Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Goshen College to focus on 'Hope, History and Change' during annual MLK Study Day

GOSHEN, Ind. – Goshen College will honor the life and work of Martin Luther King Jr. through music, poetry, prayer, art, story-telling and a discussion about race on Monday, Jan. 16. During the annual MLK Study-Day, the college will host several events emphasizing the values and ideals that characterized King's work. The celebration of his life and legacy will begin on Jan. 15.

Dr. Vincent Harding, a pioneer of the civil rights movement, will be the featured guest, focusing on the theme of "Hope, History and Change." Goshen College students will perform throughout the study-day, including the college's Parables worship team.

Dr. Harding was a close friend of Dr. King, at one point living around the corner from him in Atlanta when he and his wife, Rosemarie, directed a Mennonite Voluntary Service unit, from 1961 to 1964. Most notably in his relationship with King, Harding drafted the "Beyond Vietnam" speech that King delivered at Riverside Church on April 4, 1967. This was exactly one year before King's assassination.

In 1968, Harding became the first director of the King Memorial Center in Atlanta. In 1969, he founded the Institute of the Black World, an organization committed to creating and defining the field of Black Studies. He studied at Spelman College (Atlanta, Ga.) and Iliff School of Theology (Denver, Colo.). In 1997, Vincent and Rosemarie Harding founded the Veterans of Hope Project, an organization committed to intergenerational conversation about movement building and activism.

"Dr. Harding is eloquently able to discuss the legacy of Dr. King and share stories of hope," said Odelet Nance, director of multicultural affairs. "We will be challenged to have conversations about current issues of freedom, justice and transformation that build campgrounds of renewal."

Jan. 16 will also mark the start of Goshen College participating in "40 Days of Peace." This initiative coincides with the study day and invites students, faculty, staf, and community members to extend practices of peacemaking into their daily interactions with others. Many of these acts of peace may already be familiar, but the purpose of the initiative is to invite people into a more intentional linking of faith with action in the world.

Goshen College's 2012 Martin Luther King Study Day events:

Sunday, Jan. 15
4-5:30 p.m., Community conversation, Umble Center
Dr. Harding will participate in a discussion with the audience.

5:30-7 p.m., Candlelight Vigil and March for Freedom and Justice, Umble Center/KMY Connector
This student-organized event will include African-American Spirituals, a candlelight procession, and readings reflecting on themes of freedom and justice. The procession will conclude with displays from organizations involved with service and activism.

Monday, Jan. 16
9-10 a.m. Spoken Word Coffeehouse, Church-Chapel Fellowship Hall
Features GC students and faculty in a program of recitations from MLK's speeches, poetry reading and storytelling. Co-sponsored with the GC English Department.

10 a.m., convocation, Church-Chapel
Performance by Parables, with Dr. Harding as the featured guest speaker.

11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Luncheon, Church-Chapel Fellowship Hall
The community luncheon is open to members of the campus and the community. The cost is $18 and $144/table (eight person). Reservations can be made with the Welcome Center by calling (574) 535-7566 or emailing

Editors: For more information about this release, to arrange an interview or request a photo, contact Goshen College Acting News Bureau Coordinator Alysha Bergey Landis at (574) 535-7762 or



Goshen College, established in 1894, is a residential Christian liberal arts college rooted in the Anabaptist-Mennonite tradition. The college's Christ-centered core values – passionate learning, global citizenship, compassionate peacemaking and servant-leadership – prepare students as leaders for the church and world. Recognized for its unique Study-Service Term program, Goshen has earned citations of excellence in Barron's Best Buys in Education, "Colleges of Distinction," "Making a Difference College Guide" and U.S.News & World Report's "America's Best Colleges" edition, which named Goshen a "least debt college." Visit

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Goshen College
1700 S Main St
Goshen, Indiana 46526
phone: +1 (574) 535-7569
fax: 535-7660