The theme for MIT's 28th annual celebration of the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. will be "From Dreams to Reality: The Illusion of Full Inclusion."
The theme was inspired by the first paragraph of the final chapter in Dr. King's 1967 book, "Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community?" In the chapter titled "The World House," Dr. King wrote:
"Some years ago, a famous novelist died. Among his papers was found a list of suggested plots for future stories, the most prominently underscored being this one: 'A widely separated family inherits a house in which they have to live together.' This is the great new problem of mankind. We have inherited a large house, a great 'world house,' in which we have to live together--black and white, Easterner and Westerner, Gentile and Jew, Catholic and Protestant, Muslim and Hindu--a family unduly separated in ideas, cultures and interest, who, because we can never again live apart, must learn somehow to live together in peace."
The traditional centerpiece of the event is the celebratory breakfast, hosted by President Charles M. Vest and his wife, Rebecca. It is scheduled for Friday, Feb. 8 at 7:30 a.m. in Morss Hall at Walker Memorial. The keynote speaker will be Tavis Smiley, TV correspondent, political commentator and the host of a talk show on NPR. He hosted "BET Tonight" on Black Entertainment Television for five years.
The celebration will also include an installation created by MIT and Wellesley students in the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. IAP Design Seminar. The installation may be viewed in Lobby 10 from Feb. 1-10.
Besides Smiley, President Vest, Provost Robert A. Brown, Chancellor Phillip L. Clay and students will also speak at the breakfast.
The annual MLK Leadership Awards for service to the community will be presented by Chancellor Clay to a faculty member or administrator, an alumnus or alumna, and a student or student group at the breakfast. Service to the community is defined in the broadest sense of the word. This may include academic, research, religious and secular contributions.
Provost Brown will present this year's Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Visiting Professors and Scholars to the community. The Visiting Professors Program, established in 1995 through the efforts of the MLK Planning Committee, is open to members of all minority groups. The objective is to support six to 12 MLK Visiting Professors and Scholars in each academic year.
The breakfast is open to students and other members of the MIT community. Space is limited and reservations must be made. RSVP by Wednesday, Feb. 6. For information, click here.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on January 9, 2002.