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Profile of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. against a gradient of blue clouds

2022 Annual MLK Celebration Calendar of Events

If you will need disability-related accommodations in order to participate, please email the contact for the event listed below. Early requests are strongly encouraged to allow sufficient time for meeting your access needs.

His Dream: Ideals Worth Fighting For

A Celebration of the Community’s Commitment to the Dream of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Sunday, January 16, 2022 at 4:30 PM

Krannert Center for the Performing Arts*
500 South Goodwin Avenue
Urbana, Illinois 61801

Featured Keynote Speaker: Dr. Derek Barber King, Sr.

*Proof of COVID vaccination required to enter the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts. For details, please see the Krannert Center COVID-19 Safety Protocols page.

Son of Reverend Dr. Alfred Daniel Williams King, Sr., the only brother of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The Annual County-wide Celebration commemorates Dr. King’s legacy by bringing together community members from Champaign County to celebrate the mission, teachings, and legacy of Dr. King.

The program will also include the presentation of awards for the James R. Burgess, Jr. Award, Susan Freiburg Humanitarian Award, the Doris Hoskins Prestigious Community Service Award, the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Outstanding Achievement Award and recognition of the Advocacy for Social Justice MLK Jr. Scholarship recipients from Champaign and Urbana school districts. This year’s celebration is a joint collaboration with the MLK Countywide Committee.

Sponsored by the MLK Advocacy for Justice Committee, Inc. in partnership with the MLK Countywide Committee and the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

For additional questions or to request disability-related accommodations for this event, please contact the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at diversity@illinois.edu.

Unity Breakfast

Monday, January 17, 2022 at 8:30 AM

Vineyard Church
1500 N. Lincoln Avenue, Urbana, IL 61801

Sponsored by the MLK Advocacy for Justice Committee, Inc. in partnership with the MLK Countywide Committee 

Men’s and Women’s Basketball Home Games vs. Purdue University

Monday, January 17 at 11 AM
Thursday, January 20 at 7 PM

State Farm Center

Both the Men’s and Women’s Basketball teams with wear shooting shirts promoting this year’s theme “It is always right, to do what is right” commemorating MLK day.

Sponsored by the Division of Intercollegiate Athletics.

MLK Day of Reflection: Visions of the Promised Land

Wednesday, January 19 at 6 PM
via Zoom

Speaker: Kemena Brooks, Sr. Project Manager at The Community Builders

As we explore the legacy of service of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., this year’s program will focus on the intersection of systemic racism and environmental justice.  In 1968 Dr. King led his advocacy for environmental and economic justice to Memphis in support of striking garbage workers who were poorly paid and exposed to dangerous environmental hazards. Today, too many individuals and communities continue to suffer from environmentally unjust circumstances such as improper sewage drainage, and lack of modern and efficient utilities for water and power.  

You will hear from Kemena Brooks, Sr. Project Manager at The Community Builders, as she expands on the idea of addressing systemic racism through a conversation about equitable housing, community investment, and environmentally focused developments.

TCB is a leading nonprofit real estate developer with mission to build and sustain strong communities where people of all incomes can achieve their full potential.  In her role, Kemena leads the development of several mixed-income housing and community developments in multiple Chicago neighborhoods. Her current focus is on furthering the redevelopment of Oakwood Shores, a 100-acre transformation site in the Bronzeville neighborhood and bringing catalytic physical investments to West Side neighborhoods impacted by low life-expectancies. Kemena is also leading the development of one of the City’s first carbon-neutral mixed-income residential building in Chicago’s Loop.  

Kemena holds a Master of Urban Design from the University of North Carolina Charlotte and a Bachelor of Science with a major in interior architecture from the University of North Carolina Greensboro.

If you will need disability-related accommodations in order to participate, please email Gina Lee-Olukoya at golukoya@illinois.edu.

Sponsored by Student Engagement, Student Affairs

Food Insecurity and Child Care in Champaign County

Thursday, January 20 from 10 to 11:30 AM
via Zoom

Speaker: Irene Weathersby, Family and Community Engagement Coordinator, Champaign County Region Planning Commission’s Head Start

Many Head Start families struggle with food insecurity especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. A nutritious diet and an active lifestyle prepare children for learning while fostering healthy growth and development. Join host Illinois Extension as presenter Irene Weathersby, Family and Community Engagement Coordinator, Champaign County Region Planning Commission’s Head Start. Program discusses the connection between childcare and food insecurity and the inequity that is seen among the residents of Champaign County. The session concludes with a Q&A, and participants are encouraged to come with questions.

Sponsored by University of Illinois Extension

Virtual Poverty Simulation

Friday, January 28, 2022 from 1 to 3 PM
via Zoom

The impact of poverty in any community can be both devastating and hastening. It is a reality for many individuals and families; it’s difficult to truly understand poverty unless you have experienced poverty. In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King’s advocacy work around poverty issues, the School of Social Work, in partnership with the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, invites students, faculty, staff, and community members to engage in a virtual poverty simulation that helps participants begin to understand what life is like with a shortage of money and an abundance of stress. The simulation enables participants to view poverty from different angles and discuss the potential for change within themselves and their local communities. It is designed to sensitize participants to the realities of poverty.

If you will need disability-related accommodations in order to participate, please email Sharva Campbell-Hampton, shamcamp@illinois.edu.

Sponsored by the School of Social Work and the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion