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Loyola’s 28th annual MLK Convocation to feature bestselling author Ibram X. Kendi

Ibram X. Kendi, New York Times bestselling and National Book Award-winning author (Photo Credit: Stephen Voss)
Photo credit: Stephen Voss

New York Times bestselling and National Book Award-winning author Ibram X. Kendi will speak at Loyola University Maryland's annual Martin Luther King, Jr., Convocation on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021, at 7 p.m. The convocation, which is free and open to all, will be livestreamed.

Kendi will discuss “How to Be an Antiracist” and other important actions to uproot racism in a conversation moderated by Karsonya Whitehead, Ph.D., associate professor of communication and African and African American Studies at Loyola. Advance registration for the MLK Convocation is encouraged.

Kendi is the Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities at Boston University, and the founding director of Boston University’s Center for Antiracist Research. He is a contributing writer at The Atlantic, a CBS News racial justice contributor, and the 2020-2021 Frances B. Cashin Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University.

“Loyola is honored that Professor Kendi is joining us for this essential conversation, as we continue to delve into issues of racial justice within our community,” said Cheryl Moore-Thomas, Ph.D., chief equity and inclusion officer. “We look forward to opening the Spring semester with a defining and reflective discussion for our community.”

Kendi is the author of many books, including Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America, which won the National Book Award for Nonfiction, making him the youngest ever winner of that award. He has also authored three No. 1 New York Times bestsellers, How to Be an Antiracist; Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You, which he co-authored with Jason Reynolds; and Antiracist Baby.

Kendi’s newest books are Be Antiracist: A Journal for Awareness, Reflection, and Action; and Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America, co-edited with Keisha Blain, which will be published in February. In 2020, Time magazine named Kendi one of the 100 most influential people in the world. For more information on this speaker, please visit

On Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021, from 7 - 9 p.m., Karsonya Whitehead, Ph.D., associate professor of communication and African and African American Studies at Loyola, will lead members of the Loyola community in "Coffee and Conversation" to continue and respond to the conversation of the MLK Convocation. Participation is limited, and registration is required.

About the MLK Convocation

The Martin Luther King, Jr., Convocation, celebrating its 28th year, is an occasion for Loyola and the Baltimore community to launch the spring semester and the New Year by coming together for shared inquiry into the issues of social justice, politics, spirituality, and the legacies of race and racial justice in America. The Convocation, which is sponsored by Loyola University Maryland’s office of equity and inclusion, is a signature event for the University. Past speakers have included Octavia Butler, Spike Lee, Ta-Nehisi Coates, and Roxane Gay. 

Loyola to cohost additional MLK virtual event

Loyola University Maryland will also cohost a virtual event with Saint Louis University and the University of San Francisco to honor the life of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. on Thursday, Jan. 28. Starsky D. Wilson of the Children’s Defense Fund, will be the keynote speaker. More information can be found on the Saint Louis University website.