To celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday, there are a host of events and activities in Bloomington and IU that families and individuals can participate in:
A Journey to True Education: Social Justice Conference 2022
The IU Vice President’s Office for Diversity, Equity and Multicultural Affairs will host its annual two-day conference beginning Sunday. The lecture will focus on King’s “The Purpose of Education,” a campus newspaper article he wrote while attending Morehouse College.
As of January 5, all sessions and events have been moved online to ensure the health and safety of the IU and Bloomington community. Interested attendees can instead register for virtual events.
The conference will feature many social justice experts and nationally recognized keynote speakers throughout a series of sessions.
Two events are scheduled at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. on the first day of the conference. The first is the “Together We Commit” pre-conference institute, and pre-registration is required. The second is the first opening session with one of the nation’s leading social justice lawyers and advocates, Benjamin Crump.
Crump represented the families of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and Jacob Blake.
The second day of the conference will begin at 9 a.m. with opening remarks from IU President Pamela Whitten, IU Vice President James Wimbush and other IU and community leaders. the city. The “Building Bridges” and IU MLK Student Organization awards will be presented thereafter.
Then, sessions one and two will run from 12:30-1:30 p.m. and 1:45-2:45 p.m. They will offer keynote addresses covering critical race theory, combating anti-Semitism, uplifting larger-bodied black women, centering minority populations. and other topics.
Annual celebration of the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
The City of Bloomington will host its Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Celebration at 7 p.m. on Monday, January 17 at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater.
The event will feature keynote speaker, UCLA Professor Eddie Cole, who will speak on the “Challenge of Action and Challenges of Action”. There will also be performances presented by African American Choral Ensemble IU and the Jacobs School of Music Ballet Department.
Bloomington Deputy Mayor Don Griffin will present the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Legacy Award. This award recognizes individuals who have made a significant contribution to race relations, justice and human rights.
The event will also be broadcast live on CATS.
Monroe County Public Library MLK Day Celebration
The Monroe County Public Library will host an MLK Day celebration from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday at the Bloomington branch on Kirkwood Avenue.
The event will feature readings featuring ‘Hands Up’ and ‘Our Skin: A First Conversation About Race’ and crafts to celebrate black lives and honor the legacy of King Jr. There will be a performance of the Bloomington Peace Choir in the atrium at 11 a.m.
At 3 and 4 p.m., African-American dance company IU will give a 30-minute interactive talk and performance titled “Good Dancing – Good People!” “. Between 4 and 5 p.m., teens ages 12-19 will be asked to help put together dignity kits with personal hygiene items to send to Beacon’s Shalom Center for community members experiencing homelessness.
IU School of Optometry MLK Jr. Vision Day
The UI School of Optometry will partner with the Salvation Army to provide free eye exams and glasses on Monday. The event will take place from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Atwater Eye Care Center, 744 E 3rd St.
The School of Optometry cancels all classes and closes the Atwater Eye Care Center each year for the event. Students, staff and faculty volunteer their time to provide free services and eyewear to those in need.
Those interested can make an appointment by contacting Monica Clemons at (812) 336-4310 or [email protected]