MLK Tribute

February  2017

Art as Resistance and Remembrance

Spoken Word artists Janae Johnson and Porsha O.
Wed, Feb 15, 7-8pm, Q&A to Follow MUB, Strafford Rm


Porsha Olayiwola is the 2014 Individual World Poetry Slam Champion. Porsha separates herself from the field of issue-based performance poets by applying advanced political analysis to examine injustice while providing perspective on concrete solutions with exciting and accessible language.  A native of Chicago, Porsha now resides in Boston where she writes and teaches.



Janae Johnson is a spoken word poet, teaching artist, educator, and organizer residing in Berkeley, California. She is a 2015 National Poetry Slam Champion as well as the 2015 Women of the World Poetry Slam Champion. Her work, which is mostly focused on black queerness and/or black masculinity, has appeared on PBS NewsHour and in Kinfolks: a journal of Black expression. 


MLK Celebration throughout the Years

Theme: Stealing Democracy "How Much Influence Does Your Vote Have?"
Keynote speaker: Spencer Overton, Prof., of Law at George Washington Univ. Law School

Theme: "And Still I Rise"

Keynote Speaker: Professor Natasha Trethewey

Keynote Presentation cancelled due to weather

Theme: "Are You Making Your Mark?"

Keynote Speaker: Rob Dixon, UNH Alum

Theme: "The Politics of Wealth and Social Justice"

Keynote Speaker: Rev. Rosemary Bray McNatt

Theme: "Combating Hate: Hope to Action"

Keynote Speaker: Morris Dees

Theme: "Art as Struggle and Exultation"

Keynote Speaker: Nikki Giovanni

Theme: "One in 100 Dismantling a Prison Nation"

Keynote Speaker: Angela Davis

VIDEO: Laura Knoy interviews Angela Davis



Theme: "Holler if You Hear Me: Race, Culture and Democracy"

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Michael Eric Dyson

Theme: From Poverty to Empowerment a Call to Action

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Carlos Munoz, Jr.

Theme: "Lift Every Voice"

Keynote Speaker: Patricia Williams Columbia, Univ. Law Professor, spoke on women's voices and civil rights.

Other events included Spiritual Celebration held at Durham Community Church, Educational Panel "Civil Rights in an Era of Civil Wrongs: Exploring Contemporary Threats to Democracy

2005 Theme: "Each One, Reach One: To Act, Inspire, and Lead"

Keynote Speaker: Kevin Powell, journalist, poet, hip-hop historian and community activist.Other events that took place included a student service and activism conference, candlelight vigil, student panel discussion on activism, and the Social Justice Awards were also presented.

2004 Theme: "Sharing the Dream: Peace, Equity and Change"
Keynote speaker: Elaine Jones, President and Defense Council for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund.  Other events that took place: Community Services for Change (students, staff and faculty were invited to write letters, sign petitions, create posters while learning about community nonprofit opportunities, Holloway Commons provided a special dinner of international cuisine, spiritual celebration was held at Durham Community Church, an interactive discussion on "Affirmative Action in Education: Brown vs Michigan to UNH" was facilitated by Dr. Wanda Mitchell and Elaine Jones. The first Social Justice Awards were also presented.

2003 Theme: "The Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr."
Keynote speaker: Randall Kennedy, Harvard Law School Professor.  Other events that took place included a panel discussion on hate words as they related to language and oppression, an interfaith service of spirit and song was held at Durham Community Church, Drumming for Justice Block Party with food and live entertainment, Community Service Fair, a family celebration where children and their families were invited to learn about King's life and the changes he inspired through art and learning projects with live entertainment and a special birthday cake. 

2002 Theme: "The Spoken Voice of Dr. Martin Luther King: Once Again the Trumpet Sounds". 

Other events included dance performance by "Sisters in Step", Soul Sistahs UNH vocal group, and the women's cappella singing group.  Invocation was provided by Rev. Arthur Hilson and benediction was provided by Larry Brickner-Wood.

2001 Keynote speaker: Rev. Eugene Rivers III, Prof. Harvard Divinity School.