The University of Evansville (UE) will host a celebration for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Monday, January 17. The event will include activities throughout the day for the campus community as well as the public. Two events in particular will have live streaming availability for those unable to attend in-person. The 2022 theme is “Unrelenting Faith” and highlights one of King’s famous quotes, “Faith is taking the first step even when you cannot see the whole staircase.”
The schedule of events is available below. For full details, please visit evansville.edu/MLK.
Grand Opening of the Center for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion – 10:30 a.m.
To begin the celebration, UE will hold a ribbon cutting for the Center for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, as well as the Multicultural Student Commons. This will take place on the second floor of Ridgway University Center.
Rally – 11:15 a.m.
A rally will be held in Meeks Family Fieldhouse, located inside Carson Center off Walnut Street. It will recap the significance of the celebration and include remarks from Christopher M. Pietruszkiewicz, president of UE; Rob Shelby, PhD, chief diversity officer; Abagail Catania, assistant director of diversity recruitment and programming; and the president of the Black Student Union.
Symbolic March – 11:45 a.m.
After the rally, UE will lead the 54th Mile to Social Change. The march will begin at Meeks Family Fieldhouse and down nearby streets before returning to campus at Ridgway University Center. This event is a tribute to Civil Rights March in 1965, when activists led a 54-mile trek from Selma, Alabama to the state capital in Montgomery.
Local Leaders Panel Discussion – 1:00 p.m.
This insightful discussion will include leaders from the Evansville community, and it will be held in Smythe Lecture Hall (room 170) of the Schroeder School of Business. The panel will be led by Melissa Moore, a UE alumna and member of the Legal Aid Society Board of Vanderburgh County. If you are unable to attend in-person, you can stream the discussion live on the Center for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion’s Facebook page at facebook.com/uecenterdei.
Community Service – 2:00 p.m.
UE will provide the opportunity to participate in one of several community service projects, and the impact will last long beyond the celebration. Several departments and student organizations will be spearheading or supporting the projects, which will be announced on the day of the event.
Lectureship – 6:00 p.m.
Each year, the Martin Luther King Lectureship is made possible through the generous support of William G. and Rose M. Mays. The lectureship will be held in Eykamp Hall, located on the second floor of Ridgway University Center. You may also live-stream it at evansville.edu/live.
The 2022 lectureship will feature keynote speaker Dr. Lerone A. Martin. Beginning in 2022, Martin will become the faculty director for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute at Stanford University. The King Institute supports a broad range of educational activities illuminating Dr. King’s life and the movements he inspired.
Martin is also the author of the award-winning Preaching on Wax: The Phonograph and the Making of Modern African American Religion, which tracks the role of the phonograph in the shaping of African American religion, culture, and politics during the first half of the twentieth century.
After the lectureship, UE will present the 2022 Mays Legacy Award as well as the inaugural Rising Star Award.
7:00 p.m. – Reception
Following the lectureship, a reception with light refreshments will be held outside Eykamp Hall in the Class of 1959 Gallery.