Joe Monaco
KU Office of Public Affairs

KU to host annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration

Fri, 01/15/2016

LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas will celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with a series of events on campus and throughout the city of Lawrence. The theme of this year’s celebration is One Dream.

“This month, we celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King's dream,” said Nate Thomas, vice provost for diversity and equity at KU. “As part of that dream, we must continue to challenge ourselves to embrace diversity, equity and social justice to create access, opportunity and inclusion for all to thrive at KU.”

The weeklong celebration begins Sunday, Jan. 17, with the Gospel Musical Explosion 6:30 p.m. at Free Methodist Church, 3001 Lawrence Ave.

On Monday, Jan. 18, KU School of Business Dean Neeli Bendapudi will speak at a community breakfast at Maceli’s Banquet Hall at 7:30 a.m. Later that day, the community is invited to gather at 4:30 p.m. in the Strong Hall rotunda for a brief welcome with KU leaders, followed by a candlelight vigil that will proceed on foot from Strong Hall to the Kansas Union. At the Union, guests are then invited to presentations and a performance by a cappella group Genuine Imitation beginning at 5:15 p.m.

The celebration continues Wednesday, Jan. 20, at Allen Fieldhouse during the KU women’s basketball game, with various pre- and in-game mentions of the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday, including a video of KU athletes discussing King’s legacy.

The events carry over to Thursday, Jan. 21, with a series of events, including a 3 p.m. screening of King’s “I Have a Dream” speech in the Traditions Area of the Kansas Union, a 4:30 p.m. event titled “Throwback Thursday - Freedom Songs” at the Sabatini Multicultural Resource Center, and a 6 p.m. community celebration at South Middle School.

Additionally, Jan. 25-29 will be designated as MLK Service Week at KU. All KU students interested in volunteering should visit

Visit the Office of Diversity and Equity homepage for a full calendar of KU events. For a list of all Martin Luther King Day Jr. events in Lawrence, visit

For more information on KU activities, contact the KU Office of Diversity and Equity at 785-864-4904 or

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