King Celebration 2024

On January 13-15, 2024, Goshen College students, staff and community members gathered on campus to honor the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The celebration began with a poetry reading and lecture from Allison Joseph, director of the MFA Program in Creative Writing at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, IL.

One Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the keynote speaker Cynthea Millsaps, executive director of the Center for Community Engagement of Goshen College and executive director of Mennonite Women USA, presented the theme “Black Housing and Unsung Sheroes, Champions of Change in Elkhart County.”

Following the presentation, the documentary film “What Happened at Benham West: African American Stories of Community, Displacement and Hope” was shown in the Umble Center. The film was coordinated by Nekeisha Alayna Alexis, Intercultural Competence and Undoing Racism Coordinator at Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary, and Jamie Pitts, associate professor of Anabaptist studies and director of the Institute of Mennonite Studies at Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary. Oliver Pettis of Black Lion Cinematography was the filmmaker.

Photos by Mariela Esparza and Julian Gonzalez