The Beloved Community Begins Here

2020 Theme

Leaders Serve and are not Silent

art making

2020 Calendar of Events

Friday, January 17, 2020


Annual Countywide Dr. MLK, Jr. Celebration

3:00 PM Hors d'oeuvres
4:00 PM Program Begins

The Vineyard Church
1500 North Lincoln, Urbana

The Annual County-wide Celebration commemorates Dr. King’s legacy by bringing together community members from Champaign County to celebrate the mission, teachings, and legacy of Dr. King. This year’s keynote speaker, Sampson Davis, M.D. Practicing Surgeon in New Jersey.  He is also a Motivation Speaker, Author and Philanthropist. Dr. Sampson will respond to the theme of Building a Healthy Community by Investing in the Dream. The program will also include the presentation of awards for the James R. Burgess, Jr. Award, Susan Freiburg Humanitarian Award, the Doris Hoskins Prestigious Community Service Award, and the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Outstanding Achievement Award.


For additional information visit:



Sunday, January 19, 2020


35th Annual Dr. MLK, Jr. Service of Celebration

5:00 - 7:00 PM
Krannert Center for the Performing Arts
Foellinger Great Hall
500 South Goodwin, Urbana

Since 1988, the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Advocacy for Justice Committee has awarded scholarships to local students attending colleges such as Parkland College, University of Illinois, and Historically Black Colleges and Universities.  This year we honor the memory of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The keynote speaker is Al Toldeo, Lead Pastor of the Chicago Tabernacle and music from the community choir.


For more information contact:



Monday, January 20, 2020


35th Annual Unity Breakfast

8:30 - 11:00 AM
The Vineyard Church
1500 North Lincoln, Urbana

Community members are invited to attend the 35th Annual Unity Breakfast sponsored by the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Advocacy for Justice Committee and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and hosted by the Vineyard Church. Please join us as we honor Dr. King, the most important voice of the civil rights movement and recognize the 2020 Dr. King Scholarship recipients.

For additional information contact:



Monday, January 20, 2020


MLK Youth Commemoration and Afternoon of Service

10:30 AM - 1:00 PM
Urbana High School
1002 S, Race St, Urbana

Join the Urbana High School Interact Club, and the Urbana Rotary Club for a celebration of the legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The event includes music and performances, a keynote speaker, and afternoon volunteer activities. All events will take place at Urbana High School and are free and open to the Urbana-Champaign community.

For more information contact:



Monday, January 20, 2020


Day of Service

1:00 - 4:00 PM
Illini Union Rooms, ABC
1401 West Green Street, Urbana

University students, faculty, staff are invited to reflect on sustaining community partnerships and nurturing a commitment to community service today, tomorrow, and in the future. The event will include a keynote speaker and opportunities to engage as an individual or team in service projects for local community organizations. For additional information contact:

PRE-REGISTER AT: (For Individuals)

or (For groups)

For additional information contact:



Wednesday, January 22, 2020


Food For the Soul

12:00 - 1 PM
Bruce Nesbit African American Cultural Center
1212 West Nevada St, Urbana

Food for the Soul, part of the Office of Inclusion and Intercultural Relation's Lunch on Us series, is a weekly noontime discussion focused on topics relevant to the African American communities and our allies. The keynote speaker will be Nathan A. Stephens, BNAACC Director, who will speak on the MLK 2020 theme of Leaders Serve and Are Not Silent In The Face of Injustice.

For additional information contact:



Saturday, January 25, 2020


Community Celebration

10:00 AM - 12:00 PM.
Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, Stage 5
500 S. Goodwin, Urbana

Please join us at this community event that is FREE of charge. The College of Education will award the winners and honorable mention recipients of the k-12 MLK Creative Expressions Contest. The keynote speaker will be Chicago native Hannah Glass, a sophomore at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and founder of a volunteer organization named Health of the Homeless. Featured performance by the International Prep Academy Choir.

For additional information contact: or

Wednesday, January 29, 2020


Let Your Legacy Shine

5:00 - 7:00 PM.
SDRP Multipurpose Room
301 East Gregory Dr., Champaign

University students, faculty, and staff are invited to hear U of I Alum Jessica Newman, Co-Founder and Artistic Director of Modos Dance Company, Starting Bloc Social Innovation Fellow, and rising leader in Diversity and Inclusion as D&I Specialist at K&L Gates. They will be speaking on re-imagining how we obtain peace, liberation, and dominion through movement and resistance unapologetically using our own gifts and voice. Their personal mission is to help minoritized identities to heal, define their personal liberation, and gain agency over the life they want to live.

For additional information contact: LeAnna Willis,

Friday, January 31, 2020


Poverty Simulation

1:00 - 3:00 PM
School of Social Work
1010 West Nevada, Urbana

Poverty is a reality for many individuals and families; unless you have experienced poverty, it’s difficult to truly understand. In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King’s advocacy work around poverty issues, the School of Social Work, in partnership with the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, invites students, faculty, staff and community members to engage in a poverty simulation that bridges the gap from misconception to understanding in an interactive immersion experience. The goal of the simulation is to promote poverty awareness, increase understanding, and inspire local change by sensitizing participants to the realities of poverty.

To Register:

For additional information contact: