Fairfield University holds Martin Luther King, Jr. remembrance events

Dr. Fania Davis

Dr. Fania Davis

Dr. Fania Davis, a social justice activist, Civil Rights trial attorney with more than 27 years of experience and restorative justice practitioner, will be this year’s keynote speaker at the 2017 MLK, Jr. Convocation on Wednesday, Jan. 25, at 7:30 p.m., at the Quick Center for the Arts.

Dr. Davis founded Restorative Justice  for Oakland Youth (RJOY) in 2005 with Oakland City Councilmember, Nancy Nadel, and community activist, Aeeshah Clottey. Inspired by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission process that followed apartheid in South Africa and made youth incarceration virtually obsolete in New Zealand, RJOY began with a series of meetings to explore the possibility of bringing a similar program to Oakland. RJOY works to stop cycles of youth violence and incarceration by promoting institutional shifts towards restorative approaches that engage families, communities and systems to provide education, training and technical assistance.

Dr. Davis has received the Ubuntu Award for service to humanity, the Dennis Maloney Award for Excellence in Youth Restorative Justice, and World Trust’s Healing Justice Award. The Los Angeles Times named her a New Civil Rights Leader of the 21st Century.

The Convocation will be preceded by a dinner and award presentation to this year’s Vision Award recipients, recognize individuals who demonstrate a commitment to the ideals and values of Dr. King and the winners of the annual essay contest for middle school students. The 2017 Vision Award Recipients are Anmol Tabassum ’18; Paul Lakeland, PhD, Aloysius P. Kelley, S.J. Chair in Catholic Studies & Professor of Religious Studies; and Ophelie Rowe Allen, EdD., Director of Residence Life.

Carrie Robinson, Assistant Director of the Office of Student Diversity, and Rachelle Brunn-Bevel, Assistant Professor of Sociology and Anthropology, are co-chairs of this year’s MLK observance, supported by a committee of volunteers. More details are available at Fairfield.edu/mlk.

Additional events include:

  • Memorial March Tuesday, Jan. 24, 3:30 p.m., Egan Chapel of St. Ignatius Loyola. Students and faculty will join in a Memorial March around campus to raise awareness about the history of social justice and activism at Fairfield.
  • Poetry for Peace Tuesday, Jan. 24, 6 p.m., Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts. For the ninth year, Poetry for Peace brings elementary school students from Bridgeport schools to campus to read their award-winning poetry.
  • Day of Service Thursday, Jan. 26, various locations
  • Youth Leadership Academy Friday, Jan. 27, 9:30 a.m. The University will host more than 100 eighth-graders in the Youth Leadership Academy, where they will learn leadership skills, including conflict resolution, anti-bullying techniques, and more.
  • Gospel Mass Sunday, Jan. 29, 7 p.m., Egan Chapel of St. Ignatius Loyola. Danney Gibbs, Minister of Music for The Cathedral of the Holy Spirit Mass Choir will lead the music at this special Mass.
  • Open VISIONS Forum: James Blake Monday, Jan. 30, 8 p.m., Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts. Cost is $35; $5 Fairfield University students. QCA Member Price: $27.Purchase tickets at quickcenter.fairfield.edu.


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