The Charger Blog

Students Reflect on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Legacy

As part of a conversation hosted by the Myatt Center for Diversity and Inclusion, students discussed the enduring impact of Dr. King’s advocacy and his message.

January 28, 2019

By Renee Chmiel, Office of Marketing and Communications

Image of Jeffrey O. G. Ogbar, Ph.D.
Jeffrey O. G. Ogbar, Ph.D.

Jordan Harris ’21 was seated in the front row as Dr. Jeffrey O. G. Ogbar, a University of Connecticut professor and a founding director of the Center for the Study of Popular Music, visited the University's Myatt Center for Diversity and Inclusion to speak to students about history, politics, and culture. A political science major, Harris was looking forward to Ogbar’s talk.

“I love events like this because they give students of color a chance to feel at home,” said Jordan Harris ’21. “When people who look like you come to speak at the University, it enriches our experience.”

In his address entitled “It Was All a Dream: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Legacy Among Millennial Activists and Beyond,” Ogbar discussed the continued importance of Dr. King’s message. Ogbar, whose expertise includes popular music, also examined the role of politics in rap music, as well as 20th century African American history.

“I love events like this because they give students of color a chance to feel at home.”Jordan Harris ’21

“I think that it’s important to hear from speakers like Dr. Ogbar,” said Tatiana Gay ’19, a criminal justice major. “It emphasizes that this conversation is not specific to the University of New Haven, but that it is much broader.”

Ogbar, whose lectures and publications have also analyzed the Black Power movement, the hip hop generation, civil rights, and public policy and mass incarceration, was welcomed by a diverse group of students, something that Jessica Chambal ’21, a resident assistant, believes is a hallmark of the campus community.

“I think these events are important because they emphasize the importance of diversity,” said Chambal, a national security major. “As an RA, I take responsibility for ensuring that everyone understands that everyone is unique, and in fostering an environment of respect.”