change” with Anne Berry, design faculty at Notre Dame, in Newcomer Room 19.  Participants will receive a general introduction about the field of design, and learn more specifically about design as a way to document and preserve narratives that might otherwise become lost or forgotten. There will be some focus on how to use art and design as a way to bring about change. The session will include some brainstorming activities to help participants think about ways art and design can facilitate building strong community relationships.
  • Final presentation for Regina Shands Stoltzfus’ Conversations on Race class in Newcomer Room 17. Students in PJCS 199 will lead  “Conversations on Race in the Era of Ferguson, MO.”  Their work analyzes and provides a historical and societal context for the events leading up to the deaths of Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, Eric Garner, Sean Bell, Trayvon Martin, Renisha McBride and many others.
  • “Preparing for Public Witness: Tools and Exercises,” with Rich Hostetler Meyer (’79), in Church-Chapel Fellowship Hall South. Rich is director of Elkhart County Clubhouse, a support community for adults living with mental illnesses. From 1997 – 2008 he was a member of Christian Peacemaker Teams, serving with the Palestine Team and on the Support Team, and afterward as a reservist. He led and co-led the CPT training module on Preparing for Public Witness, and he brings elements of that training to this workshop.He has helped to prepare many groups of students for participation in public witness around issues of militarism and racism.
  • “The Language of the Unheard: #ICantBreathe” with Ewuare Osayande, anti-oppression coordinator at Mennonite Central Committee U.S., in the Church-Chapel’s Koinonia Room. In 1966, Dr. King stated that “a riot is the language of the unheard.” This workshop will address the various creative ways African American activists are confronting systems of oppression and garnering national attention and international support through the use of social media, nonviolent direct action campaigns and other forms of resistance. The workshop will also consider how these movements offer new models of activism that expose the hypocrisies of America’s social norms even as they evoke and embody more authentic notions of democracy and pave the way for a more just future.

For more information, contact DaVonne Kramer at or 574-535-7030.

* Indicates convocation credit
**Register at or call the Welcome Center 574.535.7566



Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. visited Goshen College on March 10, 1960. At the time, King was leading the struggle for racial equality throughout the South.

Read the complete story

Past MLK Jr. Study Days

MLK Jr. Study Day 2014 – Guests: Anthony Brown and Rebecca Kubacki

MLK Jr. Study Day 2013 - Guests: Dr. Wilbert Smith and Dana Johnson

MLK Jr. Study Day 2012 - Guest speaker: Vincent Harding

MLK Jr. Study Day 2011 – Guests: African-American religious historian Dr. Quinton Dixie and Latino fiction writer Manuel Luis Martinez

MLK Jr. Study Day 2010 – Guests: baritone Anthony Brown, Latina poet Brenda Cárdenas and the Indianapolis youth-led group Latino Youth Collective

MLK Jr. Study Day 2009 – Guests: director of the Indiana University-South Bend Heritage Center Monica Tetzlaff and Triple G Mime Group

MLK Jr. Study Day 2008 – AfriCaribe and African-American theologian Dwight N. Hopkins


Related commentaries by President Jim Brenneman:

Community should honor the vision and ideals of Martin Luther King Jr. (The Goshen News, Jan. 14, 2007)

King visit historic moment for Goshen College (The Elkhart Truth, Jan. 14, 2007)

King’s dream remains alive for this son of the South (The South Bend Tribune, Jan. 15, 2007)