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Critical Conversations


Tuesday, February 27, 2024


Main Campus-Hawkeye Center Board Room, 226

Map and Directions

Rhonda McRina
Critical Conversations

A Contemporary Examination of Dr. King's Letter from a Birmingham Jail and Its Significance 60 Years Later

In April 1963, Martin Luther King, Jr. was arrested and sent to jail in Birmingham, Alabama, for organizing a nonviolent protest. Eight well-meaning clergymen, sympathetic to the struggles of the civil rights movement, published an editorial urging restraint. The clergymen discouraged protest and believed that the solution ought to be forged through courts and negotiations. King responded to the clergymen with a letter that is every bit as relevant today as it was 60 years ago.

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Presenter Rev. Abraham Funchess, Jr., executive director of Waterloo Human Rights Commission and pastor at Jubilee United Methodist Church in Waterloo, will explore how well-meaning citizens who advocate patience look carefully at the pattern of racial injustice, oppression, pain, and hurt that have gone unattended.

About Critical Conversations

The Critical Conversation series, evolving from "Courageous Conversations," aims to foster open, honest dialogues on pressing issues within our diverse communities. This initiative is not meant to convince, caution, or champion any cause. Critical Conversations emphasize critical thinking and encourage the analytical evaluation of ideas, cultivating an environment where students, faculty, and staff can engage in meaningful discussions. Through this, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion seeks to empower, enlighten, and engage our academic community, promoting understanding and respect across a spectrum of perspectives.


  1. diversity and inclusion
  2. faculty and staff
  3. student activity
  4. students
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