Back by popular demand, spoken-word artist Harold Green will deliver the keynote address at Monmouth College’s annual Martin Luther King Day convocation on Jan. 16.

Green will make a presentation titled “Views from the Mountaintop” at noon in Dahl Chapel and Auditorium. Free and open to the public, his talk draws its title from King’s speech in Memphis on the night before he was assassinated in 1968: “We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it doesn’t matter with me now. Because I’ve been to the mountaintop.”

Harold Green (contributed photo)

Green also spoke at the College’s convocation for King in 2020, the last time the event was held in person.

“Students love him,” said Regina Johnson, director of the College’s Champion Miller Center for Student Equity, Inclusion and Community and one of the organizers of this year’s King Day activities. “He’s amazing. He’s very deep, very thoughtful. His message is everything that embodies King.”

During his previous address, Green said: “One of the most beautiful things about Martin was his deep, deep love. Martin’s philosophy was ‘I’m gonna love you so hard, I’m going to change your mind.'”

After the convocation, the college’s afternoon classes will be canceled to allow students to participate in an afternoon of service activities in the community.

Green, who earned a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in creative writing from DePaul University and Tiffin University, respectively, also will lead a student writing workshop at 10 a.m. Jan. 17 in Wells Theater. The event is open to Monmouth College students, as well as students from Monmouth-Roseville High School and Immaculate Conception School.

An ever-evolving artist who’s been featured in the New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Sun-Times and on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Green is known for vibrant storytelling and passionate, lyrical delivery. With repeat sell-out shows at Chicago’s largest and most popular music venues, he is not only a highly sought-after talent but an equally respected band leader and event producer. Green is the creator of numerous recorded albums, videos, plays and, above all, artist platforms, and has performed at festivals, rallies and colleges across the country for more than 15 years.

Green’s first collection of poetry, “From Englewood, with Love,” earned the prestigious Carl Sandburg Literary Award. His most recent literary works are “Black Roses and Black Oak,” a duo of illustrated volumes inspired by his viral odes to Black celebrities who are making history today.

Pandemic-era artworks by Trina Smith to go on display Jan. 13 at Monmouth College

The pandemic that began three years ago caused a lot of people to have a lot of free time on their hands.

Artist Trina Smith, who is also a professor of painting at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, used her extra time to create the works in her new exhibit, “A Pandemic Perspective,” which will go on display Jan. 13 in the Len G. Everett Gallery on the upper level in Monmouth College’s Hewes Library.

Artwork by Professor Trina Smith (contributed photo)

An closing reception will be held on Feb. 10, beginning at 3 p.m., with Smith speaking about her work at 3:30 p.m. The exhibit, reception and gallery talk are all free and open to the public.

The complexities of the social and political environment have always been at the heart of Smith’s work.

“Reflections on navigating the literal and conceptual social landscape in my previous work have now shifted to the experiential dynamic of pandemic life,” said Smith, who holds a master of fine arts degree from the University of Wisconsin. “The warped and altered reality of the current times shape the decisions in the work with an ever-evolving response.”

Smith has been represented in many group and solo shows across the United States from Central Washington University, to Maine College of the Arts, and to Brooklyn, Chicago and Seattle.