In honour of Black History Month, Hart House, the Anti-Racism and Cultural Diversity Office, Multi Faith Centre and Massey College are pleased to present this important event reflecting and exploring the words and life of one of North America’s most preeminent speakers, thinkers, activists and social leaders of the 20th century: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Following the discovery of the Lost Massey Lectures, (edited by Bernie Lucht of CBC Radio Canada’s Ideas) itself a leading and important repository of many respected Canadian change makers of the day, Dr. King’s speech comes just months before his assassination and leaves us with many questions to explore and pathways for a transformative future.
The presenting partners are pleased to recognize the support of the Office of the President at the University of Toronto and are delighted to announce that President Meric Gertler will be delivering the official Welcome and Opening Remarks on Dr. King as part of the evening. Further remarks will be delivered by Professor Angela Hildyard, Vice President Human Resources and Equity with opening greetings to Hart House by Warden, Professor Bruce Kidd.
In the wake of the loss of globally respected leader and freedom advocate, Nelson Mandela, with forgiveness and reconciliation at the forefront of international politics and policy making, how can Dr. King’s recovered lectures further situate the role of social compassion and action?
Dr. King’s Conscience for Change is a chance for us to revisit our own consciences as a nation and assess our progress, commitment to social change and our ability and willingness to work together towards a common goal.
The evening’s event centres on a number of prolific and thoughtful speakers who bring to light their knowledge, lived experience, critical reflection and unique lens to draw new meaning from Dr. King’s work, while mapping it on to our present day world paying special attention to what we still need to achieve.
What role does the education, social action, and youth today have to offer in re-imagining the world and pushing the agenda for peace and justice? Where is the University situated in this question? Moderated by Associate History Professor and Director of Caribbean Studies, Melanie Newton, the evening will feature readings and reflections by Associate Professor of Christian Ethics, Marilyn Legge, former Premier of Ontario and current First Nations Advisor, Bob Rae, student Presidents Vanessa Jev (African Students Association) and Modele Kuforiji (Black Students Association) and Historian, Sheldon Taylor.
Prof. Meric Gertler
Professor Meric Gertler is one of the world’s foremost urban theorists and policy practitioners. He is widely known as an expert on innovation, creativity and culture as drivers of the economic dynamism of city-regions. On November 1, 2013, Professor Gertler began his term as the 16th President of the University of Toronto.
Previously, President Gertler served as the Dean of the University’s largest and most diverse academic division, the Faculty of Arts & Science, a position he had held since December 1, 2008. As Dean, his priority was to provide students with a top quality academic experience in which they benefit directly from U of T’s strength and diversity in research and teaching. Professor Gertler is internationally renowned as a distinguished scholar. His research focuses on the geography of innovative activity and the economies of city-regions.
He has served as an advisor to local, regional and national governments in Canada, the United States and Europe, as well as to international agencies such as the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (Paris) and the European Union. He was the founding co-director of the Program on Globalization and Regional Innovation Systems (PROGRIS) at the Munk School of Global Affairs, served as director of the Department of Geography’s Program in Planning, and holds the Goldring Chair in Canadian Studies.
Professor Gertler’s more than 80 journal articles and book chapters have had significant impact in his field and have led him to be one of Canada’s most highly cited geographers. He has held visiting appointments at Oxford University, University College London, UCLA, and the University of Oslo. He won the 2007 Award for Scholarly Distinction from the Canadian Association of Geographers. In May 2012, he was awarded an honorary doctor of philosophy from Lund University, Sweden for his exceptional contributions to the fields of economic geography and regional development. In the same year, he was made an Academician of the Academy of Social Sciences (UK).