Great Minds, Even Greater Dreams

WPI's annual MLK Commemorative Address highlights and memorializes the work, accomplishments, and legacy of one of the greatest Civil Rights and African American leaders in modern history.The MLK Commemorative Address is organized by the collective efforts of the Office of Multicultural Affairs and the Division of Talent and Inclusion. Each year an external speaker, through a keynote and potential civil service events, will engage the campus community and the greater Worcester community in actualizing Dr. King's ideals of social justice, protest, education, and service. In commemorating the late Dr. Rev. King, annually, we renew our commitment, as a community, to maintain his dream and its place on our campus. As we consider our current cultural climate, respect to one another, and peaceful discourse - all encompassed in our institutional values, this address reminds the campus of King’s legacy and how we are accountable to actualize it institutionally.

January 16, 2019

We invited community members to campus to celebrate WPI's very first annual Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative address on January 16, 2019. Many higher education institutions across the nation host, annually, their own iteration of a Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Address – and these keynotes are carried out to promote diversity, freedom, civil rights, and social justice in commemoration of King’s legacy. Programming such as this are imperative on all campuses because it is a reminder, and in some instances - a call to action, to our higher education communities that education does not exist in a vacuum. That in order for higher education to live up to its name it must also be committed to King’s legacy of equity, justice, freedom, and love. The commemorative address is a very special and significant part of the university's history and we hope to see you there.

WPI's 2019 MLK Keynote Speaker: Yoruba Richen

Yoruba Richen, WPI's 2019 MLK keynote Speaker, is a documentary filmmaker whose work has been featured on PBS, New York Times Op Doc, Frontline Digital, New York Magazine’s website -The Cut, The Atlantic and Field of Vision.  Her latest film The Green Book: Guide to Freedom will be broadcast on the Smithsonian Channel in February.  Yoruba’s last feature documentary, The New Black won multiple festival awards and was nominated for an NAACP Image Award and a GLAAD Media Award.  It was broadcast on PBS’s Independent Lens. Her previous film Promised Land, won the Fledgling Fund award for social issue documentary and was broadcast on POV.  Yoruba recently won a Clio award for her short film about the Grammy-nominated singer Andra Day.  She has also won Creative Promise Award at Tribeca All Access and was a Sundance Producers Fellow. Yoruba is a featured TED Speaker, a Fulbright fellow, a Guggenheim fellow and a 2016 recipient of the Chicken & Egg Breakthrough Filmmaker Award. She was chosen for the Root 100s list of African Americans 45 years old and younger who are responsible for the year’s most significant moments and themes. Yoruba is director of the documentary program at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism. 

Commemorative Address FAQ