Young people all over the world are making themselves heard. Through their large-scale protests and small grassroots initiatives they are convincing the public and politicians that the major challenges of our time, issues like social inequality, migration, waste reduction and climate change, require urgent solutions. Harnessing their determination and creativity, these young game-changers are managing to cut through the inertia and indecision that have long paralysed global politics.

Martin Luther King was a game-changer too. His non-violent struggle against racial inequality and racism changed the world and encouraged millions of people to stand up against injustice.

Samira Rafaela
Samira Rafaela - © Christian Creutz
The 2019 Martin Luther King Lecture will be devoted entirely to the activities of young game-changers. From homework classes to helping refugees and from waste control to climate actions. The main speaker will be Samira Rafaela, one of the younger members of the European Parliament. As the daughter of parents with a migrant background, Rafaela knows only too well that equal opportunities is not a given. After her lecture, Rafaela will join a talk show panel moderated by Shay Kreuger, where several young game-changers will talk about their ideals and initiatives. 

Martin Luther King
Martin Luther King visited the Netherlands several times. In 1965 he visited the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. On the 20th of October he got an honorary degree in the social sciences at the Faculty of Social Sciences.

The 2019 Martin Luther King Lecture – November 28th 19.30 – 21.15
Location: Main Building VU - Aula

Button (Groen) - Register

Doors open at 7pm:
Welcome with performances by the five nominees for the Martin Luther King Spoken Word contest.

At 7:30pm:
Babs Gons - Copyright Foto: LumenThe lecture programme will start with a word of welcome by Kathleen Ferrier, followed by Samira Rafaela’s lecture.

A number of young game-changers will then join the talk show panel hosted by Shay Kreuger to talk about their ideals and actions using photos and videos. Halfway through the talks there will be a Spoken Word performance by Babs Gons, winner of the 2018 Black Achievement Award.

The talk show will be followed by the award presentation to the winner of the Martin Luther King Spoken Word contest.

Around 9:15pm:
Drinks will be served at the end of the evening. 

Everyone is welcome at the reception both before and after the lecture. All nibbles are vegetarian and all drinks are non-alcoholic.

Samira Rafaela is a young member of the European Parliament for the Dutch Democrats 66 party. As the daughter of a Jewish Dutch-Curaçaoan mother and a Muslim Ghanaian-Nigerian father, Rafaela knows only too well that equal opportunities is not a given.

Kathleen Ferrier served as a member of the Dutch Lower House representing the CDA (Christian Democratic Appeal) party from 2002 to 2012, after which she lived and worked in Hong Kong for five years. She is chairwoman of the Martin Luther King Lecture Foundation and also Chair of the National UNESCO Committee.

Shay Kreuger - Copyright: Sanne DondersShay Kreuger (Photo: ©Sanne Donders), talk show host, started her radio career at FunX in 2007, before moving to the public-service radio station NPO Radio 2. Shay not only showcases her talents on television and radio, but has been performing as spoken word artist since she was eighteen and is also a presenter.

Darine El Houfi was able to make ‘Leren voor de Toekomst’ (‘Learning for the Future') a successful tutoring business within a year. Fionn Ferreira is an 18-year-old Irish boy. He won a prize for his method of filtering microplastics out of water. Roland Vernooij is a PhD student at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam who is conducting research on forest fires. Adil Izemrane is co-founder of Movement on the ground, an organization that helps refugees on the Greek islands. Heba Alibrahim is a third year psychology student at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, a refugee from Syria and works for War Child. Dila Dogan is one of the initiators of the school strikes for the climate (YouthforclimateNL).
Halfway through the talks there will be a Spoken Word performance by Babs Gons, winner of the 2018 Black Achievement Award. 

AFB Gamechangers

Top (left to right): Darine El Houfi, Fionn Ferreira en Roland Vernooij. Bottom (left to right): Adil Izemrane (Foto: Maartje Brockbernd), Heba Alibrahim en Dila Dogan.

The Martin Luther King Lecture will take place in the Aula of the Main Building, VU Amsterdam, De Boelelaan 1105, Amsterdam.

Time: doors open at 7pm, programme starts at 7:30pm.

Admission is free of charge but registration is required. The lecture programme will be in Dutch.