Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy to be celebrated with weeklong commemoration

January 08, 2018

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The 33rd annual Martin Luther King Jr. Commemoration at University Park will begin on Monday, Jan. 15, and will celebrate and honor the life of the late civil rights leader. Events are planned throughout the week under the theme “Deconstructing the Dream: At Whose Expense?”

The yearlong planning by a group of Penn State students and faculty members, as well as members of the greater State College community, begins with the national MLK Jr. Day of Service on Monday, Jan. 15. All are welcome to participate by signing up at Volunteers will meet at 8:30 a.m. in Alumni Hall in the HUB-Robeson Center and will be dispersed to various locations throughout the community. T-shirts and food will be provided. Volunteers should bring warm clothing in the event they are assigned to an outdoor service activity. 

On Tuesday, Jan. 16, the community is invited to hear from Ed Jackson, executive architect of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, located in Washington, D.C. The free event will take place at 7:30 p.m. in Freeman Auditorium in the HUB-Robeson Center.

Various student groups and individuals will showcase their talents at the campus event “Silence Interrupted: Reconstructing the Dream,” which will take place at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 17, in Heritage Hall in the HUB-Robeson Center. The event is free to attend and light refreshments will be available.

The community is invited to experience “Art Activism in the ‘60s,” an outreach event set for 5:30 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 18, in Heritage Hall in the HUB-Robeson Center. Works from local elementary, middle and high school students will be showcased as they interpret this year’s commemoration theme with art, poetry and essays.

The week commences with the Evening Celebration on Friday, Jan. 19, at Schwab Auditorium. This free, ticketed event will feature keynote speaker Amanda Seales. Tickets will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis when doors open at 5:30 p.m. Seales is known for taking serious topics and making them relatable and interesting through humor. The comedian, actress, writer, producer and former MTV VJ holds a master’s degree in African-American studies from Columbia University.

For more information about the weeklong celebration, including a complete listing of events, visit and follow along on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

  • MLK Week Poster 2018

    "Deconstructing the Dream: At Whose Expense?" will be the theme of the 33rd annual Martin Luther King Jr. Commemoration at Penn State's University Park campus. King's legacy will be celebrated with events throughout the week of Jan. 15-19, 2018. 

    IMAGE: Adalaide Ruston
Last Updated January 11, 2018