18th Annual MLK Week
February 13–18, 2023
“...I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. You can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality.” —Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (“Remaining Awake Through a Great Revolution,” 1965)
As a global community, our journey toward liberation continues to be an intergenerational effort requiring lessons learned from our ancestors, and engagement across current generations as we prepare the world for the future. But what is collective liberation in practice? How can its actualization change society as we know it? And what kinds of futures might we reimagine for ourselves, our communities, and our succeeding generations as we move closer to this ideal?
Afrofuturism is part of a bold social reimagining of the past, present, and future, and there are undeniable parallels between the aims of this philosophy and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s teachings. In the words of Dr. King, “...we are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly.” This collective responsibility to liberate ourselves—globally, cross-generationally, and beyond—drives this year’s MLK Week programming.
Through an Afrofuturistic lens that showcases the African diaspora in a global context, from arts to politics to technology and environmental sciences—join in critically assessing the cultural artifacts of our past and present to imagine collective liberation through innovation and positive disruption. Throughout the week’s events, we will draw on multiple frameworks to discuss how we may work together locally and globally to envision a future where all historically marginalized communities can thrive and be free to live their whole lives.
NYU MLK Week 2023 is hosted by the NYU MLK Week Planning Committee in collaboration with the Office of Global Inclusion, Diversity, and Strategic Innovation.