Themes

MLK Jr Summit presentations will reflect on the following themes:

  • Remembering the 50th anniversary of the American civil rights movement is to recover our collective memory of past struggles for justice and their on-going significance in the present.

  • Reconstruction appeals to our sentiments to bring together disjointed communities separated by time, space, culture, and difference, to build something new. In the United States, the aftermath of the Civil War created a new society that dreamed boldly and failed valiantly to create a new nation based on principles of freedom. Although certain advances in civil rights were not effectively and permanently established, these aspirations became central to the tenents of the modern civil rights movement for the remainder of the twentieth century. The determination to engage injustice and to rebuild society anew was not unique to the United States but also evidenced throughout Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, Asia, and Europe.

  • Re-aggregation urges us to consider how groups both nationally and internationally can be compared and contrasted in ways previously unconsidered, instead of thinking of isolated strands of independence movements in Africa, Asia, North America, and South America. How might we frame our understanding of distinct regional movements as part of collective aspirations for universal principles of justice and autonomy? Considering the groundwork of African-Asian solidarity at the Bandung Conference, what other examples are there of cross-cultural conversation, cooperation and conflict that will urge us to bring together previously disparate leaders, movements, and peoples?

  • Re-envisioning challenges us to reconsider our preconceived ideas of struggle, to consider fresh perspectives on civil and human rights ; explore new and emergent modern ideas, creative and “out of the box” thinking to address contemporary issues, such as, immigration, criminal justice system, bullying, growing economic inequalities, human trafficking, modern day slavery, child labor, LGBT rights, refugee protection, gender inequality, etc.

  • Re-inventing urges us to bring our collective insight from across disciplinary, cultural, and intellectual traditions, to boldly create new strategies for social change in our local, national and global communities..

It is in this spirit that The KSU Summit on “Remembering: International Struggle for Civil and Human Rights,” calls on a multidisciplinary group of scholars, activists, students, writers, literary critics, historians, legal practitioners, social scientists, humanists, cultural scholars, artists, and musicians to “remember” the struggles for civil and human rights within the United States and across the world.

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