Valparaiso University will continue its tradition of honoring the life and work of Martin Luther King Jr. on Jan. 20, 2020, with its annual celebration, built around the theme of “Our Time.”Imani Perry Portrait

For more than 30 years, Valpo has engaged students, faculty and staff, as well as the broader Northwest Indiana community, in purposeful dialogue about King’s legacy and how to further it today. This year’s theme is inspired by King’s quote, “The time is always ripe to do right,” which challenged those who criticized King’s call for the immediate response to hatred and bigotry. These words call on individuals and communities to work to correct injustices, and the MLK Celebration will serve as a reminder that the time is ripe for the Valpo community to lead the charge in doing what is right.

Imani Perry, Ph.D., will help in this work as this year’s Convocation speaker.

Perry is the Hughes-Rogers Professor of African American Studies and faculty associate in the program in law and public affairs and gender and sexuality studies at Princeton. Perry has written and taught on a number of topics regarding race and African American culture. Using methods of discussion and analysis from various fields of study — including law, literary and cultural studies, music, and the social sciences — Perry’s work often focuses on multifaceted issues such as the influence of race on law, literature and music.

In her work, Perry has taken on complicated and timely issues. In her 2011 book, “More Beautiful and More Terrible: The Embrace and Transcendence of Racial Inequality in the United States,” Perry discusses the ongoing intersection of race and politics in America. Her most recent book, “Breathe, a Letter to My Sons” was released on Sept. 17.

Perry has published numerous articles in the areas of law, cultural studies and African American Studies. She also wrote the notes and introduction to the Barnes & Noble Classics edition of “The Narrative of Sojourner Truth.”

Perry received a bachelor’s degree from Yale University, a J.D. from Harvard Law School and a Ph.D. in the history of American civilization from Harvard University.

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