RISD MLK Lecture Series Returns with Keynote Speaker Thelma Golden

The Rhode Island School of Design is hosting its annual Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Series keynote event on Wednesday, January 18, at 6 p.m. in the RISD Auditorium in Providence.
1 Glaude Alex Pizzuti

2022 speaker/scholar Eddie Glaude, Jr. and RISD’s former Vice President and Associate Provost for Social Equity & Inclusion Matthew Shenoda in dialogue. Photo by Alex Pizzuti.

If you were unable to participate in any Martin Luther King jr. Day events this past weekend (curse the weather for forcing Haus of Glitter to postpone their #HealEsekHopkins ceremony on Monday), this is your second chance. The Rhode Island School of Design(RISD) is hosting its annual Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Series keynote event on Wednesday, January 18, at 6 p.m. in the RISD Auditorium in Providence. The series acknowledges the life and  contributions of Dr. King in creating a more just and democratic society. Programming and events throughout the series offer meaningful moments for service, reflection, self-development, inspiration and celebration.

2020 Risd Mlk Keynote Michelle Alexander

2020 speaker/legal scholar and social justice advocate Michelle Alexander. Photo by David O’Connor.

Over the past decade, the lecture series has had the pleasure of amplifying the voices of different scholars, writers, artists and activists from near and far. This year, RISD is thrilled to welcome Thelma Golden as the keynote speaker. Golden is the director and chief curator of the Studio Museum of Harlem in New York, the world’s leading institution devoted to visual art by artists of African descent. Since taking on the title in 2005, Golden has helped the Studio Museum gain renown as a global leader in the exhibition of contemporary art, a center for innovative education and a cultural anchor in the Harlem community. She also comes equipped with a BA in Art History and African American Studies from Smith College, honorary doctorates and awards from several higher education and arts institutions, and a six-year residency on the Committee for the Preservation of the White House (as appointed by President Barack Obama, himself).

Tg Portrait High Res Julie Skarratt

Thelma Golden is the Director and Chief Curator of The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York City. Photo by Julie Skarratt

During the keynote, Golden will be joined in conversation by the Center for Social Equity and Inclusion’s Teaching and Research Fellows, Nichole T. Rustin and Zoé Samudzi. The discussion will traverse a range of topics related to Golden’s curatorial practice, the history and future of the Studio Museum in Harlem and Black art in contemporary practice. While the event is free, registration is required to attend. Learn more and register here. RISD also encourages all attendees to consider bringing with them and donating a perishable food item to the Center for Student Involvement’s MLK Week Food Drive. Volunteers will accepts the items in the lobby prior to the event, and all donations will benefit the RI Food Bank and the RISD food pantry.

4 Mlkservice Jo Sittenfeld

Students at MLK Day of Service at Providence’s MLK Elementary School. Phot by Jo Sittenfeld.


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