MLK Jr. Celebration

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Remember, Celebrate, Thrive - MLK Jr. Celebration 2024

For when people get caught up with what is right and they are willing to sacrifice for it, there is no stopping point short of victory.” (“I’ve Been to the Mountaintop,” 1968.)

Saturday, January 13, 2024

11:00 am - 2:00 pm - Tour Northeast Neighborhood (includes lunch and discussion)
*rides leave at 10:30 from the UC Black Lives Matter mural

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Tour conducted by Monica Robinson, Executive DirectorShenandoah Valley Black Heritage Project

Sunday, January 14, 2024

  • 6 pm -  Rustin Movie and Talk Back - Mainstage Theater

Monday, January 15, 2024

  • 9:15 AM - Solidarity March from BLM Mural to Lehman Auditorium
  • 9:30 AM -  Speak out - Lehman Auditorium
  • 10:00 AM - Black & 25 in America (B25) - Lehman Auditorium
  • 11:00-1:30 - Lunch (view MLK, Jr. menu below; $8.00 for the public) - Northlawn Cafeteria
  • 2:00 PM - Convocation featuring the Virginia Union University Gospel Choir - Lehman Auditorium - CONTINUING AS SCHEDULED
  • 7:00 PM - Movie "There is a Field" - UC 177 (old Common Grounds) - POSTPONED

MLK, Jr Day Lunch Menu (in partnership with Multicultural Student Services)

Fried Chicken
Collard Greens w. Smoked Turkey
Jollof Rice
Fried Plantains
Sweet Potato Pie
Taco Bar
Spinach Artichoke Slider


Film Synopsis

Bayard Rustin, advisor to Martin Luther King Jr., dedicates his life to the quest for racial equality, human rights and worldwide democracy. However, as an openly gay Black man, he is all but erased from the civil rights movement he helped build.

About Jeremy Gillett

WATCH: Jeremy's Promo

Thought-provoking playwright, contemporary actor, and educator, Jeremy Gillett is an Assistant Professor of Acting at the University of Kentucky and a 2022 and 2021 semi-finalist of the BAY AREA Playwright Festival for his play, The Get Back. From Trap House; a 2019 semi-finalist for the National Playwrights Conference at the Eugene O'Neil Theatre Center, to The Grapes of Wrath, Jeremy has produced, acted, and been cast in commercials and feature films such as: Hitting the Cycle, Car Dogs, 7th & Union, and Raptors, executively produced by Martin Lawrence. Jeremy was nominated as Best Supporting Actor for his role in the award-winning independent film Raptors at the L.A. Film Festival. In 2021 Raptors went on to win Best Comedy at the Las Vegas Black Film Festival, and it was here that Jeremy won The Best Live Actor award.

Author and creator of "Black & 25 in America," Jeremy shares a series of vignettes about the lives of young Black people in America and mobilizes audiences around the country towards empathy and compassion for humanity through stories that explore issues of race, class, gender, and identity.

Jeremy is a graduate of the University of Kentucky and Arizona State University. Jeremy earned his Master's in Fine Arts (M.F.A.) from Arizona State University. At Bluegrass Community Technical College, Jeremy became interested in playwriting and acting. After receiving an acting scholarship and teaching fellowship at A.S.U., he later became A.S.U.'s first student to be named as The Broadway League and ATPAM's First National Diversity Intern for the musicals Memphis and Motown. Jeremy is an Irene Ryan award recipient and a ZONI award-nominated actor for his role as Chad Deity in The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity at the Stray Cat Theater in Phoenix, AZ.

Born in Cedar Falls, IA, and raised in Chicago and Kentucky, Jeremy is a humanitarian and educator that credits his initial passion for playwrighting from The University of Kentucky.

A member of the Dramatists Guild of America and the Screen Actors Guild, Jeremy seeks to provide hope and a voice through theatre, education, and faith. "I want to share the stories of characters in such a way that people want to care about them regardless of their station in life. Acting is my way of helping all of us see the humanity of another person," says Jeremy.

Virginia Union University Gospel Choir

The Virginia Union University Gospel Choir, officially began in Richmond, Virginia, in January 2023. Since its inception, this lively choir has consistently wowed audiences with its exceptional vocal talents and passionate devotion to gospel music. Under the direction of Professor Joel T. Lester, vision, and dedication have guided the choir's journey to remarkable heights. 

In October 2023, the choir completed their first live recording, showcasing their passion and musical prowess. Also, in December 2021, the choir finished a historic tour of Italy, singing for their televised live concert as well as touring Sicily as part of their run.

The Virginia Union University Gospel Choir has also had the privilege of sharing their gift with prominent community and political figures in their home state of Virginia. They have graced events, invited by distinguished guests such as former Secretary of the Commonwealth of Virginia, Kay Cole James, and the Embassy of Japan, among others. Their performances have been a source of inspiration for both local and international dignitaries.

With a committed heart to spreading love, joy and the power of gospel, the Virginia Union University Gospel Choir continues to touch hearts, ignite spirits, and impact audiences everywhere.

MOVIE: There is a Field

Film Synopsis

“There is a Field not only helps us see ourselves as the other, but also in the other -- a sacred function of art, no matter the form. Palestinians have shown so much courage, dignity, steadfastness and fortitude in the face of unrelenting oppression; how could their struggle not mirror the experience of Black communities in the United States?” — Alice Walker, Author and Social Activist

Service Projects

Non-Perishable Food Drive

Donations of food and funds (in whatever form) for shopping at local grocery stores can be brought to Convocation and placed in the designated boxes.  Additionally, donations can be sent or brought to the Student Life Suite anytime during the month of January. Thank you!

Bridge of Hope

Please contact for details about how you can participate in this service project: meal preparation for the houseless community.

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