2024 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day commemoration

Contact: Juliane Corpus

Join us on Jan. 24 to commemorate civil rights activist & humanitarian Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on the Salem campus.

This year’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day commemoration theme chosen by student leaders is “Hear Me: The Power of Our Words.” This year’s commemoration will feature two main engagement opportunities on Jan. 24, 2024.

We invite the Willamette community to join us for a round table discussion over lunch from 11:30 a.m.–1 p.m. in Goudy's Wilson-Hines Dining Room on MLK’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail.” This iconic piece is widely available online. Please note that this letter includes dehumanizing language as Dr. King was capturing his lived experience and the struggles of his community during the fight for civil rights. We encourage faculty to include this text into their coursework, but it is not an obligation to do so. If you choose to do so, please make sure to include a content warning for racial language.

Meal vouchers will be available on a first-come-first-serve basis to staff, faculty, and students without a meal plan so that folks can have these discussions over a meal. There is a limited number of vouchers so please reserve one by filling out this form here. You will be notified of pickup instructions and if we’ve run out.

Later in the afternoon, we will be hosting Salem writer, poet, and restorative justice facilitator, Sterling Cunio. He will be sharing his story, reading some of his work, and hosting a Writing Empowerment Workshop in Cat Cavern from 4:30–6:30 p.m. This will be open to the public and free of charge.

We are excited to return to the powerful words of Dr. King — words that continue to inspire. We look forward to the opportunity to uplift the resilience of community, and to advocate for a more socially just world.

If you have any questions or accommodations, please feel free to reach out to Juliane Corpus, Director of Intercultural Engagement & Inclusion, at jcorpus2@willamette.edu.

Special thanks to the 2024 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Planning Committee:

  • Dave Sundby, Assistant Dean of Students of the Atkinson Graduate School of Management
  • Elizabeth Silva Mendez, Computer & Data Science Program Coordinator
  • Jodi Santille, Assistant Director of Student Engagement & Leadership
  • Lisa Holliday, Assistant Dean of Students & Director of Student Engagement & Leadership
  • Lisa Logan, Director of the Gender Resource & Advocacy Center
  • Oli Muñoz, Dean of Students for Community Care & Inclusion
  • Reyna Meyers, Administrative Program Coordinator
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