2021 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Symposium


King’s ‘How long? Not long’ speech encourages change seekers to keep fighting

During the University of Michigan’s 2021 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Symposium, participants can expect to glean successes and lessons from the civil rights movement and King’s life and legacy. The theme of this year’s virtual event is, “Where Do We Go From Here?” This year’s symposium keynote features two speakers, Gloria House, poet, essayist, educator and human rights activist, and Malik Yakini, co-founder and Executive Director of the Detroit Black Community Food Security Network. The virtual keynote event will be livestreamed starting at 10 a.m. Jan. 18.

Discussion to examine health care disparities, racial empowerment

With the emergence of COVID-19, existing disparities within the country’s health care system have been exacerbated. The School of Kinesiology will welcome Monique Butler to lead a discussion addressing the theme, “Where Do We Go From Here: Body Politics and Movement Towards Racial Empowerment.” The virtual event set for noon Jan. 18.

Prolonged protest a tool for societal change, says civil rights activist

Author, historian, professor and civil rights leader Mary Frances Berry will serve as the keynote speaker during the University of Michigan Library’s lecture, “Race, Protest, and Politics: Where Do We Go From Here?” The event will take place virtually at 2 p.m. Jan. 18.

See a full list of events for the 2021 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Symposium
See a full list of events for the 2021 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Symposium

‘Little Miss Flint’ to share activism lessons during MLK event

A teenager who was just 8 years old when she made headlines for her activism around the Flint water crisis will share some of the lessons she’s learned with the U-M community. Mari Copeny, known as “Little Miss Flint,” will speak from 2-3 p.m. Jan. 18 during the “Youth Activism: Lessons from Flint and Beyond” online presentation.

Veterans for Peace to explore MLK’s teachings on dangers of war and militarism

Veterans for Peace and the U-M Office of Veteran and Military Services will host a virtual discussion on the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s thoughts and teachings about the dangers of war and militarism Jan. 18. The local chapter of Veterans for Peace will present a talk titled “Beyond Militarism; Where Do We Go From Here?” at 2 p.m.

Lurie Carillon concert to highlight music of Black inspiration

The Lurie Carillon will fill North Campus with music designed to amplify the voices of people of color during the “MLK, Agency and Action” concert from 1:30-2 p.m. Jan. 27. The free event will include original pieces, arrangements and African-American spirituals performed by carillonist Pamela Ruiter-Feenstra.

Page to discuss impact of race relations on policy abroad and at home

A retired U.S. ambassador will explore the impact of race relations on U.S. foreign and domestic policy during the Donia Human Right Center’s annual lecture. The event featuring Susan D. Page, professor of practice in international diplomacy at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, and professor from practice at the Law School, will be at 4 p.m. Jan. 27 via Zoom.

Former football players to share experiences with athletics, activism

Eric Mayes, co-captain of U-M’s 1997 national championship football team, will moderate “Intersection of Black Lives: Demystifying Black student and student-athlete experiences.” The virtual event is from 5:30-7 p.m. Jan. 27 and features panelists Jehu Chesson, Dennis Franklin, Dhani Jones and Rod Payne.

Annual MLK Day lecture to focus on building strategies

The Center for Middle Eastern and North African Studies and Global Islamic Studies Center will present its annual MLK Day lecture virtually at 4 p.m. Feb. 8. Panelists will focus on strategies for decolonizing knowledge about Nubia at the fraught intersections of race, politics and history in the Global South.


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