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University of Evansville Hosting Events for MLK Day in 2023

The University of Evansville (UE) will host a Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service on Monday, January 16, 2023. There will be several activities throughout the day, and the public is invited to participate along with the campus community. The 2023 theme is “Daring to Dream: The Radical Imagination of a Liberated Other America.”

The schedule of events is available below. For full details, please visit

54 Miles to Social Change – December 15, 2022 – January 16, 2023

During the Civil Rights March of 1965, activists gathered in Selma, Alabama, to complete a 54-mile trek to the state capital in Montgomery. In recognition of this historical event, UE invites everyone to participate in 54 Miles to Social Change, a virtual march that raises awareness for social injustice in the United States. Join from anywhere in the world and log your miles spent walking, running, biking, or swimming.

Miles 1-53 will be completed virtually, and the 54th mile will be completed together on the Day of Service. Participants can register for free at

9:00 a.m. – Faith-Based Service

The Day of Service will begin with a religious service in Neu Chapel.

10:30 a.m. – Rally

The rally will be held in Meeks Family Fieldhouse, located inside Carson Center off Walnut Street. The rally will recap the significance of a day on, not off, and include remarks from Christopher M. Pietruszkiewicz, president of UE; and Rob Shelby, PhD, vice president for talent & community and chief inclusion & equity officer.

11:15 a.m. – Symbolic March

After the rally, UE invites everyone to complete the 54th Mile to Social Change together. The march will begin at Meeks Family Fieldhouse and along nearby streets before returning to campus at Ridgway University Center.

12:00 p.m. – Luncheon and Keynote Speaker

Held in Eykamp Hall on the second floor of Ridgway University Center, the MLK Day of Service Luncheon will include student speakers, award presentations, a performance by the Boom Squad, and the keynote speaker.

Each year, the Martin Luther King Lectureship is made possible by the generous support of William G. and Rose M. Mays. The 2023 lectureship will feature keynote speaker Chris Emdin.

Chris Emdin, PhD is the Robert A. Naslund Endowed Chair in Curriculum Theory and Professor of Education at the University of Southern California. He also serves as Director of Youth Engagement and Community Partnerships at the USC Race and Equity Center. Emdin is the creator of the #HipHopEd social media movement, and he is the author of numerous award-winning works. He was recently named one of the 27 people bridging divides in the United States by TIME, and he has been named to Root 100’s list of most influential African Americans.

To purchase tickets or sponsor a table, visit

2:00 p.m. – Community Service Projects

Four community service projects will run concurrently in Carson Center. Participants will have the ability to participate in a project of their choosing upon arrival. All service projects will go towards benefiting the following local organizations: United Caring Shelter, Youth First, and House of Bread and Peace.

3:30 p.m. – Local Leaders Panel Discussion

Held in Shanklin Theatre, this panel will bring together dynamic individuals from across Evansville to discuss their roles as changemakers and how we as a community can support the next generation in the continued pursuit of ‘a Liberated Other America.’

4:30 p.m. – Lead Forward Lecture

The 2023 MLK Day of Service will culminate in a final Lead Forward Lecture. This final discussion will amplify the messages and works of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and encourage all community members to ‘lead forward’ with what was learned throughout the day.

5:30 p.m. – Reception

Following the lecture, a reception with light refreshments will be held outside Shanklin in the Toyota Lounge of Hyde Hall.