MLK Celebration Commemorates Art & Activism

 January 10, 2017

TO:  Vice Presidents, Vice Provosts, Deans, Directors, Department Heads, and Managers
FROM:  Benjamin Reese, Vice President for Institutional Equity, Chief Diversity Officer
RE:  MLK Celebration Commemorates Art & Activism

Duke community members and the public are invited to Duke University’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. commemoration at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 15 in Duke University Chapel.

The annual program will link King’s civil rights legacy to activism in the arts and architecture, and it will feature Phil Freelon, the principal architect of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC), as the keynote speaker.

We thought it was timely to honor Martin Luther King Jr. in the context of this important museum opening and the role that art has had in activism around issues of race and gender equity and LGBTQ issues. Freelon, who is working on an expansion of Motown Museum in Detroit with legendary music producer Berry Gordy, will also touch on the contributions that African-American architect Julian Abele has made to the Duke campus and offer reflections on the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.

Those unable to attend can watch a live stream of the event on Duke’s YouTube channel at Viewers can post comments on Twitter using the hashtag #DukeMLK. An archive of the recording will also be posted online.

Other highlights of the Duke Chapel program include performances by John Brown and the University Jazz Ambassadors and the Collage Dance Company of Durham. Also, greetings from Duke President Richard Brodhead, Durham Mayor Bill Bell, Duke University Health System President Kevin Sowers and Duke senior Tiana Horn.

Additional campus events include a jazz concert featuring Dee Dee Bridgewater and a special Rubenstein Library display of West Campus architectural drawings by Abele. For a full list of events related to the celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., visit Duke's MLK website (