Annual MLK celebration aims to re-imagine the dream


Goshen College students, faculty and community members will focus on the life of Martin Luther King Jr. and explore the theme “Trouble I’ve Seen: Naming the Nightmare; Re-imagining the Dream” during the campus’ MLK Day annual public celebration events Jan. 16-18, 2016.

The weekend’s events will begin on Saturday, Jan. 16, at 7 p.m. with a public reading by Sofia Samatar, a 1994 GC graduate and award-winning fantasy author. On Sunday, Jan. 17, the community is welcomed to a free Voices-n-Harmony gospel choir concert at 7 p.m. in the Umble Center.

On Monday, Jan. 18, Martin Luther King, Jr. Study Day will begin with a community breakfast and table discussions with Sofia Samatar. Tickets are required for the breakfast, and can be purchased online at or by contacting the Welcome Center at (574) 535-7566 or at Tickets are available at a reduced rate of $18 for adults before Jan. 11. Tickets are $22 after Jan. 11.

Following the breakfast, students will present a spoken-word coffeehouse, and at 10 a.m. the community will gather for the MLK Day convocation, featuring guest speaker Drew G.I. Hart, a blogger, author, activist, Black Anabaptist theologian and ethicist.

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Speaker information


Sofia Samatar is the author of the novel “A Stranger in Olondria” (Small Beer Press, 2013), winner of the William L. Crawford Award, the British Fantasy Award and the World Fantasy Award. She is also a Hugo and Nebula Award finalist and the recipient of the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. She co-edits the journal Interfictions and teaches at California State University Channel Islands, where her interests include African and Arabic literature, Afrofuturism and speculative fiction. Her new novel “The Winged Histories” is forthcoming in 2016. Samatar is a 1994 graduate of Goshen College.


Drew G.I. Hart is a Ph.D. candidate in theology and ethics at Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia, as well as a part-time professor, blogger and activist. His writing and speaking are informed by his ten years of pastoral ministry experience and his ongoing commitment to following Jesus in society. His academic research and writing is at the intersection of Black theology and Anabaptism. He received his Masters of Divinity degree with an urban concentration from Biblical Theological Seminary, and a bachelor’s degree in Biblical Studies from Messiah College.

His blog, Taking Jesus Seriously, is hosted by Christian Century, and he also contributes to The Mennonite blog and speaks regularly in churches, universities, conferences and seminaries. His recent book, “Trouble I’ve Seen: Changing the Way the Church Views Racism” (Herald Press 2016), uses personal experiences and the combination of antiracism theory and Christian theology together to challenge the church towards a more faithful way. His writing has also appeared in Sojourners and in books such as “Living Alternative: Anabaptist Christianity in a Post-Christendom World” (2014) and “Exploring the Gospel of Peace” (IVP Academic 2016). He and his wife, Renee, have two young sons and live in Philadelphia.


Goshen College’s 2016 Martin Luther King Jr. Study Day events:

Saturday, Jan. 16
7 p.m.Public reading with Sofia Samatar, Newcomer Center, Room 19
Free and open to the public.

Sunday, Jan. 17
7-8:30 p.m. – Voices-n-Harmony concert with special guests, Umble Center
Free and open to the public. A dessert reception will follow immediately after the show.

Monday, Jan. 18
7:30-8:30 a.m. – Community breakfast (advance tickets required), Church-Chapel Fellowship Hall
Featuring guest speaker Sofia Samatar, 1994 GC graduate, author, winner of the William L. Crawford Award, the British Fantasy Award, the World Fantasy Award, finalist for the Hugo and Nebula Award and the recipient of the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer.
Before Jan. 11: $18 per ticket/$144 per eight-person table. After Jan. 11: $22 per ticket /$176 per eight-person table.
To make reservations, go to, or contact the Welcome Center at (574) 535-7566 or at
*Discounted student pricing available.

9-10 a.m. – Coffeehouse and talkback session, Church-Chapel Fellowship Hall
Students and faculty will read original poetry, fiction and nonfiction, as well as works by others.

10-11:45 a.m. – Convocation, Church-Chapel
This all-campus gathering will include music and guest speaker Drew G.I. Hart, Ph.D. candidate, professor, blogger, author and activist.

Workshops and lectures:
Two concurrent sessions offered at 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., and two at 1:30-2:30 p.m.
Session titles and locations to be announced.

For more information, visit