Tuesday, July 8, 2008

CONTINUING THE LEGACY: UI&U Launches Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Specialization for Doctoral Learners

MLK specialization reinforces university’s mission to address critical social issues by empowering adults in their pursuit of a lifetime of learning and service

CINCINNATI, OH - Union Institute & University (UI&U) is honored to announce the launch of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Specialization for doctoral learners enrolled in the Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Studies program. Within the context of their academic studies in leadership, public policy, and the humanities, UI&U’s Ph.D. candidates will have the opportunity to study the intellectual, moral, spiritual, and political legacy of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King. Potential areas of research include Dr. King’s contributions to such areas as non-violent approaches to social and political change, the principles and practices of justice, the role of communities in political organization, and the ethical and civic responsibilities of both religious and secular leaders.

“At the conclusion of his life and work, Dr. King had engaged the issues of poverty in a land of affluence, and leaves to us the continuing challenge of engineering abundance in the place of scarcity and the violence of poverty,” said Dr. Virgil Wood, who coordinated the State of Virginia for Dr. King’s March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom on August 28, 1963.

“The new MLK Studies specialization reinforces UI&U’s mission to empower adults to acquire knowledge through interdisciplinary and collaborative programs that address social issues,” said Dr. Larry Preston, graduate dean for UI&U’s Cohort Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Studies program. “By focusing on Dr. Martin Luther King’s legacy, and through internships in a variety of disciplines, learners will move beyond expressing concern about the very large number of individuals who live in poverty or blaming those who are poor for being poor and become equipped to explore the underlying causes of poverty.”

Doctoral learners enrolled in the specialization will take 30 hours of coursework including core and advanced seminars in two of three areas of concentrations: ethical and creative leadership; public policy and social issues; and humanities and society. Learners will also have the opportunity to work alongside Dr. King’s colleagues, including Dr. Virgil Wood. Plans for the program include Ph.D. residencies in Atlanta, more funding for scholarships, and support for visiting scholars.

“We are very excited about this new program and look forward to working together in the future,” said Isaac Farris, CEO of the King Center and nephew of the late Dr. King. UI&U learners will have access to the King Center’s library, which houses Dr. King’s writings in addition to the work of other civil right leaders, including Julian Bond and Andrew Young.

The new MLK specialization, said Dr. Wood, “puts a face of hope on the 40-year age of despair which we have experienced since Dr. King’s death in 1968 - until now.”

For more information about the new MLK specialization contact Regina Sewell, Admissions Counselor, Cohort PhD in Interdisciplinary Studies, at 1.800.486.3116, ext. 1268, or email regina.sewell@tui.edu.

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