Exponent to explore Civil Rights Movements

We are seeking campus voices to explore, “What are Civil Rights to Me?”

Dr. Bernice King will speak on campus from 10:00am-12:00pm on Tuesday, April 21 in the Williams Fieldhouse as this year’s Distinguished Lecturer. She is the youngest daughter of the late Martin Luther King, Jr.

Photo courtoesy of LBJ Foundation

Dr. Bernice King will speak on campus from 10:00am-12:00pm on Tuesday, April 21 in the Williams Fieldhouse as this year’s Distinguished Lecturer. She is the youngest daughter of the late Martin Luther King, Jr.

On April 21, Dr. Bernice King, the youngest daughter of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., will speak on campus as the 2020 Distinguished Lecturer. Dr. King is an ordained minister and previously served as the president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), the organization her father led during the African American Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s. She has also worked to share her father’s legacy as the CEO of the King Center.
However, in 2004 and in 2005, Dr. King participated in marches against same-sex marriage during a nadir of the LGBTQ+ rights movement. In 2004, at least thirteen states, including Wisconsin, took steps to outlaw same-sex marriage. Dr. King also denied that her father would support LGBTQ+ rights were he alive today.
In recent years, Dr. King has distanced herself from her past opposition to LGBTQ+ rights and publicly celebrated the 2015 Supreme Court decision, Obergefell v. Hodges, granting nation-wide marriage equality. In a statement about that case, Dr. King quoted her mother, Coretta Scott King, “The Civil Rights movement that I believe in thrives on unity and inclusion, not division and exclusion.”

We want to hear from you!!
To honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and to engage our campus community as we prepare to host Dr. Bernice King, the Exponent would like to invite students, staff and faculty to submit 250-word responses to the question: What are Civil Rights to me? All campus responses are welcome; the editorial staff will select 6-10 representative responses and print them in April in the lead-up to Dr. King’s visit.
Responses can be personal reflections or based in a disciplinary definition, such as an historical view or legal view of the question. Student organizations are welcome to submit a response to be published on behalf of your organization.
The Exponent will only publish responses submitted from uwplatt.edu email addresses. Responses over 250 words might be edited for length. Following our general editorial policy, responses deemed defamatory will not be printed.
We will begin accepting submissions immediately and will accept submissions through March 31. Please send questions or submissions to Dr. Pip Gordon, [email protected] or the Exponent office, [email protected]