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Heritage & Awareness Celebrations

Resource lists for widely recognized cultural heritage and awareness celebrations.

MLK Day at PEA

A Brief History of Martin Luther King Day at Phillips Exeter Academy

This day at Phillips Exeter is a day in which the entire community gathers to honor and celebrate the legacy of Dr. King, to consider the ways in which his legacy has endured and to consider how the work he and others began must continue in new and essential ways. This day began on December 9th, 1989 at PEA when a faculty member, James Montford, went on a hunger strike, a fast for six days, to protest the absence of an institutional celebration, or commemoration of Dr. King. At the time, the state of New Hampshire did not celebrate MLK Day. Since then, we have been blessed to hear keynote speeches from so many involved in the crucial work of social justice and civil rights: James Farmer, Jr., Rev. Samuel Proctor, Julian Bond, Yolanda King, Chai Ling, Sonia Sanchez, Dr. Vincent Harding, Randall Kennedy, William Johnston, John Lewis, Dr. Cornel West, Judy Richardson, Rebecca Walker, Frank Wu, Kenji Yoshino, Gyasi Ross, the ASE Drumming Circle, John Forte, and for two years PEA student stories/testimonies. Our workshops offer a range of perspectives and work, along with a range of pedagogical styles: visual art, theater, poetry, lectures, interactive discussions, films, performance artists, writers, photography exhibits, etc. With each workshop, our hope is that our leaders create the possibility for our students to learn, to unlearn, to find ways in which they can play an active role in the essential changing of culture. 

In Celebrating the Dream: 20 Years of MLK Day at Exeter published by The Exeter Bulletin in Spring 2011 you will find examples of past workshops and the philosophy of the day within our community. 

MLK Resources at the Library

Books, films, and other resources by and about MLK. Available in the libraries print and online collections.

Books on Display

A selection of books related to this year's poster exhibit on Activism: Dr. King's Inspiration and Legacy





A selection of films related to this year's poster exhibit on Activism: Dr. King's Inspiration and Legacy