Dean Camille Nelson
Dean Camille Nelson giving remarks.

AUWCL Celebrates Martin Luther King Jr.’s Legacy with 19th Annual Commemoration Program

Jan. 19, 2018

On Wednesday, Jan. 17, the law school held its 19th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Commemoration Program. Dean Camille Nelson along with faculty, staff, and students gathered to celebrate the life and enduring legacy of Dr. King.

In her address, Dean Nelson remarked, “Dr. King was avante-garde; he was ahead of his time in recognizing the interconnectedness of systems of oppression and urging coherent and consistent human rights inspired policies both at home and abroad. He connected the health of America to the challenges of globalization, recognizing that our prosperity and security was linked to that of our international allies and enemies.”

Professor Angela Davis led a community reading of Dr. King’s “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” speech delivered on April 3, 1968, the night before his assassination in Memphis, Tenn.

The community also paid a special tribute to Professor Perry Wallace, who passed away on December 1, 2017, with faculty and staff sharing fond memories of their beloved colleague. Wallace was the Director of the law school’s JD/MBA Dual Degree Program and for almost three decades served as a respected and cherished faculty member. He was the first African-American to play varsity basketball in the Southeastern Conference, and a trailblazer in many frontiers.

Kendra Brown, senior director of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, organized the event. Brown said, “Dr. King’s legacy is a legacy of selfless sacrifice for the rights of others. We stand on the shoulders of those like Dr. King and Professor Wallace, who have paved the way in the continued quest for equality. It is my desire that the Office of Diversity and Inclusion will continue to serve as a catalyst for diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts within the law school and American University community.”