Justin Coles to be Inducted into MLK Jr. Collegium of Scholars

Justin Coles, assistant professor of social justice education, will be inducted into the Martin Luther King Jr. Collegium of Scholars at Morehouse College on Thursday, April 13. Morehouse is recognized as one of the premier Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in the United States.

NEWS Justin Coles
Justin Coles

The theme for the 37th Martin Luther King Jr. College of Ministers & Laity (the larger umbrella under which Coles' recognition sits) is “Saving Democracy While Thriving in the Wake of Cosmic Trauma.” According to the founding dean, Lawrence Edward Carter: “The Collegium of Scholars is comprised of academics and scholars, who may or may not be in the professoriate, who are committed to research, writing, teaching and mentoring, in a wide variety of disciplines and contexts that promote and give support to the work of peace through moral cosmopolitan social responsibility.” 

“Being inducted into the Martin Luther King Jr. Collegium of Scholars at Morehouse College is an achievement that means that I am doing work in the world that is directly in the legacy of many social justice workers that have come before me,” said Coles. “It is particularly characterized by my desire to engage in research and practice that seeks to examine the ills of broader society and how we might find the beauty and joy that exists beyond such suffering when we listen to those most marginalized.”

“I feel honored to be recognized among scholars across a myriad of disciplines and stages in their career that represent intellectual depth and commitment to communities beyond the confines of academic spaces. Personally, I have many friends and mentors who are graduates of Morehouse and I have always been inspired by the dynamicity of their socio-political commitments, so to be recognized by this premiere Historically Black institution that has influenced my life in direct and indirect ways is one my proudest honors to date.”

Reflecting on his career trajectory, Coles noted that he is simultaneously deepening old knowledge and building new foundations to take his research in different directions. This achievement has acted much like a catalyst, he added, energizing him to take new intellectual risks.

“I have always leaned into the idea that I stand on the shoulders of giants, but this achievement solidifies that for me and propels me to move forward with great vigor,” he said.