Despite closing campus this past Monday in celebration of the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Case Western Reserve University and University Circle blossomed last weekend with various activities in celebration of King.
Each year, CWRU hosts a special convocation ceremony in honor of King. On Friday, Jan. 18, CWRU hosted visual artist LaToya Ruby Frazier, a professor at the Art Institute of Chicago, as the keynote speaker for the convocation. In addition to delivering the convocation address, Frazier also engaged in a smaller discussion group with CWRU students with specific interests in social justice.
In order to help with transportation, CWRU offered a shuttle that traveled between the various museums around University Circle, including the Cleveland History Center, the Botanical Gardens, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) and Severance Hall.
Among the most involved of the various University Circle museums was MOCA, which hosted three separate programs on the holiday. The first event was a 90 minute long teach-in with Hasan Kwame Jeffries, Ph.D., a professor of The Ohio State University and scholar of the Civil Rights Movement. The second, an interactive artistic activity, was hosted by Favianna Rodriguez, an artist and political activist based out of California. MOCA concluded the day with a “Freedoms Town Hall” with an emphasis on the freedom of expression and a group of diverse panelists including artists, professors, members of the Alliance of Safety and Justice and other emerging leaders.
Several of the other museums, including the Cleveland Museum of Natural History and the Botanical Gardens, offered free admission for the holiday, as well as special programming targeted at families.
Other off-campus organizations like the Cleveland Public Library offered civil rights- oriented activities aimed at preserving the memory of King.