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Mitchell Jackson speaks at MLK Commemoration Jan. 23

Media Contact

Lindsey Hadlock


Mitchell Jackson to speak at Cornell’s 2018 Martin Luther King Jr. Commemoration


 Tuesday, Jan. 23, 5:30 p.m.


Sage Chapel, Cornell’s Ithaca Campus


The event is free and open to the public. Media members are asked to RSVP to Lindsey Hadlock in Cornell’s Media Relations Office at 607-255-6121 or

ITHACA, N.Y. – Author and activist Mitchell S. Jackson is the featured speaker at the Martin Luther King Jr., Day of Commemoration, Jan. 23 at 5:30 p.m. in Sage Chapel. The event is free and open to the public.

The annual commemoration brings the Cornell and Ithaca communities together with events centered on King’s service, activism and legacy. Jackson’s keynote, “The Other America II,” builds on a speech given by King in 1967 at Stanford University, in which he addressed poverty and widespread racism as ugly realities confronting the comfortable vision of America as a land of opportunity.

Born in Portland, Oregon, Jackson is on the liberal studies faculty at New York University. A prominent speaker and advocate for criminal justice reform, he has visited prisons and youth facilities in the United States and abroad. He was arrested on drug charges as a youth and served time in prison, where he developed an interest in literature and writing. After his release in 1998, he earned master’s degrees in writing from Portland State University and NYU.

The event is facilitated by the Office of Academic Diversity Initiatives (OADI) and Cornell United Religious Work, and organized by a committee of campus and community leaders.

“We are hopeful that the event will ensure that the legacy of Dr. King is not forgotten by this generation,” said Rochelle Jackson-Smarr, program manager for community engagement and social justice in OADI. “While some people have memory of King and his impact on their lives, today’s students may not understand the gravity of his impact on society. Part of this campus-community collaboration is to revitalize Dr. King’s memory in contemporary times.”

Jackson, she said, “is capable of bridging generational gaps and connecting Dr. King’s dream to current events, as an inspiration for all to take action for the community.”

For more information on this event, see this Cornell Chronicle story.