Freedom City 2017 City Wide Programme

Since we launched our city-wide programme on Martin Luther King Jr Day (Mon 16 January 2017), we’ve hosted an inspiring series of events, talks and conferences commemorating the themes of Dr King’s 1967 speech at Newcastle University.

Highlights of the programme to date include Café Culture; thoughtful public discussions on culture, politics, philosophy and science. On 6 February we welcomed Assistant Professor in Private Law at the Durham Law School, Dr Benedict Douglas, to launch a debate around the roots of the current controversial position of human rights in the UK. On 20 March, Professor Danny Dorling, Halford Mackinder Professor of Geography, University of Oxford, chaired a discussion around economic inequality. The lively debate raised questions around what the benefits of living in a more equal society might be.

The 9th annual International Development Conference on 18 February featured talks and workshops from prominent figures including Chi Onwurah MP, Dr Kehinde Andrews, Prof. David Bailin, Dr Megan Armstrong, Muzoon al-Mellehan and Dr Silvia Pasquetti. The one-day conference focussed on civil rights; from the legacy of Dr King to a first-hand experience of the Civil Rights Movement in the mid-1960s.

Two events have explored the role of the law in promoting peace and celebrating diversity in the profession. Law & War on 1 March investigated if it’s possible to honour Dr King’s legacy of non-violence by using the power of the law to challenge new warfare practices and bring about a culture of peace. The Inspirational BAME Women of the Law event celebrated in particular black, Asian and minority ethnic women in law. The one-day event on 22 March heard from a range of speakers including  Funke Abimbola, Newcastle graduate and Legal Counsel at Roche UK, Professor Diamond Agiabor, professor in law at the University of London Usha Sood, a barrister at Trent Chambers in Nottingham.

Newcastle University’s hugely popular Insights Public Lecture programme, which continues during 2017, has already hosted Reverend Jeffrey L Brown, Baptist minister and President of RECAP (Rebuilding Every Community Around Peace), Dame Vera Baird QC, Police and Crime Commissioner for Northumbria and Kaneez Shaid, Chair of Trustees, Citizens UK. Don’t miss the next event on 17 June which sees Professor Tony Badger, Professor of American History, Northumbria University, deliver the Convocation Lecture 2017.