Activists discuss MLK, Black Lives Matter



NYU celebrated Martin Luther King, Jr. with a week of panel discussions.

Maggie O'Neill, Staff Writer

As part of their 10th Annual MLK Week, NYU awarded faculty members Patricia Morris Carey and Allen M. McFarlane the Martin Luther King Jr. Humanitarian Award during an event at the Kimmel Center on Thursday.

The program, “Beyond a Dream,” included rapper Talib Kweli, activist writer Nikki Giovanni and vice chair of voter registration and participation for the Democratic National Committee Donna Brazile. The event was held to promote discussion about King’s vision.

The discussions centered on the deaths of Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin and the protests that erupted after the recent grand jury decision. Brazile discussed the injustices that still plague America decades after King made his famous speech.

“We’re not there yet,” Brazile said. “We’re not post-racial. We can draw a straight line from Trayvon Martin to Ferguson to here.”

A video of NYU President John Sexton was presented at the discussion, during which he spoke about King’s dream.

CAS junior and president of NYU Black Student Union Arielle Andrews introduced Brazile and said she hoped the event would promote conversations about diversity on campus.

“Our main initiative when we held the die-in was to push diversity,” Andrews said. “We think it should be at the forefront of NYU’s agenda, especially since we are a global university, and we think it hasn’t been so far. So we just hope that it furthers the conversation of putting diversity first and making everybody feel included here on campus.”

Tisch alumna Callie Nichole Lyons said she attended the event because she is still interested in what happens in the NYU community even though she graduated.

“In situations like this when we have conversations and the main goal is to get people to make change outside of the walls of the university I hope it opens up dialogue because I think that’s the first thing that has to happen in order to make change,” Lyons said. “I hope that people that were present tonight are able to take this to people who may not have come, may not have an interest, or may not have known about it.”

A version of this article appeared in the Monday, Feb. 9 print edition. Email Maggie O’Neill at [email protected].