KOKOMO, Ind. – Dr. Monique Couvson, an award-winning author and social justice scholar, will serve as keynote speaker for Ivy Tech Community College Kokomo’s 20th anniversary of “Doing the Dream.” This annual event is designed to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and to keep alive his commitment to justice, equity, and peace within our students and our community.
The traditional community banquet is set for Thursday, Jan. 25, in Hingst Hall on the Ivy Tech Kokomo Campus. On Friday, Jan. 26, Couvson will facilitate a community workshop that will bring together a select group of community and educational leaders to kick off an effort aimed at addressing concrete problems to achieve concrete solutions.
“We are excited that Dr. Couvson will join a list of prestigious leaders and thinkers we have had the honor of bringing to Kokomo over the last 20 years,” said Dr. Ethan Heicher, chancellor of Ivy Tech’s Kokomo Service Area. Since the inception of the program, Doing the Dream speakers have included Holocaust survivor Eva Kor; noted historian Dr. Henry Louis Gates Jr.; actor and education champion Lavar Burton; now Maryland Gov. Wes Moore; and author, scholar and activist Cornell West.
“We look forward to bringing the community together to hear her challenging message as she leads us in identifying and addressing challenges in our communities,” he continued.
Couvson brings more than three decades of experience in the areas of education, civil rights, and juvenile and criminal justice. Her book, “Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools,” will serve as the basis of the two-day community discussion.
“Our goal is to engage community and educational leaders to review experiences in race and gender and begin work on ways we can benefit from diversity and support equity in our schools... We hope to bring the community together for an inspiring message at the banquet and follow that with a workshop that is impactful and that sets us on a path to a better future for all our students.”
– Ethan Heicher
Tickets for the Jan. 25 banquet will go on sale Jan. 2. The event annually brings leaders from throughout the community together with the distinguished speaker to address issues of local, state and national importance. Individual tickets are $60 each and will be available until Jan. 20, unless sold out earlier. All proceeds support the Ivy Tech Kokomo “Doing the Dream” Diversity Scholarship. A virtual opportunity to hear the speaker via YouTube Live also will be available.
More information on banquet tickets as well as the virtual opportunity will be available Jan. 2 at this link: ivytech.edu/2024DoingtheDream .
Once again, Northern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO) is speaker sponsor for the event.
Ivy Tech Kokomo’s “Doing the Dream: A Cultural Celebration” has been an annual event for the community and local students designed to embrace and celebrate cultural diversity as expressed by Dr. King. “Over the last 19 years, we estimate nearly 30,000 people – school children, high school and college students, teachers and faculty members, religious and civic leaders, and community members – have participated in ‘Doing the Dream’ activities,” Heicher said.
Couvson’s research has focused on the intersections of race, gender, education and justice to explore the ways in which Black communities, and other communities of color, are uniquely affected by social policies. She is the president and CEO of Grantmakers for Girls of Color, which has developed four signature funds, including the Black Girl Freedom Fund. She is also the Founder and board chair for the National Black Women’s Justice Institute. Couvson’s work has been profiled by MSNBC, CSPAN2, The Washington Post, The New York Times, NPR, USA Today, and PBS, among other national and local print, radio, and television media. A more complete biography is available here: https://drmoniquecouvson.com/bio
About Ivy Tech Community College
Ivy Tech Community College is Indiana's largest public postsecondary institution and the nation's largest singly accredited statewide community college system, accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana and also serves thousands of students annually online. It serves as the state's engine of workforce development, offering associate degrees, long- and short-term certificate programs, industry certifications, and training that aligns with the needs of the community. The College provides a seamless transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana, as well as out of state, for a more affordable route to a bachelor's degree.