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MLK Day activities to include speaker, national event screening

January 10th, 2022

Jasmyn Elise Story

International restorative justice practitioner Jasmyn Elise Story, Birmingham, Ala., will headline Bethel College’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration on Jan. 17.

Bethel’s observation of the holiday honoring Dr. King will also include a special event the next day, Jan. 18.

All activities take place in Memorial Hall, where current COVID protocols require mask-wearing indoors regardless of vaccination status.

Story speaks at 7 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 17. Starting at 2 p.m. on Jan. 18, there will be a public screening of the Kellogg Foundation’s National Day of Racial Healing event. Both are free and open to the public.

Sponsors for the Bethel activities are the Kansas Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (KIPCOR), Bethel’s Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation (TRHT) Campus Center, and Bethel’s Office of Student Life.

Story first visited Bethel in March 2018, when they were a keynote panelist and workshop presenter for the first-ever statewide restorative justice conference, hosted by KIPCOR on the Bethel campus.

Story returned to Bethel in 2019 to give a KIPCOR Peace Lecture, “From the Deep South to the World: What Social Justice Can Tell Us Today.”

Story is an international Restorative Justice (RJ) facilitator, a trained doula, and the founder of The People’s Coalition and Freedom Farm Azul.

Named one of Vice’s 31 Women Making History by Creating a Better Future, they are a dedicated human rights activist with a decade of experience working in the voluntary sector.

As the former deputy director of social justice and racial equity for the Office of the Mayor of Birmingham, Story co-led the launch of the State of Alabama’s first government-sustained Women’s Initiative, a decentralized movement to interrupt cycles of harm plaguing Birmingham’s women, children, trans and non-binary communities.

After completing an M.A. in Human Rights at the University College London, Story is currently working on a doctoral degree as a third-generation Tuskegee (Ala.) University student.

Bethel is a four-year liberal arts college founded in 1887 and is the oldest Mennonite college in North America. Known for academic excellence, Bethel ranks at #15 in the Washington Monthly list of “Best Bachelor’s Colleges” and #31 in U.S. News & World Report, Best Regional Colleges Midwest, both for 2021-22. Bethel was the only Kansas college or university selected for the American Association of College & Universities’ 2021 Institute on Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation, and has been named a TRHT Campus Center. For more information, see


About Bethel

As the first Mennonite college founded in North America, Bethel College celebrates a tradition of progressive Christian liberal arts education, diversity within community, and lifelong learning.