‘Leaders Serve and are not Silent’ theme of 2020 Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration
This year’s community-wide celebration of the life and work of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. features over a week of activities across Champaign-Urbana.
Focused around the theme “Leaders Serve and are not Silent,” the 2020 events reflect on how a commitment to the work necessary to make Dr. King’s dream a reality can transform communities and lives.
“Over 50 years after his death, we continue to learn from Dr. King, his messages and the life that he lived,” said Sean Garrick, Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. “This year’s celebration asks us to consider how we can lead needed, positive change in our communities, both as individuals and through the work that we do as institutions, by putting Dr. King’s dream into action.”
The Annual Countywide Dr. MLK, Jr. Celebration begins the week of events on Friday, January 17 beginning at 4 p.m. at The Vineyard Church, 1500 N. Lincoln Ave., Urbana. This celebration features a keynote by Sampson Davis, M.D. responding to the theme of Building a Healthy Community by Investing in the Dream.
The 35th Annual Service of Celebration takes place Sunday, January 19 from 5 to 7 p.m. at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts’ Foellinger Great Hall, 500 S. Goodwin Ave., Urbana. This year’s keynote is Al Toldeo, Lead Pastor of the Chicago Tabernacle, and will feature music from the community choir.
On Monday, January 20, university students, faculty and staff are invited to participate in a day of service, sponsored by the Office of Volunteer Programs. The afternoon begins at 1 p.m. with a keynote Illini Union Rooms ABC, 1401 W. Green St., Urbana. After, individuals and teams will participate in service projects for local community organizations.
Other events include the 35th Annual Unity Breakfast on Monday, January 20 at The Vineyard Church, an afternoon of service at Urbana High School, and a noontime lunch presentation at the Bruce D. Nesbitt African American Cultural Center.
The final campus events conclude with a Community Celebration at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, Stage 5, Saturday, January 25 at 10 a.m., which will recognize this year’s Creative Expressions Contest award recipients. The U. of I. School of Social Work will sponsor a poverty simulation on Friday, January 31 to promote poverty awareness, increase understanding, and inspire local change.