Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration

2022: Fighting for Justice and Liberation at Home and Abroad

Our Annual Convocation

Took place on Wednesday, February 2 at 7 p.m., which inaugurated a weeklong series of virtual events about racial justice.

Fighting for Justice and Liberation at Home and Abroad

Dr. King situated the civil rights movement in the United States as part of a global and international story. His vision reminds us we must look beyond narrow national frameworks to more fully understand the past, present, and future of the “racial crisis in America.” His vision reminds us we must look beyond narrow national frameworks to more fully understand the past, present, and future of the “racial crisis in America.”

In doing so, he drew upon the work of generations of Black intellectuals and activists who understood the struggle for racial justice in the United States as, in the words of W.E.B. DuBois, “a local phase of a world problem.”

Visions of the Future

If we in the United States are engaged in a “reckoning” with our history, then we must account for histories of imperialism and colonialism, of trans-Atlantic slavery and settler colonialism, and of the global development of racial capitalism. We should regard it also as a call to think intersectionally about power and liberation by incorporating class and gender. For King, DuBois and others, looking outward and thinking comparatively opened up pathways to new solidarities, means of resistance, and emancipatory visions of the future.

Join Us

The 2022 Martin Luther King Celebration Committee invites you to join us in honoring activists in our communities, reflecting on the lessons and legacies of Dr. King, and speaking truth to power. This year’s Convocation address will be given by Professor Robin D.G. Kelley, the Gary B. Nash Professor of American History at UCLA. His scholarship profoundly influenced our understanding of race and class in the U.S., the African Diaspora and Africa, and of Black intellectual history, Marxism, and music and visual culture.

2022 Convocation Speaker

Robin D.G. Kelley, PhD, is an educator, author, and the Gary B. Nash Professor of American History at the University of California, Los Angeles. His research explores the history of social movements in the U.S., the African Diaspora, and Africa; black intellectuals; music and visual culture; Surrealism, and Marxism, among other things. His essays have appeared in professional journals as well as general publications including the Journal of American History, American Historical Review, New York Times, Black Renaissance/Renaissance Noir, Counterpunch, and Boston Review, for which he also serves as Contributing Editor.

Kelley's address is titled: "'The Wrong Side of the World Revolution': King’s Internationalism and the Lessons for Today".

Robin D.G. Kelley, PhD sitting on a piano bench looking at camera.

Robin D.G. Kelley, PhD

Martin Luther King, Jr. Vision Award

The Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration Committee honors the legacy of Dr. King’s untiring commitment to racial justice, locating his lifelong efforts squarely within the Jesuit mission of our university.

Recognize Individuals

As a campus-wide group, we organize a series of events including a Convocation in recognition of the national MLK holiday. In furthering Dr. King’s legacy, we promote the struggle for racial justice as necessarily grounded in peace, love, nonviolence, and a recognition of human dignity. We align our mission with that of the University to encourage our community to develop and commit to a sense of social responsibility.

The Martin Luther King, Jr Celebration Committee will recognize individuals (faculty, staff, undergraduate and graduate students) whose record of personal and institutional achievement in areas of leadership and service reflect a strong commitment to advancing the ideals and values of Martin Luther King through courage, truth, justice, compassion, dignity, humility, and service.

Nomination Form

Mahfouz Soumare '22

Nat Bush, MSW '22

Sonya Huber, PhD

Nakia Letang

Kenneth Smith

2021
Student: Nya Jones ‘23
Staff: Andrea Canuel
Faculty: Janie Leatherman, PhD

2020
Student: Luckario Alcide ‘21
Staff: Julie Bararo Mughal
Faculty: Silvia Marsans-Sakly, PhD

2019
Student: Sydney Williams ‘19
Staff: Sharon Daly
Faculty: Maggie Ann Labinski, PhD

2018
Student: Sophia Bolanos '18
Faculty: Dr. Kris Sealey

2017
Student: Anmol Tabassum '18
Faculty: Dr. Paul Lakeland
Staff: Dr. Ophelie Rowe-Allen

2016
Student: Michael Joe Harding '18
Faculty: Dr. Bryan Ripley Crandall
Staff: Sydney Johnson

2015
Student: Nicole Davidow '15
Faculty: Dr. Jocelyn Boryczka
Staff: Will Johnson

2014
Student: Eric Salgado ’14
Faculty: Dr. Yohuru Williams
Staff: Jocelyn Collen '06

2013
Student: Sharon Pedassa '13
Faculty: Dr. David Brown
Staff: Wylie Blake

2012
Student: Jasmine Fernandez '12
Faculty: Dr. Deb Chappell
Staff: Melissa Quan

2011
Student: Shawne Lomauro '11
Faculty: Meredith Marquez
Staff: Dr. Danke Li

2010
Student: Sarah L. Gatti '10
Community: Roberto Sanchez
Staff: Dr. Johana Garvey

2009
Student: Michael Cicirelli '10
Staff: Jim Fitzpatrick
Community: Denise Taylor
Faculty: Dr. Ellen Umansky

2008
Student: Peter Otoki ‘08
Student: Frank Fraioli ‘08
Faculty: Dr. Michael Tucker
Community: James Smith
Special: Sr Julianna Poole, SSND, PhD

2007
Student: Ashley Toombs '07
Community: Charles B Tisdale
Staff: Barbara Kiernan
Alumni: Danielle K. Hawthorne '91

2006
Faculty: Dr. Winston Tellis
Alumni: Paula Donovan '77 '88
Community: Dr. & Mrs. Barone
Student: Chrystie Cruz '07

2005
Community: Dr. Elizabeth Gardner
Community: Rev. Paul Merry
Alumni: Ellen Morgan esq '86
Student: Oriena Cowan '05
Student: Katherine Canner-O'Mealy '05

2004
Faculty: Dr. Judy Primavera
Community: George Bellinger
Alumni: Dr. Robert Smith Jr. '74
Student: Francesca Cobb '04
Student: Burim Gjidija '05

2003
University: Dr. Walter Petry
Community: Stanley Arrington

2002
University: Andre Willis
Alumni: Richard Fuller Sr. '77
Community: Rev. John S. Kidd
Community: Rev. Phyllis J Leopold

2001
Faculty: Dr. Elizabeth Hohl
Alumni: Edward Brennan '65
Alumni: Kathy Niznansky M'81
Alumni: Felipe Reinoso M'88

2022 Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration: Essay Contest - Jaedyn Pinkney

At Home and Abroad: A Roundtable Conversation with Robin D.G. Kelley

Celebration of Activism

2021 MLK Vision Award - Andrea Canuel

2021 MLK Vision Award - Dr. Janie Leatherman

2021 MLK Vision Award - Nya Jones

Ripple of Hope Scholarship

The application deadline has ended for this year.

Are you impacting change through issues of racial justice, gender equality, environmental justice, immigration, or other issues? Share how you maintain a spirit of hope and dignity as you seek to change the world.