Martin Luther King Jr. Day Event

Meeting, Learning, Knowledge

TU to Celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day
Who: Open to the Community
When: Monday, January 15, 2018 - 8:30 a.m. to noon
Where: Main Classroom Building & Gillmor Student Center Gymnasium
(Click to register for this event)

Tiffin University will celebrate the life and message of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on campus Monday, January 15, in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day. A special appearance by the TU Gospel Choir and jazz ensembles are also included. The community is invited and encouraged to attend.

The conference will feature breakout sessions with personal and professional development opportunities, followed by a keynote address at 11 a.m.

Nate Washington
Keynote Speaker

Tiffin University graduate, Nate Washington, will be the featured speaker. Washington was an American football wide receiver for the Tennessee Titans of the National Football League. He was signed by the Pittsburgh Steelers as an undrafted free agent in 2005 and holds two Super Bowl rings. He played college football at Tiffin University after graduating from Toledo's Scott High School.

Washington was raised in Toledo, Ohio by his single mother, Lisha Washington. In high school, he was named first-team all-area and honorable mention all-state, as a senior.

He holds eight individual TU Dragons' receiving records, including records for receptions and yards in a game, receptions and yards in a season, touchdowns in a season, career and yards receptions, career yards touchdown receptions.


  • Registration will begin at 8:30 on the first floor of TU’s Main Building.
  • Light refreshments will be provided throughout the morning.
  • Breakout sessions will be held at 9 and 10 a.m., and will be hosted by students, organizations and faculty.
    • Sessions will foster dialogue within topics related to peace and social conflict, civility and compassion, challenging paradigms of injustice, existence of privilege, learning through inclusive collaboration, social justice, sociocultural and educational needs of diverse students, communication, challenges of access for economically disadvantaged students, the importance of mentorships for minorities and cultural awareness through education.
  • Keynote Address presented by TU graduate, Nate Washington, at 11 a.m.
  • Closing Tiffin University President Dr. Lillian Schumacher will close the event with words of encouragement to continue Dr. King’s message.
  • Lunch (catered) for the first 50 students registered for the event

Student Information

Students are eligible to earn 8 hours of co-curricular service for attending the event. The first 50 students registered will be invited to a catered lunch after the keynote address.

Breakout Sessions

(Click to register for this event)

9:00-9:45 a.m.

"Fostering Cultural Awareness in the Classroom" presented by Sami Mejri - Main, room 11

The purpose of this presentation is to provide theoretical and empirical evidence to the importance of cultural awareness in promoting student success, reducing social biases and improving intergroup contacts. Attendees will be presented with national and international scenarios that are relevant to their personal and professionals interactions with other members of society.
"The Dominant Role of African American Musical Culture on Popular Music in the U.S. and Worldwide" presented by TU Music Professor Brad Rees and Gospel Choir Director Nellene Arnett - Main, room 13Explore the dominant role of African American musical culture on popular music in the US and around the world, from blues to jazz, rock, country, r&b, soul and hip hop. This session is a preview of TU's inaugural Black History Month Music Festival, to be held in the Marion Center and Performing Arts Lab on Friday, February 23.
"Safe Zone – Basic" presented by Jacob Simon, Director of Residence Life at TU - Main, room 14The goal of the Safe Zone program is to educate campus constituents about issues facing the LGBT+ community as a means of creating an inclusive campus environment for all students. This session will provide participants with introductory information about the LGBT+ community, the coming out process, as well as an overview of gender, gender identity, gender expression and sexual orientation. After attending this session, participants will be able to identify campus resources available to students related to gender and sexual diversity.
"The Similarities and Differences of Chinese Culture" hosted by the Chinese Student Group - Main, room 21People tend to group all Chinese students into the same group, even though each one may be from different areas with their own cultural identities. Know Chinese culture well means becoming familiar with the diversity within it. In this session, each presenter will show you unique characteristics of their hometown, province, or country under the big umbrella of Chinese culture in geographic location, food, clothing, music and ethnic background. Come join us and get to know the diversity of Chinese culture.
"Writing in the Legacy of Dr. King: Ta-Nehisi Coates, Trevor Noah and Autobiography in the Twenty-First Century" hosted by Gregory Jones, TU faculty member - Main, room 23Both Ta-Nehisi Coates and Trevor Noah recently published best-selling autobiographies exploring their experiences with racial discrimination in two different global contexts. This paper (and conversation) explore the connections between these two prominent authors and the context of race in a post-colonial world. The paper makes explicit connections with Dr. King's efforts to establish a world of racial cohesion rather than separation. While the two modern authors do not show a "fulfillment" of Dr. King's dream, this paper argues that they do write in his legacy.
"The Social Gospel and Its Impact on Dr. King"hosted by Chris Caldwell, first-year advisor, lead at TU - Main, room 24Focusing on one of the influences of the Peaceful Integrationist Movement, this presentation will look at the call of the Social Gospel, how the Social Gospel informed the protests of Dr. King's followers, and how we can continue to live by these principles today in a #BlackLivesMatter world.

10:00-10:45 a.m.

"Dr. King, Jr. Trivia" hosted by TU’s BUS - Main, room 11Featuring a game of jeopardy about the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the audience will challenged on facts about Dr. King, Jr.
"Cultural Experiences" hosted by TU’s Saudi Student Group - Main, room 13Aimed at the younger audience, participants will learn about Martin Luther King Jr’s life experiences and achievements, while sharing their own. Poetry, drawing, play sessions and a short, child-friendly movie may be included.
"Challenging Northern Hegemony: Las Americas and Her Children" hosted by Matt Bereza, associate professor of psychology, counseling and Latin American studies at TU - Main, room 14This presentation will cover historical and cultural views of the Americas from the Encounter of 1492 through today's political environment. In particular, the notion of a divided Americas will be challenged, as will northern hegemony in the forms of neoliberalism and political influence. There will also be a discussion of what Gutmann et al. (2003) refers to as Las Americas mean to us on this day, along with the voices of those who made the south, central, and north great.
"Cultural Awareness: What does your world look like?" hosted by Julie Richards, director of wellness and counseling services at TU - Main, room 21The object of this exercise is to explore one's social "world" through a clear plastic cup and assorted beads that represent communities of color. Yes, in many ways it is essentialist; however, it is a visual wake-up call and a call to action in terms of being real about the diversity (or lack thereof) in our social and community interactions.
"We Shall Overcome: Civil Rights and Black Freedom" hosted by Michael Goodnough, TU faculty member - Main, room 23This presentation is a lecture on the Civil Rights Movement. It complicates popular notions of the Civil Rights Movement by introducing attendees to the hisotriographical concept of the "long movement narrative," which challenges the dominant King-centered narrative. It includes a reconceptualization of the Civil Rights Movement and black freedom struggle by considering the Cold War context along with explorations of music and Black Power.
"Transracial Adoption" hosted by Julia Porter, PhD, project manager, Celebrating Cultural Uniqueness - Main, room 24As an adoption advocate and through life experiences and opportunities, Dr. Porter has embraced learning more about another culture to ensure that she is the best parent she can be to her black daughter. After naively thinking love was enough to raise a child of any race, through experiences in interacting with others, through immersing themselves in other cultures and learning from others, Porter and her husband have been able to ensure their daughter is comfortable around a myriad of races and experiences, has culturally appropriate clothing and hair, and that they will educate others about families who may not appear typical. In retrospect, her life experiences prepared her for this from having a mother with one arm, to working in an urban high school in Downtown Brooklyn, NY and earning a Master's Degree in New York City. "Being comfortable with being uncomfortable" has helped her to be a better mother to a child of another race.

For More Information

Contact Dr. Sharon Perry-Fantini, Vice Provost for Equity, Access & Opportunity/Title IX Coordinator
419.448.3504 or