Celebrate the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.

January 11, 2023

UM-Dearborn hosts several events that highlight Dr. King, the Civil Rights Movement and the importance of continued social justice work.

MLK 2023 graphic
Graphic by Violet Dashi

A variety of voices and events on- and off-campus next week will honor the life of Martin Luther King Jr.

A Peace Rally brings community members together to continue social justice efforts. Students in multicultural organizations — like the Black Student Union, Alpha Psi Lambda Latino Fraternity, Indian Graduate Student Association and others — will reflect on Dr. King’s legacy. Professors will discuss the role of religion in civil rights. 

“And there are more events and activities planned. This is a campus and community collective effort to continue Dr. King’s legacy through intentional inclusion,” said Center for Social Justice and Inclusion Director Shareia Carter. “It’s wonderful to see such strong partnerships across the university and into the community come together.”

The Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service on Jan. 16 — a day that’s all about partnership — starts off the Martin Luther King Week of EventsChancellor Domenico Grasso, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer Keisha Blevins and Henry Ford College President Russ Kavalhuna will give opening remarks starting at 9:30 a.m. at Fairlane Center North's Quad E.

In its 30th year, UM-Dearborn and Henry Ford College have partnered to organize a day where the two schools can assist community-based organizations through a variety of options. Volunteers can pack food boxes for families in need, sort gently used clothing at Capuchin Services Center, make fleece blankets for shelters and more. 

“That is a big deal — we are celebrating 30 years for a single event. We even pivoted it remotely to still have the Day of Service during the pandemic,” Carter said. “We’re proud of the campus’ ongoing commitment to Dr. King’s legacy.”

Here are campus events taking place next week that highlight MLK, the Civil Rights Movement and the importance of continued social justice work.


Mardigian Library Book Display and De-Stress Zone 
Learn more about civil rights activism in Detroit and surrounding areas. Celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy through education. Books and other materials highlighted in the Mardigian Library’s first floor display case and in the de-stress zone are available for check out.


Through Jan. 18 

Martin Luther King Jr. and Civil Rights Icons of Detroit 
MLK came to Southeast Michigan in 1963 to give his “I Have A Dream” speech, which had an impact on the Civil Rights Movement. Advocates and activists such as Rosa Parks, Rev. Nicholas Hood, Sr, Grace Lee Boggs and others played a significant role too. Explore their lives and the Civil Rights Movement through a display on the first floor of the Mardigian Library. 


Monday, Jan. 16

30th Annual UM-Dearborn MLK Day of Service
10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Volunteers from across campus and the surrounding community will come together to lend a helping hand and inspire long lasting and positive change throughout the Metro Detroit area. Volunteers will work remotely or in person to support Detroit-area community agencies in fulfilling their valuable missions. Registration is closed, but you can get more information.


Tuesday, Jan. 17

Chancellor's Video Club: Baldwin/Buckley Debate
10:30 a.m., Renick University Center, Kochoff Hall B
Watch the video “James Baldwin vs William F Buckley: A legendary debate” (it’s less than one hour) and discuss it during the first Chancellor’s Video Club. You can watch on your own or join a public viewing at 9:30 a.m., just prior to the discussion.

Addressing Racism in the White Church,” a talk lead by Calvin University Professor Kristen Kobes Du Mez and UM-Dearborn Associate Professor Terri Laws
1-2:30 p.m. Zoom.
Calvin University Professor Kristen Kobes Du Mez and UM-Dearborn Associate Professor of African and African American Studies Terri Laws will discuss racism in the white church, what effect this segment of the U.S. population has had on American culture, and the threat that racism in the white Evangelical church presents to American democracy.


Wednesday, Jan. 18

"Impact of the Dream" Film Screening and Discussion
6-8 p.m. Mardigian Library, room 1211. Register to attend.
The Campus Video Network and the Black Student Union created a short film featuring UM-Dearborn's community members’ thoughts on the legacy and impact of Dr. King and his dream.


Thursday, Jan. 19

2023 MLK Peace Rally
11 a.m.-1 p.m. Thursday, Meet at the Renick University Center. Register to attend.
Poster making begins at 11 a.m.; the rally starts at noon at the UC's north-east entrance.
A peaceful march from UM-Dearborn to Henry Ford College recognizes the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and  commemorates the role that protest has taken in shaping our society. Hear messages from the Black Student Union, Student Government, Alpha Psi Lambda, Indian Graduate Student Association and a keynote address from Henry Ford College African American Studies Professor Kalvin Harvell. The rally will end at Henry Ford College's Building L. Snacks will be provided upon arrival at HFC.

Article by Sarah Tuxbury.