Martin Luther King Jr. Series for the Study of Race to begin Jan. 25

Author: Michael O. Garvey

Martin Luther King Jr. Series for the Study of Race

The University of Notre Dame’s 2012 Martin Luther King Jr. Series for the Study of Race will feature four consecutive Wednesday night discussions led by prominent athletes, coaches, university athletic directors and sports scholars.

All the conference discussions, collectively entitled “Playing with Fire: Race and Sport in American Culture,” will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Legends nightclub each Wednesday night from Jan. 25 through Feb. 15. The series is open to the public.

Now in its third year, the Martin Luther King Jr. Series is hosted by the University’s Multicultural Student Programs and Services to encourage conversation and scholarship about the historical, cultural and psychological impact of race in social life in America and at Notre Dame.

On Jan. 25, the discussion leaders will be Raghib “Rocket” Ismail, former Notre Dame All-American and professional football player; Dwight “Doc” Gooden, former major league pitcher; and Briann January, former Arizona State University and current WNBA Indiana Fever basketball player.

On Feb.1, the discussion leader will be Jay Alexander, head coach of the Eastern Michigan University Eagles baseball team.

On Feb. 8, the discussion leaders will be David Williams, vice chancellor for university affairs and athletics, at Vanderbilt University; Ingrid Wicker-McCree, director of athletics at North Carolina Central University; and Kathy Beauregard, director of athletics at Western Michigan University.

On Feb. 15, the discussion leaders will be Pam Oliver, Fox Sports reporter; Dr. Richard Lapchick, director of the National Consortium for Academics and Sports and of the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sports; and Earl Smith, professor of sociology and director of the American Ethnic Studies Program at Wake Forest University.

Contact: Tobias Blake, 574-631-8503,

Originally published by Michael O. Garvey at on January 16, 2012.