Martin Luther King, Jr Convocation at Saint Michael’s College to feature address by Traci Griffith, Jan 15

Vermont Business Magazine The Racial Justice Program Director of the ACLU of Massachusetts – and a Saint Michael’s College Professor Emerita – will deliver the keynote address during the College’s annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration and Convocation this month.  

Lawyer, journalist, academic and advocate Traci Griffith, J.D. will speak at Saint Michael’s on Jan. 15, 2024, looking at the promises made in the U.S. Constitution and highlighting the ways in which society has fallen short in meeting those obligations. Griffith will bring both her legal expertise and personal experience to bear during her talk, titled “Promised on Paper, Pathetic in Practice: Race and the U.S. Constitution Through the Eyes of Dr. King.”  

Griffith’s talk is free and open to the public. It is part of a series of events that will be held on campus centered around the theme, “Beloved Community: The Fierce Urgency of Now” – concepts raised by Dr. King in speeches he gave during the 1950s and 1960s.  

“The urgency of now is very much the same today as it was back in Dr. King’s time,” Griffith said. “Look at the way our government treats immigrants. Look at the way in which the government has, time and time again, denied Native Americans their rights. Look at issues such as racial profiling and look at the disparities that exist in just about every area of our society. The only way to solve those problems is by individuals solving those problems.”  

Griffith said she also hopes to offer some insight into what individuals can do to address these issues – including in Vermont.   

“The system continues to fail us,” Griffith said. “Even in Vermont these disparities exist, and Vermont being so overwhelmingly white brings unique issues.”  

Griffith was a professor of Media Studies, Journalism and Digital Arts at Saint Michael’s for more than two decades, which included serving for six years as the department’s chair. During this time, she also served on the national ACLU Board as the secretary and representative for Vermont for almost eight years. 

She joined the ACLU of Massachusetts in 2022 and continues to teach at Simmons University while maintaining Emeritus status with Saint Michael’s. Her research has focused on First Amendment law and ethics in addition to race and gender representation in the media.   

If you go:   

What: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Convocation keynote address, “Promised on Paper, Pathetic in Practice: Race and the U.S. Constitution Through the Eyes of Dr. King,” by Traci Griffith, J.D., Racial Justice Program Director of the ACLU of Massachusetts  

Where: Saint Michael’s College Dion Student Center, 3rd floor (Roy Room)  

When: 4 p.m. on Jan. 15, 2024. A social hour with food from BIPOC-owned businesses will directly follow.  

More information:


About Saint Michael’s College 

Saint Michael's College, founded on principles of social justice and leading lives of purpose and consequence, is a selective, Catholic college just outside Burlington, Vermont, one of the country's best college towns. Located between the Green Mountains and Lake Champlain, our closely connected community guarantees housing all four years and delivers internationally respected liberal arts together with an innovative Purposeful Learning Program, preparing students for fulfilling careers and meaningful lives. Young adults here grow intellectually, socially, and morally, learning to be responsible for themselves, each other, and their world.  

Source: 1.8.2024. COLCHESTER, VT – Saint Michael’s College Vermont Business Magazine

Event Location

Saint Michael’s College
United States

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