2021 Rackham King Talks
The 2021 Rackham King Talks were held January 28, 2020, via Zoom. This year’s MLK Symposium theme was “Where do we go from here?” Watch the videos below, in which Rackham students communicate the relevance of their work to this theme and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy in a TED-talk style.
Redefining Celebrity Culture: The True Influencers
Today’s increasingly digital age provides access to the public stage in astonishing ways. This talk will explore shifts in celebrity culture and their implications in bringing about change.
Interrogating Ourselves through Our Knowledge Systems
How we know and come to understand what we know is based on our social, cultural, and political context. Historically academic research has “validated” truths about the world around us, however, assumptions and epistemological grounding of academic research are based on the context of white supremacy. This talk examines the ways that systems of knowing of people of color are devalued and diminished systemically through academic research and rigor.
Brittany B. Hicks
Water Stories: Understanding Racial Gaps in Water Quality Perceptions
This talk will highlight how community experiences can shift one’s perception on the safety of their drinking water, and challenge technical experts to value community members as partners in developing water quality solutions.
Alondra M. Ortiz-Ortiz
Behind the Stormcloud
In the United States, more than 50 million adults live with a disability. Of the entire population, 10% have what is considered an invisible disability. Alondra Ortiz-Ortiz, a Ph.D. student in mechanical engineering discusses the perks of being part of the population living with an invisible disability during the COVID-19 era.
Can Design Help Us Get Out of the Mess It Helped Create?
Our world is in disarray. But before we talk about where we go from here, we need to examine how we got here in the first place. This talk investigates the role of design in shaping the world as it is today and explores a path forward that may allow us to build a better world, together.
2019 Rackham King Talks
The theme for 2019 was “Unravel.”
University of Michigan School of Social Work graduate student Kavitha Lobo will share her work and experiences from a global social work project on the benefits of deinstitutionalizing mental health care at this year’s King Talks event.
Shannon Moran, Ph.D. student in University of Michigan Chemical Engineering, will discuss both her research and personal experiences with the benefits of mentorship for promoting diversity.
Steven M. Smith
Steven M. Smith, graduate student in Public Administration and Sport Management, will talk about the value of connecting with one another, our communities, and our work to better the lives of those around us in the face of growing social isolation at this year’s King Talks.
Aunrika Tucker-Shabazz, a graduate student in University of Michigan Sociology, is joining us for this year’s King Talks event. She’ll be discussing the impact of discriminatory disciplinary practices on Black girls in K-12 public schools.
Apply to Present
In this annual event, Rackham students present TED-style overviews of their research, echoing the theme of that year’s U-M MLK Symposium in order to honor the legacy of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Students are encouraged to apply to present, and those students who are selected receive an honorarium.
To be eligible to participate, students must:
- Be a graduate student in a Rackham program
- Have a passion for spreading their message
- Be available for training and feedback sessions with Rackham staff
Applications open in early fall and are reviewed electronically through a double-blind review process. Decisions are shared by early November.