The annual celebration of the life and legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. every January is a reminder of the fervent belief in a dream that who we can and should be as a nation depends upon recognizing the full humanity of each person, a dream rooted in honest examination of history and the work for racial justice when inequity exists.
It is our community’s commitment to the dream of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. that we will celebrate this month with a series of events, beginning with the MLK Advocacy for Justice Virtual Celebration on Sunday, January 17 at 3 pm Central.
This year's keynote speaker will be the Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, one of the leading voices for equality and social justice in our nation today, who will speak live from North Carolina.
More information about this virtual event is at go.illinois.edu/MLK2021. A link to watch the Sunday, January 17 celebration will be posted on this page and is open to the public.
The Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II is the President & Senior Lecturer of Repairers of the Breach and Co-Chair of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call For Moral Revival. Rev. Dr. Barber is also the architect of the Moral Movement, which began with weekly Moral Monday protests at the North Carolina General Assembly in 2013 and recently relaunched again online in August 2020 under the banner of the Poor People's Campaign, which was begun by Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1968.
This year’s University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign celebration will also feature nearly three weeks of presentations, activities, and discussions reflecting on what it means to speak from a position of conscience. Due to current COVID-19 social distancing requirements, this year’s events will be virtual and open to all through online platforms. A full calendar of events is available online. Pre-registration may be required to receive links to some events.
During a year defined by COVID-19, the pandemic has directed a new light on the persistent and insidious twin crisis of systemic racism and generationally embedded racial disparities afflicting our society. This year’s celebration of the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is a common and shared call to action for everyone in the community to commit to the hard work necessary to end racism and social injustice.