Student Tribune

Diversity Dispatch: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Day

Given his social justice focus in the tradition of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Dr. Marvin A. McMickle, President of Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School (CRCDS), is a fitting choice for keynote speaker at MCC’s MLK Day celebration. The event will take place on Friday, February 15, from 12 noon to 12:50 PM in the Warshof Conference Center of the R. Thomas Flynn Campus Center (Monroe A/B) on the Brighton campus.

The “Crozer” in the divinity school’s name stems from the merger of Crozer Theological Seminary, Dr. King’s alma mater, with Colgate Rochester Divinity School in 1970. CRCDS carries on the work of Crozer, and Dr. King, in social justice and ministry. In a recent City newspaper essay, for example, CRDCS President McMickle called for the national political agenda to include concern for poor people as well as the middle class ( During his tenure as Senior Pastor of Antioch Baptist Church in Cleveland, Ohio, from 1987 to 2011, Dr. McMickle led the church in establishing the first church ministry in the US for people infected with or affected by HIV/AIDS, and in sponsoring job training, a hunger center, Alcoholics Anonymous groups, and a credit union. Dr. McMickle was also inducted into the Martin Luther King, Jr. International Board of Preachers at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia, Dr. King’s undergraduate alma mater, in an annual recognition of notable pastors, ministers, and bishops (

In a speech on January 21, the federal observance of MLK Day – also the day of the public inauguration ceremony for President Barack Obama’s second term – Dr. McMickle “urg[ed] those in attendance to take up King's mantle and work to end racism, poverty and war. He gave his message a biblical context, drawing an analogy between the slain civil rights leader and the prophet Moses, and between the people of America today and the Israelites ‘on the banks of the wrong side of the Jordan … I mean, what do you do after Moses? … You get up from where you are and ... move ... forward!’ McMickle roared to the cheers of the crowd” (

Come celebrate Dr. King’s birthday on February 15 - with music and dance - and hear from Dr. McMickle how Dr. King’s legacy continues to influence social justice today.

This article is part of a monthly series from the Diversity Council about topics related to diversity and multiculturalism.

Debbie Mohr
Diversity Council (ETS: Libraries)