Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Lecture Series

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Monday, March 1, 2021
7 pm
Live via Zoom

Meeting ID: 983 0912 9863

 Eric Williams

Eric Lewis Williams, PhD

Curator of Religion, Center for the Study of African American Religious Life,
Smithsonian National Museum of African American History 

"The Urgency of Creating the Beloved Community"

A native of Rockford Illinois, Eric Lewis Williams holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications and Sociology from the University of Illinois at Chicago, a Master of Arts degree in Theological Studies from the McCormick Theological Seminary, the Master of Divinity degree from Duke University and a Doctorate of Philosophy in Religious Studies from the University of Edinburgh in the United Kingdom. 

Williams has taught theology, history and African American Studies at several institutions including: Western Theological Seminary; Ashland Theological Seminary (Detroit); Iowa State University; Shaw University; Boston College; and Harvard University. Williams currently serves as the Curator of Religion for the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture in Washington, D.C.

Williams’ current research examines the meanings of religion within African American history and culture, and the role and influences of African religions within the Atlantic world. Williams is a co-editor of the T&T Clark Handbook of African American Theology and is currently completing a manuscript which explores theological significations in African American religious thought.

Williams' research and studies have taken him to the continents of Africa, South America, Europe, extensively throughout the continental United States, Mexico, and to several islands of the Caribbean. Williams considers himself a transatlantic commuter, a collector of words, and an emergent jazz-man in the world of ideas.

The lecture is sponsored by the Department of African and African-American Studies, Brockport Student Government, the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, and the Performing Excellence in Diversity grant. 

 “Dr. King’s Beloved Community is a global vision, in which all people can share in the wealth of the earth. In the Beloved Community, poverty, hunger and homelessness will not be tolerated because international standards of human decency will not allow it. Racism and all forms of discrimination, bigotry and prejudice will be replaced by an all-inclusive spirit of sisterhood and brotherhood. In the Beloved Community, international disputes will be resolved by peaceful conflict-resolution and reconciliation of adversaries, instead of military power. Love and trust will triumph over fear and hatred. Peace with justice will prevail over war and military conflict.”


About the Lecture

The purpose of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Lecture is to bring a scholarly examination of some aspect of the African-American experience to Brockport and the surrounding community. Typically, the subject relates to King’s vision of the "beloved community,” in which all persons must be able to live harmoniously, brotherly, and sisterly. In our contemporary global village, this concept of the beloved community must necessarily be extended to include cultural, psycho-social, and intellectual diversities.

To this effect, the annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Lecture series has invited to the Brockport campus activists, academicians, and public and private intellectuals to critically examine the meanings of the beloved community from their own eclectic backgrounds and proclivities.

Last Updated 5/26/21