“Nonviolence: A Reawakening of Our Nation’s Consciousness" will be the theme of the University of Hartford’s 2016 Martin Luther King Jr. Day observance, being held from 11 a.m. to 12 noon on Monday, Jan. 18, in the University’s Lincoln Theater. The program will feature an inspirational program of music and reflections commemorating the life and legacy of the civil rights leader, highlighted by an address by actor, singer, composer, producer, and minister Clifton Davis, who was awarded an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts from the University of Hartford at Commencement in May 2015.
All members of the University community and the general public are invited to attend this free event, which marks the 10th year that the University is hosting an event honoring King and his legacy.
The Martin Luther King Jr. Day event will also feature a monologue performed by students from the University High School of Science and Engineering. Musical selections will include a performance by pianist and Hartt School alumnus Mark Templeton and Hartt student Jordan Young. Prelude music at the beginning of the observance will be performed by Hartt student Montre Dewayne Lewis. And Hartt student Kenneth James will give a vocal performance of Lift Every Voice and Sing, which is often referred to as the “Black American National Anthem.”
Clifton Davis is best known for his roles in television sitcoms in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, and for writing The Jackson 5 hit Never Can Say Goodbye. During his 47-year career, Davis played the Rev. Reuben Gregory for five years on the popular NBC series Amen and, previously, starred as a barber living with his mother on the series That’s My Mama. He was nominated for a Tony Award for his role in the Broadway show, Two Gentlemen of Verona.
As an evangelist for more than 32 years, Davis has preached at hundreds of churches throughout the country. He has also been featured as a motivational speaker at many colleges and high schools nationwide.