mlk week 2024
Celebrating 40 Years of MLK Week: 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 the question of "where do we go from here?" with an emphatic turn toward community.

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.

MLK Jr. Day of Service

January 13th @ 9:00 am to 12:30 pm — Register here

This project is scheduled for Saturday, January 13th from 9:00 am - 12:30 pm. This is an opportunity to work in support of local community organizations in honor of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr's dedication and commitment to justice, service, and equity. Learn more..

MLK Week 40th Anniversary Gala

January 13, 2024 @ 7:00 to 10:00 pm — Cleone Peterson Eccles Alumni House

For the past four decades, the University of Utah has paid homage to the life and legacy of America’s most prominent civil rights icon, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., during the week of this birth. And for the first time, the 2024 commemoration will commence with a formal gala that will recognize the contributions of some of the most ardent supporters and advocates of civil rights in the Beehive state’s history.

Join us for a celebration of the ruby jubilee as we look forward to the future and honor those who helped us get here. The night will feature dinner, awards and dancing. Learn more..

MLK Day Rally & March

January 15 @ 2:30 pm to 4:00 pm — East High School

With Dr. King’s footsteps forging the pathway toward equity, we march to commemorate his legacy and the work of many activists during the Civil Rights movement. Join us for a rally and march (from East High to Kingsbury Hall) celebrating the legacy of MLK! Learn more..

Step Afrika!

January 15 @ 4:30pm — Kingsbury Hall

In partnership with the University of Utah's Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Week
Immediately following the MLK Rally and March, experience the vibrant and electrifying world of Step Afrika!, the first professional dance company in the world dedicated to the tradition of stepping. Drawing inspiration from the rhythmic and percussive styles of historically African American fraternities and sororities, Step Afrika! infuses these traditions with traditional West and Southern African dances, creating a unique and captivating performance that will leave you breathless. If you’re ready for a performance that will move your soul and lift your spirits, don’t miss Step Afrika! Learn more..

Moving Forward by Looking Back

January 16 @ 10:30 am to 11:30 am  — Gould Auditorium

Join us in the Marriott Library for a special exhibition focusing on Utah’s Black history and a discussion with Rae Duckworth, President of the Utah Black History Museum, and Tarienne Mitchell, Curator, Historian and Archivist for the Utah Black History Museum. The Utah Black History Museum, known for the colorful traveling Black History Bus, was launched in February 2020 and is managed by a group of passionate volunteers. The museum “is committed to promoting the understanding, appreciation, and advancement of the Black experience in Utah through programming, exhibits, and activities that teach local and national Black history and celebrate the culture of the African Diaspora in the United States.” Learn more..

MLK Week 2024 Keynote: Ruth E. Carter

January 16 @ 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm  — S.J. Quinney College of Law Moot Courtroom (Level 6)

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. Learn more..

Film Screening: “The Color Purple”

January 16 @ 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm — Larry H. Miller Megaplex Theatres Gateway

Celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Week with a private screening the “The Color Purple” at the Larry H. Miller Megaplex Theatres at The Gateway. Learn more..

Care-Kit Assembly for Canyon School District

January 17 @ 10:00 am to 2:00 pm — S.J. Quinney College of Law, Room 6619

Join us in a meaningful community engagement event at the College of Law, where students, faculty, and staff will come together to assemble care-kits filled with donated supplies from community partners and law firms. In an inspiring display of collective effort, we will create these kits in assembly line style, ensuring a collaborative and efficient process. The completed care-kits will be generously donated to an organization in need, fostering positive impact in our broader community. As a special touch, there will be a station for crafting heartfelt, hand-written notes to accompany these thoughtful gifts, spreading warmth and solidarity to the recipients. Be part of this impactful initiative, embodying the spirit of compassion and community at its best. Learn more..

Reframing the Conversation: Where Do We Go From Here?

January 17 @ 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm — Hinckley Institute of Politics (GC 2018)

Reframing the Conversation is a monthly series that brings together experts from across the campus and community to spark important conversations around equity, othering, and safety. More than half a century after Dr. King wrote the first draft of his book, “Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community?, many are still asking the same question. Challenges continue to persist, creating inequity and fueling divisions and conflict. But the University of Utah is committed to answering Dr. King’s critical question with actions that reinforce and deepen our connections—building a campus community where everyone knows they belong. In alignment with this year’s MLK Week theme, at the January installment of the Reframing the Conversation series, panelists will discuss what may be next in the ongoing fight for civil rights in Utah and across the country. Learn more..

Bridging the Gap Between Academic and Clinical Practice

January 18 @ 9:00 am to 10:30 am — College of Nursing Simulation Center

The College of Nursing aims to foster a nursing workforce that embraces cultural diversity and effectively meets the diverse needs of our communities, leading to improved health outcomes. In line with the values of MLK Week, the College of Nursing Simulation Center promotes inclusive and fair healthcare practices. This advanced and technologically advanced learning hub offers healthcare professionals an opportunity to actively participate in simulations, observations, and debriefings of real-life patient scenarios. By utilizing this cutting-edge facility, healthcare professionals can enhance their skills and knowledge, ultimately enhancing patient safety and care. MLK Week emphasizes the significance of equal access to quality healthcare for all individuals, and the College of Nursing Simulation Center embodies this principle by providing an inclusive learning environment that fosters excellence in healthcare delivery. Learn more..

Community is Where We Go From Here

January 18 @ 12:00 pm to 1:30 pm — S.J. Quinney College of Law Moot Courtroom (Level 6)

Embark on a thought-provoking journey with esteemed scholars as we delve into the pivotal role of community in enhancing individual well-being. Gain insights into compelling empirical data that substantiates the profound impact of community-building theories. Explore how vibrant communities serve as the heart of personal well-being, fostering connections that shape and elevate our lives. Join us for an enlightening event that celebrates the power of community in nurturing the holistic health of individuals. Learn more..

Dance Justice Deliverance: Dance Theatre of Harlem

January 18 @ 2:00 pm to 3:20 pm — Marriott Center for Dance

Join us for an exploration of legacies of the Dance Theatre of Harlem and its place as a leading ambassador of American culture. This special MLK event brings together three researchers engaged in a publication project devoted to the artistry, social circumstances, histories, and performances of this ballet company. Come and learn how a large arts organization has worked to inspire communities toward a shared destiny of artistry, social justice, and shared spiritual possibilities embodied through ballet. Learn more..

MLK Economic Plenary

January 18 @ 4:30 pm to 6:00 pm — Garff Executive Education Building Auditorium (1st Floor)

The MLK Economic Plenary will feature a keynote address by Ashley Bell, former White House advisor and co-founder and CEO of Redemption Holdings, an organization supported in partnership with Bernice King and Coretta Scott King that aims to expand access to capital for people of color. Its first project is Redemption Bank in Holladay, Utah–the first Black-owned bank in the Rockies.

The keynote address will be followed by a panel of leading experts from across the state which will delve into critical issues surrounding economic disparities and strategies for fostering greater equity in our society through access to financial infrastructure and resources, including MDIs. Learn more..

Ute Proud x MLK Week Men's Basketball Game

January 18 @ 7:00 pm — Jon M. Hunstman Center

Watch the U play against Oregon State at the Jon M. Hunstman Center. Learn more..

Student Voices Rising: A Celebration of Activism

January 19 @ 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm — Unity Lounge (Union, Room 293)

End Martin Luther King, Jr. Week on a high note and celebrate the legacy of students who fought for equality during the Civil Rights Movement. While working on their studies, these students worked through organizations such as The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and founded Black student unions and identity-based student organizations. This panel will be a mixer and panel with student leaders from around campus to discuss what student activism look like today. Learn more..


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