LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas will lead several community events to help celebrate the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday in Lawrence.
The hallmark event to commemorate the day will take place along Jayhawk Boulevard on Tuesday, Jan. 22, the first day of the spring 2019 semester.
“Civil rights and social justice are issues people fight for every day. Recognition of the work of Dr. King shouldn’t be limited to a single day out of 365,” said Jennifer Hamer, vice provost for diversity & equity. “It’s fitting that we extend appreciation of King’s legacy beyond the official holiday and, just as important, at a time when KU students are back on campus.”
At noon Jan. 22, a New Orleans-style second line brass band will lead a parade from outside the main entry of Strong Hall, moving along Jayhawk Boulevard to the Kansas Union. All members of the KU community are invited to dress for the weather and take part in the march. Clarence Lang, interim dean of the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, will welcome all participants with brief comments and cue the band to begin the procession. Once at the Union, the crowd will enter the fourth-floor Traditions Area for closing remarks from Carl Lejuez, interim provost and executive vice chancellor. Refreshments will be available for all participants.
This is the second year a second line brass band has been used to mark and celebrate the holiday at KU. The march is one of several Lawrence events taking place on the holiday and the days that follow. The event schedule:
MLK Panel: Intersectionality and Social Justice
Monday, Jan. 21
3 p.m. — Lawrence Public Library auditorium, 707 Vermont St.
Featured speakers include Charlesia McKinney, KU doctoral student in rhetoric & composition; Joseph Erba, assistant professor of journalism & mass communications, and Randal Jelks, professor of American studies and African & African-American studies.
Sponsored by the Lawrence Public Library and the KU Office of Diversity & Equity
MLK Day March Across Campus and Musical Celebration
Tuesday, Jan. 22
Noon — Remarks from Clarence Lang begin outside of Strong Hall’s main entrance
12:10 p.m. — Musical march along Jayhawk Boulevard with a second line brass band from Strong Hall to Kansas Union. Marchers proceed to the Kansas Union, fourth-floor Traditions Area for refreshments. Closing remarks will be delivered by Carl Lejuez
Sponsored by the Office of Diversity & Equity
Lawrence Public Schools ONE DREAM Event
Thursday, Jan. 24
6:30 p.m. — doors open at 5:30 p.m., ceremony begins at 6:30 p.m.
Southwest Middle School, 2511 Inverness Drive
Sponsored by USD 497 Lawrence Public Schools
Spring KU Common Book Discussion
Tuesday, Jan. 29
3:30 p.m. — Spencer Museum of Art
“Create Dangerously” by Edwidge Danticat
Sponsored by the KU Office of First-Year Experience
These events are free and open to the Lawrence and KU communities. KU Parking regulations will be in effect for all events taking place on campus.
King, whose memory is honored by the national holiday on Monday, Jan. 21, was a minister and civil rights activist best known for his leadership and organizing efforts in the '50s and '60s. In 1964, he received the Nobel Peace Prize for combating racial inequality through nonviolent resistance. He also posthumously received the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal.