Celebrating the Life and Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Martin Luther King, Jr's birthday celebrations are held annually on the third Monday of January, following his birthday on January 15th. The 2022 holiday is Monday, January 17th. The Class of 1994 Office of Inclusion and Engagement would like to extend a special thanks to the Office of the President, Office of the Provost, The Institute for Honor, the Washington and Lee University School of Law and The Division of Student Affairs for their support of this week's events.

Check soon for our 2023 Schedule!

*Most events are open to the public with limited seating. Check event description for more information. Masking is required. To view University COVID-19 Guidelines and Restrictions for Visitors, visit this page.*

2022 Schedule of Events

Sunday, January 16

***RESCHEDULED - JAN 30***SABU Basketball Tournament

1:00pm - Doremus Gym

Team Registration Required - Click here!

On January 16th, 2022 at 1:00pm, the Student Association for Black Unity will be hosting its annual Martin Luther King Day Basketball Tournament. This three on three tournament allows the community to come together for some friendly competition while raising money for charity. The cost to enter a team of three is $30. We will be accepting registrations up to the day on the competition. The winning team will also take home the grand prize!

Monday, January 17

*POSTPONED TO WED JAN 19* Children's Celebration in honor of Dr. King's Birthday

***RESCHEDULED - SUN JAN 23***Martin Luther King Day Tea Ceremony

W&L Law School Speaker - Deborah Enix-Ross

3:00pm - Zoom Webinar - Registration Required *MOVED TO ALL VIRTUAL DUE TO INCLEMENT WEATHER*

Zoom Registration Required - Click Here!

The W&L Law School will host Ms. Deborah Enix-Ross as she presents her remarks entitled “Undeterred Dreams” on January 17th at 3pm. The event will be virtual via registering for the Zoom webinar link provided. Deborah Enix-Ross, a senior adviser to the International Dispute Resolution Group of Debevoise & Plimpton in New York City, is president-elect of the American Bar Association. In August 2022, she will become president of the world’s largest voluntary association of lawyers, judges, and other legal professionals.

Enix-Ross served as chair of the ABA’s policymaking House of Delegates and as chair of the ABA Center for Human Rights. As chair of the ABA International Law Section, she co-founded the Women’s Interest Network and worked with the International Bar Association to create its Women’s Interest Group. She also led an international legal exchange delegation to Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Ghana, where she delivered an address commemorating the country’s 50th anniversary of independence.

Enix-Ross is a fellow of the American Bar Foundation and has served as vice president of the World Justice Project, chair of the ABA Section Officers Conference, vice chair of the International Bar Association’s Bar Issues Commission, and ABA representative to the IBA.

Enix-Ross joined Debevoise & Plimpton in 2002. Previously, she served as senior legal officer with the World Intellectual Property Organization Arbitration and Mediation Center in Geneva, Switzerland. She also was a director of international litigation with Price Waterhouse and the American representative to the International Chamber of Commerce International Court of Arbitration.

Enix-Ross was appointed by the U.S. Departments of Commerce and State as one of the original eight U.S. members of the trilateral NAFTA Advisory Committee on Private Commercial Disputes. She is a member of the Advisory Committee of the New York Law School Alternative Dispute Resolution Skills Program. She is also a former member of the advisory board of the Institute for Transnational Arbitration, the ADR Advisory Board of the International Law Institute, and the Board of Directors of the American Arbitration Association.

Enix-Ross earned a B.A. in broadcast journalism from the University of Miami and J.D. from the University of Miami School of Law. She also received a diploma in comparative law from the Parker School of Foreign and Comparative Law of Columbia University and a certificate in international law from the London School of Economics.

***CANCELLED*** Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Life and Legacy Worship Service

6:00pm - Randolph Street United Methodist Church

The MLK Commemorative Committee of Washington and Lee University presents the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Life and Legacy worship service at Randolph Street UMC on Monday January 17 at 6:00 p.m. Bishop Michael A. Turner, pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Staunton, VA, will be the guest speaker. A reception to follow in the church fellowship hall.

Tuesday, January 18

LAB Listening Session: Aretha Franklin

6:00pm - Leyburn 119

Zoom Option Available - Click Here!

Since August 2020, W&L’s Africana Studies Program and Student Association for Black Unity (SABU) have partnered to present Looking at Blackness (LAB), an initiative that features film screenings, listening sessions, and visual art viewings. This year’s LAB events support “The Aftermath of Protest” series and invite audiences to enjoy black cultural products from the era following the Civil Rights Movement. On Tuesday, January 18 from 6-7:15PM in Leyburn Library, room 119, Africana Studies and SABU will hold an MLK-inspired listening session featuring Aretha Franklin’s Young, Gifted and Black (1972). Please join us to explore this acclaimed album. If you have questions, feel free to email Professor Michael Hill at mhill@wlu.edu.

Wednesday, January 19

Children's Celebration in honor of Dr. King's Birthday

5:00pm - 5:30pm - Sydney Lewis Hall Parking Lot

We invite families to come early to our Reflections on the Life and Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr event on Wednesday, January 19. We will have the children's gift bags in the parking lot from 5:00pm - 5:30pm, with the Reflections event starting at 5:30!

Reflections on the Life and Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. / MLK Reflections

5:30pm - Sydney Lewis Hall, Moot Court Room

The MLK Reflections event allows community members to gather to reflect on the lessons of Dr. King's life and work. Each year we invite a range of leaders from both our campus community and our Lexington community to participate to offer a brief commentary on their view of Dr. King's legacy, what Dr. King has meant to that individual, or to our community, or to our country or our world or our students...the possibilities are endless.

Thursday, January 20

Film & Panel: From Selma to Stonewall: Are We There Yet?

6:00pm - Stackhouse Theatre

From Selma to Stonewall: Are We There Yet is a documentary exploring the similarties, differences, and conflicts between the black civil rights and the LGBTQ rights movements. This 60-minute documentary follows a "black, straight preacher and a white, lesbian activist" as they seek to find the intersection between these two historic fights for change and progress. Stay after the film for a Q&A panel featuring community leaders who identify on this intersection!

Friday, January 21

MLK Shabbat

6:00pm - Hillel House

Registration Required - Click here!

W&L Hillel and the Class of 1994 Office of Inclusion and Engagement invite all members of the W&L and Lexington community to join us for a Shabbat dinner and service honoring the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. We will gather at 6pm in the Hillel Sanctuary. Attendees are expected to wear masks at all times except when eating and to follow all university COVID-19 regulations. Seating is limited so please register in advance at the link above.

Saturday, January 22

African Society Benefit Showcase

7:00 - 9:00pm - Evans Hall

On January 22nd, 2022, at 7pm, we will be hosting our first annual African Society Charity Benefit Showcase, featuring a fashion show, step performance, DJ, and more. Admission to the event will be $10 and all proceeds will go to various, trusted charities throughout the continent of Africa.

Registration Required - Click here!

We need students (or faculty and/or their families) who would like to model traditional African attire for the fashion show. If you're interested participating in the fashion show, please sign up using the link below! *Note: Students participating in the show do not have to pay for admission.

Click Here to Model for the Event

Sunday, January 23

Martin Luther King Day Tea Ceremony

1:00pm, 1:45pm, and 2:30pm - W&L Tea Room

Registration Required - Click here!

On Monday January 17, 2022, the W&L Chanoyu Tea Society will host a Martin Luther King Day tea ceremony. They will be serving sweets and matcha tea to honor Reverend King and his legacy. There will be three seatings: 1:00, 1:45 and 2:30 pm. Free tickets may be reserved through the link above. This event is open to the public. Seats are limited to 20 per seating, so please cancel your reservation if your plans change. AS A REMINDER: Face masks continue to be expected of everyone, regardless of vaccination status, in indoor meetings, regardless of size. For more information: contact Janet Ikeda at ikedaj@wlu.edu. You can follow tea activities at: http://tearoom.wlu.edu, Facebook Chanoyu Tea Society of Washington & Lee University and Instagram @WLUtearoom.

MLK Speaker - Dr. Yusef Salaam

7:00pm - Lenfest Center for the Arts, Wilson Concert Hall / Zoom Webinar

Register for the Zoom Webinar - Click here!

Reserve your free ticket for Lenfest Center seating - Click here!

W&L will host Dr. Yusuf Salaam as he presents his remarks as our featured speaker for our 2022 MLK Week. Dr. Salaam will be presenting a talk on the theme of "A Dream Deferred." Join us in the Lenfest Center for the Arts on Sunday, January 23rd at 7pm or on Zoom webinar. Stay after the event for a book signing with Dr. Salaam.
In 1989, at just fifteen years young, Dr. Yusef Salaam was tried and convicted in the “Central Park jogger” case along with four other Black and Latinx young men. The Exonerated Five spent between seven to 13 years behind bars for crimes they did not commit, until their sentences were overturned in 2002. Since then, they have received a multi-million dollar settlement from the city of New York for its injustice and have been profiled in award-winning films, including The Central Park Five documentary from Ken Burns, Sarah Burns and David McMahon and most recently the Emmy award-winning Netflix limited series When They See Us, written and directed by Ava DuVernay.

Over the past two decades, Yusef has become a family man, father, poet, activist and inspirational speaker. He continues to utilize his platform to share his story with others and educate the public about the impact of mass incarceration and police brutality rooted in our justice system. He regularly advocates for criminal justice reform, prison reform and the abolition of juvenile solitary confinement and capital punishment.

Yusef is also a New York Times bestselling author, and recently released his memoir, Better, Not Bitter., detailing his journey where in the face of misjustice, Yusef found hope.

Yusef is the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from President Barack Obama (2016) and more recently has shared his story and stance on current issues on CNN, MSNBC, REVOLT TV, NPR Atlanta, FOX and more.

View images from past W&L Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebrations