Diversity at Reed

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (MLK)
Day of Engagement

About the Day

Each year on the third Monday of January, schools, federal offices, post offices, and banks across America close as we celebrate the birth, the life, and the dream of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. It is a time for the nation to remember the injustices that Dr. King stood against and the rights he stood for: equity, freedom, and dignity. Dr. King furthered his cause through nonviolent direct action protest.

Reed College, like Dr. King, recognizes the power of community engagement. Reed's MLK Day of Engagement honors Dr. King's legacy by transforming the day off to a day on. We invite the Reed community to participate in events that bring to life our shared mission to build mutually beneficial relationships within the community in order to foster sustainable and positive social change.

We invite the Reed community to the following events:

Monday, January 17, 2022

Off-Campus Community Engagement: River Clean-Up with SOLVE, 12 p.m. - 3 p.m.: Participate in river clean-up at High Rocks Park in Gladstone, Oregon with our community partners at SOLVE and with Lewis & Clark College community members. Meet in the Student Union (SU) where a brief orientation will be provided and then travel to the volunteer site. Transportation can also be provided; space is limited. 

On-Campus Community Engagement: Winter Care Kits for Blanchet House, 12 p.m. - 2 p.m.: Help prepare 200 winter care kits to donate to Blanchet House to support the houseless population in Downtown Portland. Meet in the Student Union (SU) where a brief orientation will be provided. Volunteers will then be provided with the items to assemble the winter care kits.

Keynote Address: Black and Red Power with Dr. Kyle T. Mays, 4 - 5 p.m., Vollum Lecture Hall: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. believed that there were three evils in the world: capitalism, racism, and militarism. Similarly, Black and Indigenous radicals believed that in order to create a new world, they must challenge racism, capitalism, and colonialism. This talk will explore how Black and Indigenous radicals during the Black and Red Power era imagined a society that values human life in the aftermath of settler colonialism and white supremacy. Through their critiques of capitalism and colonialism, these radicals, through acts of solidarity, demonstrate the possibilities of how we might imagine our co-liberation today.

Kyle T. Mays (he/his) is an Afro-Indigenous (Saginaw Chippewa) writer and scholar of US history, urban studies, race relations, and contemporary popular culture. He is an Assistant Professor of African American Studies, American Indian Studies, and History at the University of California, Los Angeles. He is the author of Hip Hop Beats, Indigenous Rhymes: Modernity and Hip Hop in Indigenous North America (SUNY Press, 2018), An Afro-Indigenous History of the United States (Beacon Press, 2021), and City of Dispossessions: Indigenous Peoples, African Americans, and the Creation of Modern Detroit (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2022). He contributed a chapter, “Blackness and Indigeneity” to the New York Times bestseller, 400 Souls: A Community History of African America, 1619-2019, Keisha Blain and Ibram Kendi (eds.), (New York: Random House, 2021).

Please RSVP for any of these events via this foRM



 MLK Day of Engagement is sponsored by Reed's Office for Institutional Diversity, Multicultural Resource Center, and SEEDS (Students for Education, Equity, and Direct Service). Due to Reed's health and safety protocols, MLK Day of Engagement events are only open to the on-campus Reed community at this time. Please contact institutional.diversity@reed.edu for more information.