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 2024 holiday is Monday, January 15th. 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, Office of the Dean of the College, The Institute for Honor, the Washington and Lee University School of Law, The Division of Student Affairs, Student Activities, History Department, Williams School of Commerce, Economics, and Politics, and Virginia Military Institute's Office of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion for their support of this week's events.

*Most events are open to the public with limited seating. Check event description for more information.*

2024 Schedule of Events


Sunday, January 14

SABU Basketball Tournament - 2:00 PM - Doremus Gym & Holekamp 401

Click here to pay and register your team

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. Teams of 3 players total, $10 per player to register (i.e. 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 win a $50 value prize for each player on the team! All proceeds will help SABU put on the BlackFLEX Conference and Black Ball on Feb. 3rd!


Monday, January 15

Children's Celebration in Honor of Dr. King's Birthday - 11:00am - 1:00pm - Evans Hall

Children of the Lexington and Rockbridge County community are invited to attend a birthday celebration in honor of Dr. King. There will be games, face painting, and arts and crafts. As part of the celebration, we will be making gift bags to donate to Rockbridge Area Relief Association (RARA). Cake, snacks and punch will be provided.


Martin Luther King Day Tea Ceremony - 1:00pm, 1:45pm, and 2:30pm - W&L Tea Room

Registration Required - Click Here

Join the W&L Tea Society in honoring the legacy of Reverend Martin Luther King on Monday January 15, 2023 with a tea ceremony demonstration.There are three 30-minute sessions limited to 20 participants at the times above. Registration is required for this event.

Please fill out a separate registration entry for each member of your party. Since seating is limited to 20 participants per session and there is no automated wait list, be sure to cancel your reservation if your plans change. In the past, registered participants did not show up and prevented others from attending.

Thank you!

For more information contact: Professor Janet Ikeda ikedaj@wlu.edu http://tearoom.wlu.edu


MLK Keynote Speaker: Keisha Lance Bottoms - 6:00 PM - Lenfest Center for the Arts — Keller Theatre OR Zoom Webinar (RSVP Required - see links below)

Mayor of Atlanta (2018-2022); Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement (2022-2023)

Click here to reserve for an in-person ticket

Click here to register for the Zoom Webinar

W&L will host Keisha Lance Bottoms as she presents her remarks as our featured speaker for our 2024 MLK Week. Join us in the Lenfest Center for the Arts or on Zoom webinar on Monday, January 15th at 6pm. Stay after the event for a reception with Keisha Lance Bottoms.

Keisha Lance Bottoms served as the 60th Mayor of Atlanta, and the senior advisor and director of the White House Office of Public Engagement, she is a visionary leader in bringing equitable outcomes to the forefront of government and commerce. Keisha became the first Mayor in Atlanta’s history to have served in all three branches of government, having previously served as a Judge and a City Councilmember. Sworn in on January 2, 2018, Keisha has served as Mayor during one of the most challenging times in the history of Atlanta. In the midst of a global pandemic and a racial justice movement, Keisha became a leading spokesperson regarding the challenges and opportunities facing cities and leaders across America.

Keisha’s steadfast leadership and equity-focused philosophy have led to numerous accolades and leadership positions, including having served as the Chair of the Community Development and Housing Committee and the Census Task Force for the United States Conference of Mayors and as a Trustee for the African American Mayor’s Association. She was also selected to Chair the Platform Committee for the 2020 Democratic National Convention and serves as the DNC’s Vice Chair of Civic Engagement and Voter Protection.

Tracing her family’s roots to a slave plantation in Georgia, it was Keisha’s highest honor to be named 2020 Georgian of the Year by Georgia Trend Magazine. She also was named one of Glamour Magazine’s Women of the Year and was named a member of Ebony Magazine’s prestigious Power 100 List. She has also been honored as a BET 100 Entertainer and Innovator of the Year and was named the Smart Cities Dive’s 2020 Leader of the Year. Keisha was also the recipient of the Distinguished Civil Rights Advocate Award presented by the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under the Law in recognition of her equity-driven leadership to help guide and protect marginalized communities. Keisha is the daughter of R&B icon Major Lance and Sylvia Robinson. She and her husband Derek are parents to four children.


Tuesday, January 16

SABU: Then and Now – 6:00pm – Reeves Museum of Ceramics

African American student activism has a rich history at Washington and Lee University. The Museums at W&L is thrilled to preserve part of that history in a new collections acquisition, a jean jacket worn by an early member of the Student Association for Black Unity (SABU) in the 1970s. Join Laura Murambadoro (current SABU president) and Nalleli Guillen (the Museums’ History Curator) for a conversation about SABU’s impact on campus and examine this piece of history up close.


Wednesday, January 17

Reflections on the Life and Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. / MLK Reflections - 6:00 PM - Evans Hall

Registration Required - Click Here

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. This event is open to the public, and a meal will be provided. Please RSVP at the link above.


Thursday, January 18

From Screen to Square Film Screening: Till (2022) - 5:00 PM - Stackhouse Theatre

The DeLaney Center aims to carry ideas from the movie screen out into the public square. This academic year, we are doing so with films that explore “Turning Points in the Civil Rights Movement.” Honoring W&L’s Martin Luther King, Jr., celebration, we will show Till, a movie that explores how Mamie Till-Mobley relentlessly sought justice after her son’s death. The film will be screened from 5-7:15PM. Afterwards, panelists including W&L Law School Professor Maureen Edobor will propel us into a rich conversation from 7:15-8PM. This event is free, and all are welcome. Refreshments will be served.

The 2023-2024 Screen to Square Film Series is made possible in part by a grant from Virginia Humanities. We hope that you can join us for this amazing experience. If you have questions, contact Sandy Sibold at DeLaneyCenter@wlu.edu or (540) 458-8027.


Friday, January 19

MLK Shabbat - 6:00 PM - 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. Seating is limited so please register in advance at the link above.


Saturday, January 20

African Society Fashion Show and Dance - 7:00 PM - Evans Hall

Purchase your ticket for the fashion show here.

W&L's African Society will be hosting their annual African Society Fashion Show and Dance. Come see fashion from all around the continent of Africa and enjoy African inspired dances.


Sunday, January 21

Martin Luther King Jr. Remembrance Concert - 7:00 PM - Wilson Hall

Back for the first time since before the pandemic, join with us as we honor Dr. King's contributions to America with the wonderful Lexington tradition of the Martin Luther King Jr. Remembrance Concert. Readings of speeches and poems by Dr. King, Maya Angelou, Langston Hughes, and many others become interspersed with musical reflections performed by the W&L University Singers, Cantatrici, and the Glee Club. Be there for the renewal of this powerful annual W&L tradition.


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