Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration 2021

Celebrate the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. with IU Kokomo

Conversations ignited by the events of 2020 — a global pandemic that uprooted lives, protests for racial justice following the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery at the hands of law enforcement, and a divisive election — must be continued in 2021.

Indiana University Kokomo, along with all of IU, leads the way in holding those discussions about social justice and inequality of opportunity nationwide with its annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. commemoration, with events January 18 to January 23, 2021.

IU's 2021 theme, "Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community?,” the title of King’s final book, underscores this very sentiment with virtual programs, workshops, and opportunities exemplifying the humane causes espoused by this great civil rights leader — and offer opportunities to educate, learn, and grow. Our planned activities for the week are included below.

Opportunities to get involved

Building Bridges Award

Do you know a social justice warrior who is making waves in our community? Nominate them for the Building Bridges Award.

Learn More

Let your reflections be heard

Are you interested in honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by sharing how his legacy has inspired you? Please share a 60-second video or short written reflection with us answering questions such as: What does Dr. King’s legacy mean to you? What do equality and protest mean to you? What have you learned from the recent social and racial unrest? Why is it important to continue Dr. King’s legacy? IU will share your videos and quotes on social media and during the 2021 Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration, Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community? social justice conference, on January 18.

Share your reflection


Virtual Social Justice Conference

Date: January 18, 2021
Time: All day

Join all of IU for a day-long diversity and social justice conference with concurrent sessions for IU faculty, staff, students, and community members. Come hear conversations on leadership, social justice, equality, and the ways we can build a world more reflective of Dr. King's dream, featuring speakers like Civil Rights icon Angela Davis and Alicia Garza, co-founder of Black Lives Matter.

View Schedule and Register

Netflix Watch Party: Fruitvale Station

Date: January 21, 2021
Time: 6 to 8 p.m.

Join the IU Kokomo Black Student Center to watch Fruitvale Station. The winner of both the Grand Jury Prize for dramatic feature and the Audience Award for U.S. dramatic film at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, director Ryan Coogler’s biographical drama follows the true story of Oscar Grant (Michael B. Jordan), a 22-year-old Bay Area resident on December 31, 2008, the last day of his life. Crossing paths with friends, family, and strangers, Oscar starts out well, but as the day goes on, he realizes that change is not going to come easily. His resolve takes a tragic turn, however, when BART officers shoot him in cold blood at the Fruitvale subway stop on New Year’s Day. Oscar’s life and tragic death would shake the Bay Area – and the entire nation – to its very core.

This film contains strong language and deals with difficult material.  It also contains actual cellphone footage of the last moments of Oscar Grant’s life.  The purpose of sharing this film is that it does not reduce Grant to merely a symbol.  The portrayal is more nuanced than the caricatures often surrounding Black men who face police brutality: “an innocent victim,” “a noble warrior,” or “a menace to society.” This film pushes us all to recognize the beauty, pain, and complexity within the human experience, as well as pushes us to ask: how could these events still be happening, and how do we as a society let it happen?  What change can and must we effect in 2021?

First, download Netflix party FOR FREE on your computer...

Once you have installed Netflix Party, click the puzzle piece at the top of your Google Chrome bar, and pin the Netflix Party icon. This makes the red NP symbol appear next to the address bar. It appears on the far right side of the Google Chrome bar.

Finally, when we share the URL: To join a party click on the party URL, which will redirect to Netflix's website. Then click on the "NP" button next to the address bar, and you should automatically join the party.

You can customize your Netflix party by choosing a fun user icon and nickname. You can also upload screenshots, emojis and GIFs.

Please visit the multicultural center Facebook page one hour before the event to get the link.

Small Town…Big Dreams virtual panel discussion

Date: Saturday, January 23, 2021
Time: 11 a.m.

IU Kokomo partners with Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., Omicron Phi Chapter, to present a panel of distinguished guests, who will discuss their challenges and successes as they reached for their dream careers. Participants include Eboni Gatlin Griffin, senior broadcast producer for Good Morning America; Lora Whitticker, manager of alumni relations at Jenner & Block LLC; Dr. Christopher Hayes, dentist at People’s Health Clinic; and Major Milton Augustus Turner, U.S. Army Judge Advocate General's Corps.

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