Friday, January 19, 2024

MLK Symposium

From UW-Madison:

This is an in-person event on Wednesday, January 31 that will also be streamed online.

Join in community for an evening with acclaimed writer, actress, and teacher Anna Deavere Smith as she reflects on the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. through the lens of her work.

5 p.m.: Doors open (general admission; no tickets needed)

5:30–7 p.m.: MLK Symposium program

7–8:30 p.m.: Reception in Sunset Lounge (light refreshments)

The keynote will be followed by a moderated Q&A. 

The livestream will be available to watch during the live event only; it will not be available for on-demand viewing. Click here to go to the livestream link on the day of the event.

About Anna Deavere Smith  Anna Deavere Smith is a writer and actress. She is credited with having created a new form of theater. Her plays, sometimes called “docudramas,” focus on contemporary issues from multiple points of view and are composed from excerpts of hundreds of interviews. Plays, and films based on them, include “Fires in the Mirror” and “Twilight: Los Angeles,” both of which dealt with volatile race events in the 1990s; “Let Me Down Easy,” about the U.S. healthcare system; and “Notes from the Field,” which focused on the school-to-prison pipeline.  

Her work as an actress on television includes “Inventing Anna,” “The West Wing,” “Nurse Jackie,” and “Black-ish.” Mainstream movies include “Philadelphia,” “The American President,” “Rachel Getting Married,” and “Here Today.”  

President Obama awarded Smith the National Endowment for the Humanities Medal. She was the 2015 Jefferson Lecturer. She is the recipient of the MacArthur Fellowship, several Obie awards, two Drama Desk awards, the George Polk Career Award in Journalism, and the Dean’s Medal from the Stanford University School of Medicine. She was a runner-up for the Pulitzer Prize and nominated for two Tony Awards.  

Smith is a university professor at the New York University Tisch School of the Arts. She has several honorary doctorate degrees including those from Harvard, Yale, Dartmouth, Spelman College, Prairie View University, Juilliard, and Oxford. 

About the MLK Symposium   Student Affairs and the Division of Diversity, Equity and Educational Achievement annually host a campus speaker in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Each year, the speaker is asked to provide their reflections on the legacy of MLK and to discuss how their work or experience connects to this. Past event speakers include astronaut Mae Jemison and Pulitzer Prize-winner Nikole Hannah-Jones. Learn more. 

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