Wil Haygood, author of The Butler: A Witness to History, which was recently turned into a movie starring Oprah Winfrey and Forest Whitaker, was the speaker at Fairfield’s 2014 Martin Luther King Convocation on Jan. 30. The book offers a rare perspective on the history of race relations in America.
Haygood is a reporter for The Washington Post, and the author of many non-fiction books. In 1990, while covering the war in Somalia, he was taken hostage by rebels and eventually released with the aid of Pakistani troops.
During the convocation, Vision Awards were given to faculty, staff, and students who have demonstrated a commitment to the ideals embodied by Martin Luther King Jr. in their own lives and work. Eric Salgado ’14 was given the student award; Dr. Yohuru Williams, professor and chair of history, received the faculty award; while Jocelyn Collen ’06, campus minister for immersions and pilgrimages, received the staff award.
The LaFarge Award, named for John LaFarge, S.J., a Jesuit priest and journalist and one of the pioneers of the civil rights movement, was given to Todd Pelazza, director of Public Safety. Pelazza has been a member of the department since 1977, aiding innumerable students and staff, and has served on the Martin Luther King Jr. Committee for 25 years.