Skip to content
Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.
Event Series Event Series: Martin Luther King, Jr. Week

MLK Week 2024 Keynote: Ruth E. Carter

MLK Week 2024 Keynote: Ruth E. Carter

January 16 @ 12:00 pm 1:00 pm MST

383 South University St
Salt Lake City, UT 84112 United States
+ Google Map
View Venue Website

Event Audience:

This event is open to everyone

Event Organizer:

Celebrating 40 Years of MLK Week, Where do we go from here? January 13 -19, 2024

In the winter of 1967, in a modest rented bungalow in the town of Ocho Rios in north Jamaica, the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote the first draft of “Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community?” the last book he would complete during his lifetime. In it, Dr. King probed the difficult period following the day President Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act in a special ceremony at the White House.  He recounts how a national backlash followed a decade of civil rights work—leading to the murder of civil rights workers and the acquittal of their killers, violent outbreaks in cities like Watts and Chicago, and “an emotional electoral issue” in many parts of the country that ushered in a number of voices who favored segregation.  

More than half a century after that moment, we are still asking the question, where do we go from here? As we celebrate 40 years of honoring Dr. King’s legacy with MLK Week at the U, the University of Utah is answering with an emphatic turn toward community.

This is a virtual event. Attendees can join in person at the Moot Courtroom or virtually via livestream on this page (details coming soon). ASL interpretation will be provided and auto-captions will be available. All requests for event access support and other questions or concerns may be directed to

Ruth e. Carter smiles in a denim top, thick framed glasses, and has curly shoulder-length hair

Ruth E. Carter

Award-Winning Costume Designer

Ruth E. Carter is a two-time Academy Award-winning American film costume designer. With over three decades in film, television, and theater, Carter has earned seventy credits and collaborated with prolific directors, including Spike Lee, Steven Spielberg, Ava DuVernay, and Ryan Coogler.

Best known for turning the Black Panther superhero into an African King, Carter made history as the first Black person to win the Costume Design category and earned Marvel Studios their first Oscar recognition. For BLACK PANTHER: WAKANDA FOREVER, Carter made history, again, for her outstanding costume design work and became the first Black woman to win multiple Academy Awards in any category and the first costume designer to win the first film and its sequel.

Carter’s costumes based on real and imaginative characters provide an arc to the narratives of African Americans from DO THE RIGHT THING, MALCOLM X, WHAT’S LOVE GOT TO DO WITH IT, AMISTAD, THE BUTLER, MARSHALL, SELMA, DOLEMITE IS MY NAME, COMING 2 AMERICA to BLACK PANTHER: WAKANDA FOREVER. Her devotion to retraining the eye to see beauty through costume design and telling stories that enrich the humanity of the Black experience cements her legacy as a preeminent voice and expert on period genres and Afro aesthetics.

Carter’s outstanding costume design work has been honored with Academy Award nominations for MALCOLM X (1993) and AMISTAD (1998) and an Emmy nomination for the miniseries reboot of ROOTS (2016). The impact of her career in filmmaking has been recognized with the Costume Designers Guild’s Career Achievement Award (2019) and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
(2021). She is also a member of the board of governors for the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences. Her costumes serve as an American treasure of history and culture and are on display in a traveling museum exhibition titled “Afrofuturism in Costume Design” and in her book “The Art of Ruth E. Carter” – a behind-the-scenes journey in creating the most iconic costumes in filmmaking available May 2023.

Carter is beloved in her hometown of Springfield, Massachusetts and was given the key to the city for her achievements and service to the community (2021). She is a graduate of Hampton University, Virginia (HBCU) and most recently served as their commencement speaker and was given the distinction of honorary doctorate. She holds an additional honorary doctorate from Suffolk University, Massachusetts.