Actor, author Hill Harper will keynote MLK Jr. Symposium

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The University of Michigan community is excited to welcome Hill Harper during the 32nd annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Symposium. The event’s Keynote Memorial Lecture is scheduled for Jan. 15 at Hill Auditorium, located at 825 N. University Ave., Ann Arbor, MI 48109, starting at 10am. The event is free and open to the public. Doors open at 9:30am and seating is on a first come, first served basis.

Since 1986, the Office of Academic Multicultural Initiatives has coordinated the University of Michigan’s annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Symposium — one of the largest celebrations of the life and legacy of MLK sponsored by colleges and universities in the nation. Throughout the entire month of January and into February, the MLK Symposium provides the surrounding community with more than 40 opportunities to participate in lectures, live performances, exhibits, workshops and community service projects sponsored by academic and non-academic units, student and staff organizations and community groups.

Each year the symposium planning committee focuses on a specific theme of reflection and progress; one that actively builds a bridge from past lessons and experiences, to future progress and collective social activism. As many communities have taken to honoring Dr. King’s legacy with a day of service on the holiday, the University of Michigan encourages people to be active participants in the many diverse campus events in areas critical to family, economics, race, gender and education.

The theme for the 2018 Symposium is “The Fierce Urgency of Now.” Dr. Lumas J. Helaire, Associate Director of OAMI at the University of Michigan states, “We examined one of Dr. King’s key speeches, delivered in protest of the Vietnam War … and what we found, surprisingly, and in many instances, unsurprisingly, which ultimately is disheartening, was that much of Dr. King’s sentiments are very much applicable to our current political and social climates. So with that, we challenge, as we do with each year’s symposium theme, our communities to really explore this concept, “The Fierce Urgency of Now” on both a personal and professional level, and determine what actions we need to be embarking upon, now. What decisions we need to be making, now. What side of history we want to be on, now. This is our call to everyone.”

The Keynote Memorial Lecture is sponsored by the University of Michigan’s Office of Academic Multicultural Initiatives, a unit of the Office of Diversity Equity and Inclusion; and the Ross School of Business with support from the William K. McInally Memorial Lecture Fund. For participants unable to attend in person, a livestream of the lecture will be made available.

Get details on all symposium events. We’re excited to announce we have a brand new mobile guide for you to use on Guidebook! Get the guide to access the most up-to-date information about our event, including schedules, maps, and much more.


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