University of Utah Office for Equity and Diversity

Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration

Every year we honor the life and achievements of Martin Luther King, Jr. with a week-long celebration, featuring a marade (march/parade), a rally, speeches, and other events. Join us next year to remember this great man!

”If you can't fly then run, if you can't run then walk, if you can't walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.“ ― Martin Luther King Jr.


Stolen Rights: Repressed. Revoked. Redefined.

This year’s theme, “Stolen Rights: Repressed. Revoked. Redefined.” focuses on civil rights that have been repressed throughout history, revoked in current events and redefined through service, art and activism.

“For the past three decades, the MLK celebration has served as a critical platform for the community to engage in contemporary issues around civil rights and social justice,” said Neelam Chand, communication director for the U’s Office for Equity and Diversity and co-chair of the 2015 MLK committee. “This year is no exception. By exploring stolen rights within the context of current events, we are able to structure meaningful conversation that is both thought provoking and important.”

Event Media


2015 MLK Keynote
Address by Imani Perry entitled "Do Black Lives Matter After All?"

List of Events

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Day of Service
8:00 am - 12:00 pm
Olpin Student Union Building, Union Food Court

The U’s Bennion Community Service Center is sponsoring a day of service in conjunction with a variety of local organizations, including Volunteers of America, Friends of Sight, First Step House, Fourth Street Clinic, YMCA and more. Volunteers should preregister and arrive at the Union building at 8 a.m. for breakfast. An explanation of the projects begins at 8:30 a.m, and volunteers will head to the service sites at 9 a.m.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Marade: March/Parade
2:30 pm - Rally
3:30 pm - March
East High School Auditorium

The University of Utah and greater Salt Lake community commemorate the impact and legacy of the Rev. France A. Davis Scholarship, Rev. France A. Davis Scholarship, established in 2008. Community leaders noted that financial limitations are one of the greatest barriers facing African American and other underrepresented students, not only in enrolling in higher education, but also in remaining in college to earn a degree. The scholarship fund provides African American students with important financial assistance, mentoring and academic support. There will be a brief presentation at East High School with a keynote address by Debra Daniels, Assistant Vice President for Women's Enrollment Initiatives and Director of the Women's Resource Center. The rally will be followed by a 1.3-mile march to Kingsbury Hall on the U campus California Pizza Kitchen invites attendees to have dinner at the Fashion Place location in Murray where a portion of the sales from attendees will be donated to the scholarship. Donations for the scholarship will also be accepted at the end of the march.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Campus and Community Panel Discussion: "Restricted Rights: Militarization of Contemporary Policing"
12:00 - 1:00 pm
Hinckley Institute of Politics, Orson Spencer Hall, Room 253

William Smith, associate professor at the Department of Education, Culture and Society at the U, will facilitate a panel discussion about militarization of policing in modern America and the reactions from various communities. Panelists include Malcolm Holmes, professor in the Department of Sociology at University of Wyoming; Emily Chiang, associate professor in the U’s College of Law; Roderick Land, Education Liaison for Salt Lake County; and Megan Day, undergraduate student at the U and poet whose work focuses on social justice.

Film Screening: "Freedom on My Mind"
4:00 - 7:00 pm
Olpin Student Union Building, Saltair Room

"Freedom on My Mind" is a 1994 documentary about the efforts to register African-American voters in 1960 Mississippi and the formation of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party. "Freedom on My Mind" interweaves powerful personal interviews, rare archival film, and television footage. "Freedom on My Mind" was nominated for "Best Feature Documentary" in the 1994 Academy Awards and won the "Grand Jury Prize for Best Documentary" at Sundance Film Festival in 1994.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Cultural Performance by Ernesto Yerena
1:30 - 2:30 pm
Olpin Student Union Building, West Ballroom

Ernesto Yerena's art reflects his observations of the views and interactions between the Mexican communities living on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border. His work depicts his frustrations with the oppression in his community as well as creating work in solidarity with the community in defense of dignity and rights. Through his art, he brings political concerns to light with subject matter that depicts cultural icons, rebels and everyday people voicing their stance against oppression. Highly recognized for his activism, Yerena is the founder and curator of the Alto Arizona Art campaign (2010) as well as a founding member of the We Are Human campaign (2009).
Yerena's work will also be displayed in the Union corridor throughout the week.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Keynote Address: "Do Black Lives Matter After All?" by Imani Perry
12:00 - 1:00 pm
Olpin Student Union Building, Ballroom

Imani Perry is a professor in the Center for African American Studies at Princeton University. She also holds appointments in the Program in Law and Public Affairs and Gender and Sexuality Studies at Princeton. Perry is the author of two books, “More Beautiful and More Terrible: The Embrace and Transcendence of Racial Inequality in the United States” and “Prophets of the Hood: Politics and Poetics in Hip Hop”. She has provided social and political commentary for NPR, the Chris Hayes Show, CNN and HuffPostLive, and she has written book reviews for The New York Times, The San Francisco Chronicle and The London School of Economics Book Review blog. She holds a doctorate and a law degree from Harvard University, and lectures on a wide range of topics including constitutional law, race in the United States, gender inequality and popular culture.

A Special Thank You to Our Partners and Sponsors

University of Utah:
Ethnic Studies Department, U of U
Kingsbury Hall, U of U
Associated Students of the University of Utah (ASUU)
U of U Alumni Association
S.J. Quinney College of Law, U of U
Hinckley Institute of Politics, U of U
Bennion Center, U of U
Women's Resource Center, U of U

B.W. Bastian Foundation
Salt Lake City School District
Westminster College
East High School
Salt Lake City Police Department
Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City
Zions Bank
Corner Bakery
Smith's, 6th Avenue
Salt Lake County District Attorney's Office - Sim Gill
A-Company Portable Restrooms
California Pizza Kitchen, Fashion Place Mall

Individuals needing additional accommodations for events should contact Neelam Chand at 801-587-3342 in a timely manner.