Skip to Content
Entrance to Taylor University

Martin Luther King Jr. Events Seek to Create the Beloved Community

  • By: James R. Garringer
  • Published:
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Dr. Joel Olufowote will be the keynote speaker on Monday, January 18, for Taylor University’s annual celebration of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. federal holiday.

As has been the practice at Taylor for nearly 30 years, administration officials have once again suspended the regular schedule of classes to allow students and faculty to attend the events planned for the day. A significant departure from previous years is that the event will not be open to the public due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Additionally, chapel attendance will be capped at 400 for social distancing purposes.

Olufowote will speak in chapel at the Rediger Chapel/Auditorium at 10 am. He serves as a senior university administrator and political science professor at Indiana Wesleyan University. His primary responsibilities are diversity and inclusion, global engagement, community partnership, and strategic planning on the college campus. He is a research consultant for Associated Equipment Distributors, a 2019 National Inclusive Excellence Leadership Academy Fellow, 2019 State of Indiana Achievement in Education Awardee, and serve as an advisory board member for Global Indiana at the Sagamore Institute, located in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Also on the schedule for Monday is Katara McCarty, a coach, speaker, author, and entrepreneur who lives in Marion, Indiana. Through her app EXHALE, McCarty hosts a podcast, “dedicated to cultivating brave spaces of belonging for Black Indigenous Women of Color (BIWOC).” In 2000, she partnered with her husband to open God's House, a non-profit in Marion, where she served as an executive and co-pastor while leading several large initiatives. During her 16 years at God's House, Katara grew the congregation to more than 600 members while simultaneously co-founding and developing Ceelelo School in Zambia, Africa, a school for children who otherwise would not have access to primary education. 

According to Reverend Greg Dyson, Taylor’s Vice President for Intercultural Leadership and Church Relations and one of the event’s primary planners, the workshops scheduled for the afternoon will include faculty and guest speakers. These workshops will be held in the Rediger Chapel/Auditorium to allow for appropriate social distancing protocols to be observed. “These workshops are focused on expressions of hope in creating the beloved community from the past, present, and future,” he said. “It is our aspiration that these educational workshops will challenge thinking and inspire hope as we seek to honor and join in the work of Dr. King.”

Workshop schedule:

1 pm: Katara McCarty, Emotional Well-being for Black Indigenous Women of Color  

2 pm: Taylor Talks—facilitated by Dr. Laura Edwards

2:30 pm: Drs. Jeff Aupperle and Ben Wetzel, Hope for African Americans During the Civil War (1834-1877)

3 pm: Dr. Jessie Brown and Rev Greg Dyson, Conversations of Hope Across the Racial Divide

3:30 pm: Dr. Jacob Miller, Expressions of Hope in the Future of Democracy