The theme of the 2018 University of Michigan Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Symposium will be “The Fierce Urgency of Now.”

The keynote memorial lecture for the annual symposium will take place at 10 a.m. Jan. 15 in Hill Auditorium. The speaker is actor, author and philanthropist Hill Harper.

Robert Sellers, vice provost for equity and inclusion and chief diversity officer, said this year’s theme “calls us to claim ownership of the challenges we face and not leave it for future generations to address.”

“Amidst technological advancements and increased global connections, much work still needs to be done to heal the wounds of our past, and resolve the injustices of our present,” Sellers said in an email to the campus community.

“‘The Fierce Urgency of Now’ compels us to not only act, but to also acknowledge that the absence of action and the continuation of silence, serves to bring us deeper into the shadows of division.”

The Office of Academic Multicultural Initiatives, under the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, coordinates the MLK lecture. Departments that would like their events featured on the symposium’s website and in the U-M MLK Symposium Commemorative Booklet must submit their event information online at by 5 p.m. Nov. 10.

Event information submitted after Nov. 10 will be posted on the website,, but not in the booklet.

For more information, contact or call 734-936-1055.

Note: This article was updated Jan. 6, 2018, to include the symposium’s keynote speaker.