MSU’s 2021 MLK Day Celebration honors late U.S. Congressman John Lewis with theme: “Good Trouble”


Martin Luther King Jr headshot, civil rights leader, on flag texture with MLK DAY lettering, finished graphic

EAST LANSING, Mich (WLNS) Michigan State University’s 41st annual celebration in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. will take place virtually beginning January 17, 2021. The weeklong collection of events is open to the public. The 2021 MLK celebration’s theme is “Good Trouble: Reclaiming Our Democracy, Demanding Social Justice.” 

“This year, with the passing of the Honorable John Lewis, the term ‘Good Trouble,’ which he coined, has been included in the theme,” says Audrey Bentley, Senior Outreach Coordinator with MSU’s Office for Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives. “We continue to strive for more progress, change, and inclusion in community, governance, justice, and education. We hope this year’s celebration will inspire and renew learning and growth on our campus and beyond.”

Each year, the event is hosted by an MLK Planning Committee composed of people across MSU and the local community, and facilitated by members of MSU’s Office for Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives. The event is 2021’s first major public event centered on social justice under the leadership of Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer Jabbar R. Bennett, who began his tenure at MSU in December.

“Honoring the legacy of one of the Civil Rights Movement’s most eminent and modern heroes is a wonderful way to mark the beginning of my time here,” says Bennett. “We are proud of the work being done at MSU and in the community to ensure Dr. King’s conviction and crucial message remains top of mind. I am especially proud of the innovative ways the Committee has found to pivot our commemoration into virtual spaces this year.”

The celebration features a packed itinerary of events, including the “Toward Freedom” film series, sponsored by MSU Libraries and WKAR; MSU’s Social Justice Art Festival; a virtual networking session centered around volunteering and activism; a performance by MSU Jazz Orchestras called “Jazz: Spirituals, Prayers and Protests”; the  “Stuff the Library Book Drive”; and many more. Full details are available here.

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