Invitation to Excelsior’s 2024 Celebration of Rev., Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day 

Martin Luther King Jr. (MLK) was a civil rights activist who advocated for nonviolent methods to achieve social change and civil rights for African Americans, famously using nonviolent resistance and civil disobedience. MLK sought equality and justice, and his speeches and leadership helped shape the civil rights movement.  

At his renowned “I Have a Dream” speech during the March on Washington in 1963, about 250,000 people gathered in front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. to demand the end of segregation and fair wages, economic justice, voting rights, education and civil rights protections. During his speech, MLK talked about his dream of a country without segregation and racism. 

MLK received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 and posthumously the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1977. In the U.S., his birthday is now the MLK Day federal holiday, which celebrates MLK’s life and legacy and is usually observed with rallies, marches and speeches by civil rights leaders. As part of MLK Day, people are encouraged to “reflect on the principles of racial equality and nonviolent social change espoused by Dr. King,” according to the Congress of Racial Equality.  

The 2024 theme for MLK Day is “Shifting the cultural climate through the study and practice of Kingian Nonviolence, a sustainable solution to injustice and violence in the world,” according to The King Center. Kingian Nonviolence is a practice derived from MLK’s philosophy and methodology of individuals and communities learning to work on areas of conflict without resorting to violence. 

To join this year’s MLK Day celebration, on January 16 at 1PM EST Excelsior University will host Darrell Goodwin, for a virtual keynote on “Shifting our cultural climate through our co-construction of community” followed by a comments and questions session. Please join us and register here. 

Reverend Darrell L. Goodwin.
Rev. Darrell L. Goodwin.

Rev. Darrell L. Goodwin, a Chicago native, brings vast experience in higher education, including several positions in Jesuit colleges and universities, including Assistant Director of Student Life for Judicial Affairs, Associate Director of Multicultural Affairs, Acting Director of Multicultural Affairs, Assistant Dean of Students, Associate Dean of Students, and Dean of Students. Currently he is the first Executive Conference Minister of the Southern New England Conference of the United Church of Christ. As the chief vision keeper, he is responsible for guiding the conference and its affiliates to have a positive and lasting impact in our world.   

Rev. Goodwin holds a Bachelor of Arts in Human Development and Theology from Boston College; a Master of Education in Higher Education and Student Affairs Administration from The University of Vermont; a Master of Arts in Transforming Spirituality from Seattle University; and is currently a doctoral candidate in San Francisco Theological Seminary’s Doctor of Ministry program where his dissertation topic is, ” Praying Through: Using group spiritual direction as a strategy for the retention of African American men in predominately white seminaries in the United Church of Christ (UCC). In his spare time, he is an avid dinner party host, an amateur bartender, and is committed to bridge building.  

By Ashley Archangelo
Ashley Archangelo Customer Success Manager