Monday November 24, 2014

Still a Long Way

The University will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s historic speech on campus.

It was a snowy night at the University of Dayton Fieldhouse in 1964 when civil rights leader the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke to a crowd of more than 6,200 on the state of race relations in America, his commitment to nonviolence and the power of unconditional love.

Fifty years later, the University will remember his speech and reflect on race relations and social justice issues in America at 2 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 2, in Kennedy Union Room 310. It's free and open to the public.

Excerpts of the speech will be read by Herbert Martin, professor emeritus, transcribed from the only known audio recording of the Nov. 29, 1964, speech. In 2009, filmmaker David Schock discovered the tape in a box from Martin's garage, while working on a documentary about Martin. Schock returned the tape to Martin, who donated it to the University.

Martin, Ruth Thompson-Miller, assistant professor of sociology, and Tom Morgan, associate professor of American and African American literature, will discuss how key issues from King's speech, such as racial segregation and poverty, have evolved during the last 50 years.

"In his speech, Dr. King noted that progress towards achieving civil rights has come 'a long, long way' but still had 'a long, long way to go,'" said Patty Alvarez, assistant dean of students and director of multicultural affairs. "This event will commemorate his historic visit to campus and explore where there is work yet to be done on a variety of social justice issues."

To listen to the speech, review a transcript and learn about the discovery of these materials, please visit:

The University will also commemorate King with several events in January around Martin Luther King Jr. Day:

Tuesday, Jan. 20
11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. MLK Prayer Lunch, Kennedy Union ballroom, purchase tickets at

Friday, Jan. 23
12 p.m. Two Societies Film Screening, Roesch Library. 
7 p.m. Rhythm, Voice and Vision: In the Spirit of Dr. King, McGinnis Center.

Monday, Jan. 26
7 p.m. Kennedy Union Ballroom, University of Dayton Speaker Series Annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Speaker and A Tribute to the Life and Contributions of Father Paul Marshall, S.M. Sr. Jamie T. Phelps O.P., former director of the Institute for Black Catholic Studies and the Katherine Drexel Professor of Systematic Theology of Xavier University of Louisiana, will speak on "The MLK Legacy and its Contemporary Implications for the Social Justice Mission of the Local and Global Church." Phelps will also give a tribute to the life and contributions of Marshall, former rector of the University, who died in July.

For more information on Martin Luther King Jr. Day events, contact the Office of Multicultural Affairs at 937-229-3634 and

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