Campus community celebrates Martin Luther King Jr.

January 17, 2023

University News

The University of Richmond is celebrating the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. with a series of events in January titled “Shaping Tomorrow Today.”

Moderated panel discussions, conversations that encourage dialogue within the campus community, and other celebrations of King’s life and legacy will continue throughout the month.

“Allowing ourselves to take a moment to revisit what MLK stood for and what he did to create changes allows us to celebrate future leaders and reflect on the work that still must be done,” said Aaliyah McLean, fellow for events and communications in Equity & Community, who helped plan the events.

The celebration began with an art exhibition curated by Richmond artist Hamilton Glass. Hosted at the Heilman Dining Center, the RVA Community Makers 2022 exhibition features portraits of those who have made a positive impact on the Richmond community, including UR leadership studies professor Julian Hayter.

Hayter moderated a panel discussion on the legacies of Martin Luther King Jr. and Wyatt Tee Walker, King’s chief strategist. Boatwright Memorial Library is home to the Dr. and Mrs. Wyatt Tee Walker Collection.

The University also hosted multiple conversations on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, including discussions of how King’s words are understood today and the connection between faith and justice. There is also a University playlist available featuring songs related to the civil rights movement.

On Jan. 18, Spiders will gather in the Alice Haynes Room for food and live performances from Richmond poet laureate Roscoe Burnems and hip-hop artist Chance Fischer.

“I genuinely hope the community will see themselves reflected in the programming and remind themselves that we all have a part to play in service and solving problems in our community,” McLean said. “From listening to the MLK 2023 playlist and hearing MLK speak to attending an intimate conversation with community members, there's something for everyone.”

The celebration continues through Jan. 20, and there are multiple ways for the community to get involved. More information and event details are available through the Bonner Center for Civic Engagement.