Expressions of King’s Legacy

Marc Lamont Hill, host of BET News, leads the Jan. 25 celebration of MLK.

Published Jan. 16, 2018

The 36th annual Expressions of King’s Legacy Celebration will take place at noon on Thursday, Jan. 25, in RIT’s Gordon Field House and Activities Center. This year’s event features key note speaker Marc Lamont Hill, host of BET News and a political contributor for CNN; Danielle Ponder and the Tomorrow People, a critically acclaimed soul band; and local poet and lecturer Reenah Golden.

Marc Lamont Hill

Before his current roles with BET News and CNN, Hill’s media career included stints hosting the pop culture news and gossip program “VH1 Live!,” digital video streaming network “HuffPost Live” and weekly newsmagazine program “Our World with Black Enterprise.” He also previously worked as a political contributor for the Fox News Channel.

He is the author or co-author of four books: the New York Times bestseller Nobody: Casualties of America’s War on The Vulnerable from Ferguson to Flint and Beyond; the award-winning Beats, Rhymes, and Classroom Life: Hip-Hop Pedagogy and the Politics of Identity; The Classroom and the Cell: Conversations on Black life in America; and Gentrifier.

Hill is the Steve Charles Professor of Media, Cities, and Solutions at Temple University in Philadelphia. The endowed position was created to train students in journalism and media that can positively impact communities by focusing on potential solutions rather than solely on problems. Prior to that, Hill held positions at Columbia University and Morehouse College.

Danielle Ponder and the Tomorrow People

Danielle Ponder and the Tomorrow People performing on an outdoor stage

Danielle Ponder and the Tomorrow People have toured internationally, opened shows for artists including the Roots and George Clinton, and cite influences from artists varying from Lauryn Hill to Nina Simone. Their debut EP, Blow Out the Sun, was released in 2016 and touches on themes of love, personal liberation, and political and social issues. When not performing with the band, Ponder works as a criminal defense attorney.

Reenah Golden

Using the power of words, page, and stage to publicly to affect social and political change and create new ways of thinking, Reenah Golden teaches, presents, performs, and guest-lectures regularly at schools, organizations, colleges, universities, and cultural institutions around the country. She has also been invited to perform her poetry nationally and internationally. She is the co-founder of Kuumba Consultants, an arts-in-education agency dedicated to matching teaching artists of color with youth agencies and schools seeking quality arts and cultural programming. Golden is a native of Rochester, NY and graduate of Rochester Institute of Technology.

About the event

For 36 years, RIT’s Expressions of King’s Legacy programming has been dedicated to celebrating the life and impact of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The university has hosted many dignitaries and national performers such as CNN anchor Fredricka Whitfield, former U.S. Ambassador and acclaimed civil rights activist Andrew Young, poet Nikki Giovanni, philosopher Cornel West, and human rights activist Nontombi Naomi Tutu, the daughter of South African bishop and apartheid opponent Desmond Tutu. The day-long series of events are free and open to the public.

For information and to register, visit