Join local events to honor legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.

Contact: Deanne Puca
Photo of Martin Luther King Statue and text.

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—"The time is always right to do what is right" is the theme of this year's Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration, with virtual and in-person events hosted by Western Michigan University and local partners in recognition of MLK Day on Monday, Jan. 17.

Visit the website for more information regarding events at Western and other key sponsors, including Bronson Healthcare, city of Kalamazoo, Kalamazoo College, Kalamazoo Community Foundation, Kalamazoo Public Schools and Kalamazoo Valley Community College. Events are free and open to the public.


Friday, Jan. 14

  • Community Reflection, happening at virtually at 11 a.m., is an opportunity for students, faculty and staff to speak from their own experience about this year’s theme. Contact Elizabeth Candido for more information.

  • "The Conviction of Lady Lorraine" is a play by Dwandra Lampkin, playing at the Festival Playhouse at Kalamazoo College at 7:30 p.m. View more information.

Saturday, Jan. 15

  • "The Conviction of Lady Lorraine" will have an additional performance at the Festival Playhouse at Kalamazoo College at 7:30 p.m. View more information.

Monday, Jan. 17

  • Communitywide Day of Service is sponsored by the city of Kalamazoo and the Volunteer Center of Greater Battle Creek and Kalamazoo in coordination with Gryphon Place. There will be a ceremony at MLK Memorial Park in the afternoon; T-shirts and lunch vouchers will be available at volunteer sites. Sign up for volunteer opportunities by Friday, Jan. 14; a link will be sent to participants with a special message for the day. Contact Jennifer Cooley for more information.

  • Teach-In involves four sessions beginning at 11 a.m. through 3 p.m. that include a panel discussion on the MLK Day theme and a policy discussion featuring elected officials at WMU Bernhard Center South Ballroom. WMU President Edward Montgomery and community leaders will attend and make opening remarks. Contact the Walker Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnic Relations for information.

  • The laying of the wreath ceremony begins  at 4:40 p.m. at MLK Memorial Park. President Montgomery will attend and make remarks. Contact Patricia Vargas with questions.

  • A commemorative dinner held by Dining Services at the Valley Dining Center and Henry Grab'n Go will be from 5 to 8 p.m. View the menu. Meal plans cost $11.50 and can be paid for using Dining Dollars, cash or credit. Contact Emily Hazel for questions.

Tuesday, Jan. 18

  • A virtual presentation by the Dr. Lewis Walker Social Justice Youth Award winners is happening at 7 p.m. Sponsored by the city of Kalamazoo, the ceremony recognizes students ages 12-19 for their accomplishments and leadership in the areas of racial and social justice. For questions, contact Patricia Vargas or call (269) 226-6500. View more information. The ceremony will be live streamed via the city of Kalamazoo’s Facebook page and YouTube Channel, which will be available for viewing during the event as well as on Wednesday, Jan. 19.

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