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Martin Luther King Day 2017

Each year we invite students, faculty, and staff to join us for one of several opportunities to serve in the community and learn about civil rights in Richmond. The University also hosts an annual commemoration featuring student performances and an inspirational keynote speaker.

Honoring the Legacy, Engaging the Dream

The work of Dr. King remains unfinished, and the University has committed to thoughtfully considering what his vision means today. In 2017, the University will again observe the Martin Luther King holiday by canceling classes and observing the holiday for employees.

Students, faculty, and staff will have opportunities to serve in the community, partake of meaningful RVA history tours, and come together at the end of the day to enjoy the annual all-campus commemoration as a time to reflect on what Dr. King's dream means today.

MLK Day Overview

Schedule of Events

January 15

4:30 pm
Screening of Race (2016)
The Byrd Theatre

January 16

9:30–10:30 a.m.
Kick-off Breakfast

10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m
Service Opportunities in the community

11 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
MLK Family Day in the Commons

11 a.m., 12 noon, or 1:00 p.m.
Historic Richmond Walking Tours

5:30 p.m.–7 p.m.
Commemoration Ceremony
Camp Concert Hall
Keynote Speaker: Eboo Patel, Founder and President, Interfaith Youth Corps

Registration for service, walking tours, and MLK Family Day is open now. The Commemoration and The Kick-Off Breakfast are open to the University of Richmond community without registration.

Kick-Off Breakfast 

Heilman Dining Center

9:30 a.m.–10:30 a.m.

Enjoy a special breakfast at D-hall with remarks from President Ronald Crutcher and student Tianni Ivey, WC '18. We’ll start the day reflecting on what Dr. King would want from us before we venture off to our service or learning activities. Volunteers may pick up their MLK Day t-shirts as long as supplies last.

Film Showing of Race (2016, PG-13)

The Byrd Theatre (Sunday, Jan. 15)

4:30 p.m. Doors Open at 4:00

Race is the story of the legendary African-American athlete Jesse Owens and his quest for gold in the 1936 Olympics, hosted by Adolf Hitler's Germany. In collaboration with Hands-On Greater Richmond, the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities, and The Byrd Theatre. Free and open to the public. Register here

Walking Tours of Historic Jackson Ward

Take UR Shuttle to UR Downtown

11:00a.m. and 1:00 p.m.

Take a guided tour of this historic neighborhood, once known as "the Harlem of the South," to see its street murals, its celebrated arts venues, and everything in between. Tours will be led by Gary Flowers, Community Leader and Jackson Ward Resident. Included will be a tour of the Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site to learn about this early Richmond bank president and civil rights leader. Register here.

MLK Family Day

Tyler Haynes Commons, Third Floor

11 a.m.–1 p.m.

Faculty and staff parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and guardians are invited to bring their children ages 2–12 for a series of fun and educational activities organized by student organizations to tell the story of MLK and the civil rights era. With story hours, craft activities, snacks and more, they will have so much fun they won’t even know they are learning! Register to attend via the button below. Register to volunteer on the service opportunities page.

Register for Family Day
Service Opportunities

Thanks to the Bonner Center for Civic Engagement for co-sponsoring these service sites at which students, faculty, and staff may serve during the Day of Service and Learning.

Registration is required. Transportation is provided and participants should gather in the Alice Haynes room at 10:30 to be assigned to their van or bus. 

2017 Service Opportunities-- Register Here

10:30 am - 2:30 pm. Transportation is provided.

Blankets of Warmth and Love

Volunteers will be making no-sew fleece blankets and handwriting welcome cards that will be given to each youth upon arrive at Elk Hill.

Supporting Bon Secours Families at the Evelyn D. Reinhart Guest House

Volunteers will help organize storage space and assist with cleaning projects.

Lost Histories: East End Cemetery Clean Up

Volunteers will work to clear out the weeds, vines, and brush in order to restore this historic African American cemetery to its rightful state. 

Birthdays for Everyone: Card Making for Celebrate RVA! 

Volunteers will create birthday cards for the underprivileged children with upcoming birthdays, to be handed out by Celebrate RVA!

Supporting  St. Andrews School 

Make a temporary mural in the Alice Haynes room to be used at this private primary school located in Oregon Hill that is dedicated to serving the low-income commuity. 

Communities in Schools  

Painting at John Marshall High School, a public high school in the East End of Richmond.


Pack Toiletry Kits for members of the military.

Youth Life

Organizing the Game Room for this faith-based afterschool program.

Make Grab and Go Meal Bags with Ronald McDonald House Charities (FILLED)

Volunteers will assemble grab and go meal bags for the families staying at Ronald McDonald house on campus and deliver them to the site.

Meal Prep at Ronald McDonald House Charities (FILLED)

Volunteers will help with lunch prep and cookie hour for the families staying at Ronald McDonald house. Volunteers may tour the House and interact with the families who are staying there when they have finished their project.

Supporting Bon Secours Families at the Evelyn D. Reinhart Guest House  (FILLED)

Volunteers will be Assemble MLK themed hospital to-go bags for the families and patients. 

Supporting Side by Side (FILLED)

Organizing Crafts and Library in this community organization that supports Virginia's LGBTQ youth.

MLK Family Day 11:00 - 1:00 pm Register Here

MLK Family Day will present creative learning opportunities around MLK Day and civil rights history for children of faculty and staff, ages 3–12, in Tyler Haynes Commons. Volunteers will provide set up assistance between 8 and 9:30 a.m., staff the registration or snack tables, help to lead the activities for our visitors, or help with clean-up. 

Commemoration Ceremony

Honoring the Legacy, Engaging the Dream

Mon., Jan. 16, 2017 | 5:30 – 7 p.m.
Camp Concert Hall
Reception to follow in Booth Lobby, Modlin Center


  • Ngoma African Dance Company
  • The Octaves

Keynote Address

Eboo Patel, Founder and President, Interfaith Youth Corps

Eboo founded Interfaith Youth Core on the idea that religion should be a bridge of cooperation rather than a barrier of division. He is inspired to build this bridge by his identity as an American Muslim navigating a highly religiously diverse social landscape. For more than 15 years he has worked with governments, social sector organizations, and college and university campuses to help make interfaith cooperation a social norm. Named by US News & World Report as one of America’s Best Leaders of 2009, Eboo served on President Obama’s Inaugural Faith Council and is the author of Acts of FaithSacred Ground and the new Interfaith Leadership: A Primer. He holds a doctorate in the sociology of religion from Oxford University, where he studied on a Rhodes scholarship.

Life's most persistent and urgent question is: What are you doing for others? Martin Luther King Jr.

View This Year's Commemoration Ceremony

2016-17 Committee Members

Tawyana Athey
Alyssa Boisvert
Alexandra Byrum
Kevin Corn
Sarah Fisher
Dazia Hall, WC '17
Shannon Hooker
Glyn Hughes
Kay MacDonald
Lisa Miles
Adrienne Piazza
Chastyn Smith, '18
Cassandra Taylor-Anderson