Barry McNamara  |  Published March 18, 2024

MLK Talk in March

The Rev. Charles Burton ’92 to discuss ‘From Equality to Equity: A Dream Redefined’ in March 26 talk, rescheduled from January.

MONMOUTH, Ill. – In January, harsh weather prevented the Rev. Charles Burton from traveling to Monmouth College from St. Louis to give the keynote talk for the school’s celebration of the life and impact of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

CHARLES BURTON: The 1992 Monmouth graduate will return to campus March 26 to give a talk that was originally scheduled for ... CHARLES BURTON: The 1992 Monmouth graduate will return to campus March 26 to give a talk that was originally scheduled for Martin Luther King Jr. Day.The 1992 Monmouth graduate will instead present his talk at 7 p.m. March 26 in Dahl Chapel and Auditorium. Titled ”From Equality to Equity: A Dream Redefined,” the talk is free and open to the public.

A bi-vocational pastor, Burton serves the congregation of Unity Fellowship Church in Godfrey, Illinois, and was recently named as the chief human resources officer for Webster University, where he’ll begin working April 1. Burton previously held a similar role for St. Louis Public Schools.

He is past president of the United Congregations of Metro East (UCM) and co-founder and past co-convener of Gamaliel of Illinois. Through these organizations, Burton partners with local congregations and unions to engage in grassroots community organizing aimed at empowering God’s people to receive His Kingdom rooted in His love.

Burton has helped lead the fight for the rights of those who Howard Thurman calls the “disinherited” in affordable housing, education, jobs, mental health, and criminal justice and immigration reform.

His academic credentials include a juris doctorate from Washington (Missouri) University School of Law and a bachelor’s degree in political science from Monmouth, where he served as president of the Student Association. A member of the College’s M Club Hall of Fame, Burton was the NCAA Division III national champion in the 400-meter hurdles his senior year as the Fighting Scots track and field team placed seventh in the nation.

Burton is married to educator Renee Burton and the couple has three children. The Burtons’ values are faith, family, health and the pursuit of knowledge. Their commitment to education is undergirded by the belief in the John Dewey pronouncement: “Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.”

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