Martin Luther King Jr. remembered with virtual events, community read

Contact: Deanne Puca
Poster for Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration 2021

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Western Michigan University and local partners continue their tradition of honoring slain civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr. with a series of virtual events beginning Thursday, Jan. 7, including a virtual convocation on MLK Day Monday, Jan. 18, and continuing throughout the month. This year's theme is "None of Us is Free Until All of Us Are Free."

Along with WMU, key sponsors include the Bronson Healthcare, city of Kalamazoo, Kalamazoo College, Kalamazoo Community Foundation, Kalamazoo Public Schools and Kalamazoo Valley Community College. All events are free. Visit the website for additional information.


Thursday, Jan. 7

  • TRutH Talk: Racial Healing, 4 to 5:30 p.m., is a virtual discussion about the racial healing work that has been transpiring in the Kalamazoo community, what Racial Healing Circles and Virtual Healing Experiences are and how the community can participate in the 5th annual National Day of Racial Healing. Those interested can register here. For accommodations and more information, contact Emily Olivares.

Thursday, Jan. 14

  • Discussion on Twitter regarding resistance and healing, 4 to 5:30 p.m. Submit questions to TRHT (Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation) Kalamazoo for the community panel at the National Day of Racial Healing Celebration. To participate, follow TRHT Kalamazoo on Twitter, join the chat and use #HealingResistanceKzoo and #KzooHealingChats. For accommodations and more information, contact Emily Olivares.

Monday, Jan. 18

  • Communitywide Day of Service, 9 a.m., sponsored by Gryphon Place. Sign up for volunteer opportunities. For more information, contact Jennifer VanOosterhout, event and volunteer manager, or call (269) 381-1510, ext. 242.

  • Virtual MLK Day Convocation, 11 a.m. to noon, includes keynote speaker, scholar and activist Dr. D-L Stewart at Colorado State University and his presentation "I Wish I Knew How it Would Feel to be Free." Email Natalia Carvalho-Pinto for a link to join, accommodations and more information.
  • Virtual film viewing and discussion, 1 to 4 p.m., "The Great American Lie," uncovering the lie behind the American way of social and economic mobility, sponsored by the Walker Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnic Relations. Register here.
  • TRHT Kalamazoo: Public Virtual Healing Experience, 4 to 6 p.m., provides a time to come together in an intentional space to discuss personal narratives and provide insight, understanding and appreciation of one another's stories. Space is limited to 50 individuals. Register here before capacity is reached or by Wednesday, Jan. 13, whichever is first. For accommodations and more information, contact Emily Olivares.

Tuesday, Jan. 19

  • TRHT Kalamazoo: National Day of Racial Healing Opening Reception, 4 to 5 p.m., invites participants to virtually mix and mingle with community members and share stories of resistance healing from the unprecedented year of 2020. Register here. For accommodations and more information, contact Emily Olivares.
  • Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation Kalamazoo National Day of Racial Healing 2021 Celebration, 5 to 7:30 p.m., commemorates the 5th annual National Day of Racial Healing with a livestream from the Kalamazoo State Theatre, featuring community voices and local artists. Register here. For accommodations and more information, contact Emily Olivares.
  • Virtual presentation, Dr. Lewis Walker Social Justice Youth Award winners, 7 p.m.  Sponsored by the city of Kalamazoo, the ceremony is available to view on Facebook or view on YouTube and will be recorded and available the following business day. For more information, contact Patricia Vargas or call (269) 226-6500.

Thursday, Jan. 21

  • Community Read of "From Here to Equality" by William A. Darity and A. Kristen Mullen, 4 to 6 p.m., includes a virtual community discussion led by Jacob Pinney-Johnson. The first 20 participants to sign up will receive a free copy of the book. Register here. For accommodations and more information, contact Emily Olivares.

Wednesday, Jan. 27

  • MLK High School Social Justice Workshops, beginning at noon, are for Kalamazoo Public Schools' students and include an exploration of activism and the fight for social justice from the time of Martin Luther King Jr. to present-day displays of advocacy by members of the community, ranging from athletes to musicians. A link will be distributed directly to students through KPS. For accommodations and more information, contact Lauren Carney.

For more WMU news, arts and events, visit WMU News online.