Vernon Jordan, Civil Rights Activist, Political Leader, and Businessman to Deliver Keynote Address for Martin Luther King Jr. Day 2016

communications – January 19, 2016

Deerfield Academy will celebrate the life and legacy of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King on Tuesday, January 19, 2016. The program will feature the opening of a multimedia exhibit on Black male identity, workshops designed to illuminate less-heard stories from within the Deerfield community, and a keynote address by civil rights and political leader Vernon Jordan.

The theme of the day is “Telling True Stories.” In one of his famous works, “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” Dr. King stressed the need for telling the truth even in the face of adversity and opposition. He devoted his life to combatting inequality and racism with love, understanding, and empathy. He was particularly aware of the power of true stories to transform society.

Vernon Jordan became field secretary for the NAACP in Georgia in 1961 at the age of 26, following his graduation from Howard University School of Law. He took up leadership roles with both the United Negro College Fund and the National Urban League. Mr. Jordan’s presidential appointments include the President’s Advisory Committee for the Points of Light Initiative Foundation, the Secretary of State’s Advisory Committee on South Africa, and the Advisory Council on Social Security. In 1992 he served as chairman of the Clinton Presidential Transition Team. Following a distinguished career in business and law, Mr. Jordan is currently a senior managing director at Lazard Frères & Co. LLC in New York.

Art Exhibit

Opening Reception: Sunday January 10, 4-6 pm in the von Auersperg Art Gallery

“Question Bridge: Black Males” is a five-channel video installation that aims to represent and redefine Black male identity in America by disrupting traditional generalizations that cover the incredible diversity of thought, character, and identity among Black Men.

Deerfield Academy is pleased to collaborate with UMass Amherst’s University Museum of Contemporary Art, where “Question Bridge: Black Males” can be seen from January 28-May 1, 2016. (Opening Reception: January 27th, 2016, 5-7 p.m.) Learn more at


Monday, January 18, 2016 6:30pm
Viewing of movie Selma

Tuesday, January 19, 2016
9:00-10:00 School meeting celebration & keynote address
10:30-12:00 Morning workshops – Block 1
12-1:00 Walk-through lunch
1:15-2:45 Afternoon workshops – Block 2
3:45 Regular co-curricular schedule