Every year, Indiana University faculty, staff, students and community members reflect on the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and envision ways to carry forward his social justice and humanitarian work in a manner relevant today.
This year, Indiana University will celebrate the work of Dr. King with a special event called “An Evening Celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.” on Friday, January 12, 2024, at 7 p.m., at the Indiana University Memorial Union, Alumni Hall, Bloomington, Indiana. The program is hosted by the Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in partnership with the IU Kelley School of Business.
The celebration date is a departure from previous years in which IU observed the third Monday of January each year to hold events honoring Dr. King.
“It is our hope that this date change will allow the entire IU community more opportunities to engage in service projects and attend community programming on January 15,” says James C. Wimbush, vice president for the Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion and Johnson Chair for Diversity and Leadership. “Martin Luther King Day is an important moment for the entire Indiana University community as it provides a key opportunity for each of us to learn, grow and continue the work of Dr. King in our own ways.”
Indiana University 2024 Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration
The Jan. 12 event, “ An Evening Celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., will include student performances, IU’s Building Bridges Award presentation and a special keynote address from Prof. Shaun Harper, one of the nation’s most highly respected racial equity experts.
In-person seating for this event is limited. RSVP using MLK Evening Celebration your attendance today. A virtual option is also available. Visit broadcast.iu.edu to learn more.
Harper, an Indiana University alum, is provost professor in the Rossier School of Education and the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California. In 2022, he was appointed university professor, a distinction bestowed to only 26 of 4,700 USC full-time faculty members. He is also the founder and executive director of the USC Race and Equity Center.
Harper has published 12 books and more than 100 academic papers. His research has been cited in more than 20,000 published studies across a vast array of academic fields and disciplines. Additionally, he has procured more than $36 million in grants and contracts for his center.
The Building Bridges Award
As part of IU’s Dr. Martin Luther King Day celebration, the Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion is pleased to invite students, faculty, staff, alums and community partners across the state to submit nominations for the 2024 Building Bridges Award. The effort is designed to recognize those who capture Dr. King’s vision, spirit and leadership in ways big and small at IU and within communities in Indiana.
A committee of IU representatives will select recipients who exemplify equality, diversity, inclusion and respect. Nominees can be a group or an individual.
One student and one additional community member from each IU campus and the IU School of Medicine will be recognized with the award on Friday, January 12, 2024, during “ An Evening Celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.”
Virtual Toolkit Available
In anticipation of Dr. Martin Luther King Day, Indiana University is offering a “virtual toolkit” to help community members educate, learn and grow throughout the year. In it, users will find a number of activities to promote Dr. King's life and legacy, as well as suggestions for family-friendly experiences and activities, social media badges, Zoom backgrounds and more. Visit the MLK Toolkit to learn more.
Tell Us Your Story About Dr. Martin Luther King’s Influence
Are you interested in honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by sharing how his legacy inspires you? Please share a 60-second video or short written reflection answering questions such as: What does Dr. King’s legacy mean to me?What do equality and protest mean to me?What have I learned from the recent social and racial unrest?Why is it important to continue Dr. King’s legacy?
Share your videos on social media by sending a direct message to one of the Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion’s social media pages or post using the hashtag #IUMLK on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
A Day On, Not a Day Off
Observed each year on the third Monday in January as “a day on, not a day off,” Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day is the only federal holiday designated as a National Day of Service to encourage all Americans to volunteer to improve their communities. Here are just a few ideas to honor the life and legacy of Dr. King.
- Brighten someone's day by writing letters to seniors in care facilities.
- Call an elderly neighbor to check in on them.
- Contact a local non-profit and inquire about upcoming outdoor clean-up day events.
- Drop off a non-perishable donation to a local food bank in your area.
- Take up a collection of new and unopened hygiene items for a local homeless shelter.
To learn about opportunities in your community, visit IU CORPS at iucorps.indiana.edu or your local city's official websites.