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Keynote Address from Dr. Robert M. Franklin, Jr.

and Gospel Commemoration

Featuring Black Voices Gospel Choir (U.Va.), Black Awakening Gospel Choir (VCU), and the Virginia State University Gospel Chorale


Presented by the Office for Diversity & Equity, the Curry School of Education, and the Office of African American Affairs

Date:        January 24, 2013

Time:        7:00 PM

LocationNewcomb Hall Ballroom (3rd floor)


Join us for an inspiring evening featuring this year's keynote address from Dr. Robert M. Franklin, Jr., Visiting Scholar in Residence at Stanford University's Martin Luther King Jr. Research and Education Institute and former President of Morehouse College.  The evening will also include performances by three outstanding choirs: Black Voices Gospel Choir (University of Virginia), Black Awakening Gospel Choir (Virginia Commonwealth University), and the Virginia State University Gospel Chorale.


Dr. Robert M. Franklin, Jr.

Dr. Robert Michael Franklin, Jr. is a Visiting Scholar in Residence at Stanford University’s Martin Luther King Jr. Research and Education Institute. He is President Emeritus of Morehouse College, the nation’s largest private, four-year liberal arts college for men, where he served as the tenth president from 2007 to 2012.  Franklin was the Presidential Distinguished Professor of Social Ethics at Emory University (2004-2007), where he provided leadership for a university-wide initiative titled “Confronting the Human Condition and the Human Experience” and was a senior fellow at the Center for the Study of Law and Religion at the law school.  

He provides commentary for the National Public Radio (NPR) program, “All Things Considered,” and weekly commentary for Atlanta Interfaith Broadcasting Television. Franklin graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Morehouse in 1975 with a degree in political science and religion.  

Ordained in the Church of God in Christ in 1975, Franklin earned the master of divinity degree Christian social ethics and pastoral care in 1978 at the Harvard Divinity School, where he also served as assistant director of Ministry Education.  Other pastoral positions include assistant pastor at St. Paul Church of God in Christ in Chicago and Protestant chaplain at St. Bernard Hospital, also in Chicago.  In 1997, Franklin assumed the presidency of the Interdenominational Theological Center (ITC), the graduate theological seminary of the Atlanta University Center consortium, and served until 2002. He served as Theologian in Residence for the 2005 season at the historic Chautauqua Institution.  

Franklin is the author of three books: Crisis in the Village: Restoring Hope in African American Communities (2007); Another Day’s Journey: Black Churches Confronting the American Crisis (1997); and Liberating Visions: Human Fulfillment and Social Justice in African American Thought (1990). He has co-authored (Don S. Browning, et. al.) a volume titled, From Culture Wars to Common Ground: Religion and the American Family Debate (2001). He also penned the foreword to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s, Letter from Birmingham Jail, reprinted by Trinity Forum in 2012.