Martin Luther King Jr. Day Event

*** Due to extreme cold temperatures, Tiffin University will be closed on January 21, 2019, which means the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day event has been cancelled. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. 


TU to Celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day
Who: Open to the Community
When: 8 a.m. Monday, January 21, 2019
Where: Chisholm Auditorium and Main Classroom Building

Communication…the Key to Bridging Cultural Differences.

“People fail to get along because they fear each other; they fear each other because they don’t know each other; they don’t know each other because they have not communicated with each other.”
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Tiffin University will celebrate the life and message of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on campus Monday, January 21, 2019 with the theme “Communication…the Key to Bridging Cultural Differences.” The community is encouraged to attend.

The celebration will begin at 8 a.m. in Chisolm Auditorium. The day will begin with a welcome by President Dr. Lillian Schumacher. Provost Dr. Peter Holbrook will share the importance of communication and how it directly relates to the organizational core value as outlined in the University Guiding Principles (I-Care Value), along with words of encouragement to continue the dream of Dr. King Jr.

The celebration will continue with a conference which is hosted by students, organizations and professors. The conference will feature breakout sessions from 9 to 11:45 a.m. in the Main Classroom Building.

The 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 and the importance of developing cultural awareness through communication.

Students will have the opportunity to earn an hour of personal development co-curricular credit for each breakout session that is fully attended. Students must provide their Student I.D. for credit.

Breakout Session Information

*Attention: Some workshop sessions are subject to cancellation because of inclement weather.

9 - 9:45 a.m.

“Safe Zone”
Main 11
Presented by Jacob Simon
The 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.

“Racial Integration of the Military”
Main 12
Presented by Kenneth Santos
This presentation will focus on how the integration of the military helped win battles, focusing on a multimodal explanation of communication and a historical context of racial integration of the military throughout the history of the United States.

“Mentoring Young Women of Color in the Millennium”
Main 14
Presented by Dr. Donnamaria Culbreth
The presentation will focus on the extraordinary benefits of e-mentoring for young women of color in the millennium with a focus on personal, academic, career and extracurricular goal achievement.

“Negroes with Guns: Robert F. Williams as a Cautionary Tale of a Mismanaged Narrative”
Main 21
Presented by Chris Caldwell
Lesser known civil rights movement leader, Robert F. Williams’s decision to arm citizens, while effective at garnering national attention, failed to address larger issues of social equity. The presentation will focus on the historical context of Robert F. Williams, his struggles as an NAACP leader, his eventual call to arms for the black community and his exile from a country he defended; a deconstruction of the previous stated context from critical race and communication theories; and take-away lessons from Williams and how fear is the enemy of inclusion.

“How Can Science Help Us Bridge the Divide Among Races?”
Main 22
Presented by Dr. Ana Paula Fantini
What is race? The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines race as “a class or kind of people unified by shared interests, habits or characteristics” and/or “a category of humankind that shares certain distinctive physical traits.” According to scientific research, there is no genetic basis for race. Science simply defines us by the analysis of our DNA. On the other hand, society defines us by the color of our skin. Thus, one can conclude that race is largely a made-up label, used to define and separate us based on the color of our skin. We are taught at birth the difference between us and them, our culture and their culture, our family and their family, our group and their group. The real questions are: how do you define yourself? And can science help us bridge the divides we have created as a society?

10 – 10:45 a.m.

“The Similarities and Differences of Chinese Culture”
Main 12
Presented by Dr. Fang-Mei Law and Chinese Students and Scholar Friendship Association
People tend to group all Chinese students into the same group, even though each one may be from different areas with their own cultural identities. Knowing Chinese culture 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.

“Fostering Cultural Awareness in the Classroom”
Main 13
Presented by Dr. Sami Mejri
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 Fierce Urgency of Now: MLK, Mass Incarceration and the Fight for Racial Equality”
Main 22
Presented by Professor Michael Goodnough
This presentation and discussion traces the historical contours of mass incarceration in the United States through the lens of culture and race. It will begin by reviewing MLK’s mid-1960s ideological shift from a focus on Civil Rights to human rights. The presentation will then engage in a historiographical discussion about the structures of racial oppression and policing in the United States to problematize the legacy of MLK within the current struggle for racial equality and progress.

“Dr. King Jr. Trivia”
Main 24
Presented by Black United Students
Featuring a game of jeopardy about the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., with questions regarding well-known and more challenging facts about Dr. King Jr.

11 – 11:45 a.m.

“‘Hey Guys!’ Navigating Microaggressions in Everyday Life”
Main 11
Presented by Dr. Erin Dean and Dr. Pete Piriano
We are at a time in history where civility, awareness and authenticity in communication are more important than ever, yet many people are heedless or unknowing of the ways in which their verbal and nonverbal communication may send a message other than the one intended. The presenters will define the concept of micoraggressions, including the three subcategories of microassaults, microinsults and microinvalidations. The focus of this presentation will be on the morecovert and subtle forms of microaggressions that users may not even realize they are committing and that receivers struggle to call out because of a "catch 22 dilemma." Presenters will engage participants in authentic dialogue through mini lectures, personal examples, video clips and with exercises to examine the role of microaggressions in their classrooms and in their own lives.

“Transracial Adoption”
Main 12
Presented by Dr. Julia Porter
Transracial adoption is when one adopts a child that is a race different from their own. Though it might seem that this isn't a big deal, it is. Parents who adopt outside their race have to learn to be comfortable
with other cultures, how to communicate effectively with their children about race and be prepared to have open and honest dialog in their community. Also, parents typically have to go through training and
examine their own relationship with race and culture.

“Being an Ally”
Main 13
Presented by Dr. Leah Cassorla and Dr. Sami Mejri
Dr. King Jr., once said, “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies but the silence of our friends.” King, here, focuses on words. He posits silence as complicity. He places import on the shoulders of the ally. In a time of intersectionality and rising woke-ness as political stresses also increase rising tensions and entrenchment: this workshop seeks to help participants explore the tools necessary to become an ally.

“Miles Davis and ‘Bitches Brew’: Crossing the Rubicon”
Main 14
Presented by Professor Nathan Santos
On August 19, 1969, the day after Jimi Hendrix made his powerful statement at Woodstock performing “The Star-Spangled Banner,” Miles Davis entered the recording studio to record “Bitches Brew.” This project can be viewed as the most compelling representation of a cultural demarcation line separating traditional approaches to communicating through art, and the effervescing, militant aggressiveness as would be witnessed in hip-hop. This presentation will explore the conditions of post-MLK culture and the repercussions of Miles Davis’ bold and controversial project signaling the onset of a revolutionary postmodern consciousness.

“The Social Gospel and its Impact on Dr. King Jr.”
Main 21
Presented by Chris Caldwell
Focusing on one of the influences of the Peaceful Integrationist Movement, this presentation will look at the call of social gospel, how the social gospel informed the protests of Dr. King Jr.'s followers and how we can continue to live by these principles today in a #BlackLivesMatter world.

To learn more about the event or to get more information on the breakout sessions, contact Dr. Sharon Perry-Fantini, Vice Provost for Equity, Access, & Opportunity at or Professor Robin Dunlap at  

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Committee
Dr. Sharon Perry-Fantini
Professor Robin Dunlap
Ms. Bri Fox
Ms. Linda Good
Ms. Andrea Faber
Dr. Fang Mei-Law
Ms. Deidre Hassinger
Ms. Hannah Tyson
Ms. Debby Roszman
Black United Students (BUS)

Breakout Session Facilitators
Dr. Fang Mei-Law
Ms. Linda Good
Ms. Andrea Faber
Ms. Deidre Hassinger
Ms. Hannah Tyson
Mr. Kenneth Santos
Ms. Juli Huston
Ms. Bri Fox (floater)