Portrait Series Explores Rev. Dr. King's Legacy
Undergraduate students from the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Program in the College of Liberal Arts participated in multimedia arts project that asked, "How is Dr. King's legacy still relevant today?"
The "A Peace of My Mind" project, created by award-winning photographer John Noltner, uses portraits and personal stories to bridge divides and encourage dialogue around important issues. Noltner visited the University of Minnesota campus in November 2021 to interview and photograph CLA's MLK Program students.
The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Program provides a unique space for CLA students, offering not only culturally relevant academic advising, but also important social justice programming—from talks and symposiums to concerts, cultural celebrations, and off-campus trips. The MLK Program's mission is to foster students' engagement with and understanding of complex issues of power, privilege, and social justice.
These portraits from 2021 continued a similar project from 2019, during which students from CLA's MLK Program contemplated, "What is the unique opportunity or challenge of talking about race at this moment in history?" Since then, George Floyd's murder in 2020 in Minneapolis prompted our entire nation to reckon with not only police brutality, but many longtime contagions that have hindered progress within our society: white supremacy, environmental issues, an employment crisis, too many Americans without health insurance in the midst of a global pandemic, inequities in education, and policies that exacerbate existing inequities.
Students in CLA's MLK Program celebrate the legacy of Rev. Dr. King in a community of diverse perspectives, and in conversation with communities and partners to generate fresh ideas about equitable policies and strategies for creating a racially just society.