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Honoring the legacy, building a new future

Dr. Cathy J. Cohen, one of the nation’s leading scholars of race and politics, will give the 2013 Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Lecture at Gustavus Adolphus College at 10 a.m. Monday, Jan. 21 in the college’s Christ Chapel. Cohen’s lecture, which is titled “Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in the Age of Obama: Building a New Movement for the 21st Century,” will be live streamed for those who are unable to attend the event.
The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Lecture is an annual event on the Gustavus campus that has previously drawn prominent speakers such as Taylor Branch, the Rev. C.T. Vivian, and Bernard Lafayette Jr. The lecture is free and open to the public.
Cohen is the David and Mary Winton Green Professor of Political Science and the College at the University of Chicago. She also serves as the Deputy Provost for Graduate Education and is the former Director of the Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture. A successful author, Cohen has penned The Boundaries of Blackness: AIDS and the Breakdown of Black Politics and Democracy Remixed: Black Youth and the Future of American Politics. She is also the co-editor of Women Transforming Politics: An Alternative Reader.
Cohen is also the recipient of numerous awards including the Robert Wood Johnson Investigator’s Award, the Robert Wood Johnson Scholars in Health Policy Research Fellowship, and two major research grants from the Ford Foundation for her work as principal investigator of the Black Youth Project and the Mobilization, Change and Political and Civic Engagement Project.
In addition to her academic work, Cohen has always been politically active. She currently serves on the board of the Arcus Foundation and is a past board member of the Audre Lorde Project, Kitchen Table: Women of Color Press, and the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies at CUNY. She was a founding member of Black AIDS Mobilization (BAM!) and has also served as an active member in organizations such as the Black Radical Congress, African American Women in Defense of Ourselves, and Ella’s Daughters.
Living into the Dream
Gustavus will conclude its Martin Luther King Day festivities with a performance by Minneapolis-based Mixed Blood Theatre at 7 p.m. in Alumni Hall. Mixed Blood’s Dr. King’s Dream celebrates the life and career of King through his own letters, sermons, books, and speeches, including the timeless “I Have a Dream” speech. Marvin Grays, who has toured for Mixed Blood as Dr. King for well over a decade will provide a commanding solo performance that is stirring and poignant. Mixed Blood’s performance of Dr. King’s Dream is free and open to the public and is suitable for audiences age 10 and up.
For more information or questions about Martin Luther King Day events at Gustavus on January 21, contact Assistant Dean of Students and Director of Diversity and Multicultural Programs Virgil Jones at or Associate Professor of Political Science and Director of the Peace Studies Program Mimi Gerstbauer at

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