Carnegie Mellon University
January 13, 2023

CMU Reflects on the Life, Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Keynote lecture presents esteemed community builder

By Bruce Gerson

Peter Kerwin
  • University Communications & Marketing
  • 412-268-1151

Majora Carter, a renowned urban revitalization strategist who has earned the prestigious MacArthur Fellowship and Peabody Award, will be the featured speaker at Carnegie Mellon University's 2023 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Remembrance Celebration and Keynote Lecture. The event will be held from 5 to 6:15 p.m., Jan. 25 in the Cohon University Center's Rangos Ballroom.

Majora CarterCarter, author of the 2022 book "Reclaiming Your Community," is responsible for the creation of numerous sustainable economic development projects in her hometown of the South Bronx. Carter and her team have transformed struggling communities into thriving mixed-use neighborhoods. Her famous quote, "Nobody should have to move out of their neighborhood to live in a better one," is displayed on the walls of the Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture.

"I am delighted to welcome Majora Carter to Carnegie Mellon this month as our community celebrates and honors Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.," said Wanda Heading-Grant, vice provost for diversity, equity and inclusion and chief diversity officer. "Her work is deeply rooted in sustaining and uplifting communities, and Dr. King's legacy, particularly his idea of a beloved community, is one that has echoed throughout Ms. Carter's career. I look forward to coming together to learn about her activism, advocacy and ideas about how we can shape and support communities, including our own."

"We must be emboldened and charged by (Dr. King's) legacy to do our utmost to continue a path forward that ensures equity, fairness and access for all — a legacy that promotes love and mutual respect." — Wanda Heading-Grant

In the South Bronx, Carter's economic revitalization projects have included the Boogie Down Grind Café, featuring coffee, tea, local beers and wine, and celebrating hip-hop culture and the creative local community; Hunts Point Heights, a mixed-use building consisting of residential, commercial and cultural space; Bronxlandia, a former rail station that was transformed into an event and performance venue; and StartUp Box, a social venture that has increased opportunities to provide entry-level tech jobs for area residents.

Carter's work earned her a MacArthur Fellowship in 2005. Commonly known as the "Genius Grant," the MacArthur Fellowship is "an investment in a person's originality, insight and potential," and is also "based on a track record of significant accomplishments." In 2010, she received a Peabody Award, which honors excellence in radio broadcasting, for her radio talk show "The Promised Land with Host Majora Carter."

Carter was named to the 100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs by Goldman Sachs and received the Liberty Medal for Lifetime Achievement by News Corp.

Martin Luther King Jr.The Remembrance Celebration and Keynote Lecture is one of many scheduled events on campus that will pay tribute to Dr. King's legacy.

"I am excited to invite everyone to participate in community events across the university," Heading-Grant said. "I am so grateful for the time this holiday offers to reflect on what Dr. King's life and legacy mean to me and others. I believe we must be emboldened and charged by his legacy to do our utmost to continue a path forward that ensures equity, fairness and access for all — a legacy that promotes love and mutual respect. I invite everyone at CMU to do the same.

"I hope you will join us as we spend this time volunteering, learning and engaging around Dr. King's legacy and carrying forward his principles in our own community," she said.

Celebrating the Life and Legacy of Dr. King

Jan. 15-16
FANNIE: The Music and Life of Fannie Lou Hammer
August Wilson African American Cultural Center
Register for Sunday and Monday

Jan. 17
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Birthday Celebration
Learn more

Jan. 20
Poetry Unplugged
August Wilson African American Cultural Center
Register

Jan. 20-21
Pittsburgh Racial Justice Summit
Pittsburgh Theological Seminary
Register

Jan. 25
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Remembrance Celebration and Keynote Lecture featuring Majora Carter
Register
Jan. 27
MLK Interfaith Breakfast
Register

Feb. 1
Step Afrika!
Byham Theater
Register

Feb. 2
Diversity and the Future of Admissions
Register

Feb. 7
MLK Book Readings with Lunch Discussions
"Black Roses" by Harold Green III
Register

Feb. 8
Black Futures Summit Featured Speaker "An Evening with Harold Green"
Register
Feb. 10
CAUSE Lecture with Destin Jenkins
The Bonds of Inequality: Debt and the Urban African American Experience
Register

Feb. 24
CAUSE Lecture with Ashley D. Farmer
Somebody has to Pay: Queen Mother Audley Moore and the Modern Reparations Movement
Register

March 2
MLK Book Readings with Lunch Discussions
"Year of the Tiger: An Activist's Life" by Alice Wong
Register

March 12
Black Violin Experience Tour
Byham Theater
Register

April 6
MLK Book Readings with Lunch Discussions
"Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World" by Anand Giridharadas
Register

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