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Martin Luther King, Jr. Day 2021

Historically, the University of Richmond has celebrated the life and contributions of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. through a day filled with service and community opportunities as well as an amazing commemoration ceremony. While we may not be able to celebrate his legacy in the same way as we have in the past, we welcome faculty, staff, and students to participate in DIY service opportunities organized by the Center for Civic Engagement and option of creating some wonderful book art with the Boatwright Library that will allow you to reflect on the theme this year and what it means to you.

The Revolution Then and Now: A Time of Healing

The theme for this year encompasses the horrific state that our Nation was in during the life and time of Martin Luther King, Jr. and how some of those injustices continue to plague us as we try to move forward. With all that has happened during a year of two pandemics, we also have to ask ourselves when can we begin to heal? And what does healing look like? We encourage you to reflect on both of these as we look to the future as an Institution at ways that we can better impact the lives of our students, faculty, and staff across backgrounds and identities that experience these social injustices and are fighting their individual revolution.

Click here to hear reflections from several members of our UR community.

Schedule of Events 

Sun., Jan. 17

2:00 p.m.

Documentary Screening

Hear from the storytellers in "Heard", a documentary about five people who grew up in Richmond's public housing communities. Breakout sessions will explore the importance of sharing stories and listening to people with firsthand experience before taking civic action. Prepare for this event by watching “Heard” at the VPM website. This is a collaboration of UR's Center for Civic Engagement, the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities, and HandsOn Greater Richmond.


Register for the event by clicking on this link.

Mon., Jan. 18

12:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.

DIY Service Project Kits

Do-it-yourself service opportunities are open to any member of the UR community. Volunteer virtually or pick up a project kit at the Center for Civic Engagement office (THC 201). Transcribe documents from the Library of Virginia and The Collegian newspaper archives, create birthday cards for Celebrate! RVA, make toys for the ASPCA, write letters to your elected officials, and more.


Click here to learn more about the do-it-yourself service projects.

Mon., Jan. 18

2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.


Join us in the Boatwright Memorial Library Collaborative Area on the first floor to create your very own art utilizing the Printing Press in dedication to Martin Luther King Jr. with Jen Thomas in Book Arts. Pre-Created templates will allow you to create cards or small journals that you can use to reflect on this year’s theme in relation to what does the revolution look like now and how can we begin to heal from the social injustices. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, indoor events are limited to 10 students at a time. Students may select a 20 minute time slot to come to the library and create their art.


Click on this link to register for a time slot.

Tue., Jan. 19

Law School Dean's Suite Office Hours

DIY No Sew Blankets

Make a no sew fleece blanket for foster children served by Elk Hill Home. Elk Hill enables children and families to transform overwhelming challenges into successful futures. Volunteers can pick-up a fleece blanket kit in the Law School Dean's Suite starting Jan. 19, 2021. Each kit will include fabric and detailed instructions. Volunteers will need to supply their own scissors and measuring tool (e.g., ruler, measuring tape, etc.). Blankets must be returned by Feb. 1, 2021. Supplies are available for the first 25 registrants.


More information and registration is available by clicking on this link.

Tue., Jan. 19

8:00 p.m.

Office of the Chaplaincy Kairos Worship Service

Kairos is a contemplative Christian worship service that offers students sacred time to reflect on life's deepest questions. Each service focuses on a theme and question that help students to consider their lives and their relationship to the world around them in light of the Christian faith. This week’s service will focus on the faith, work and life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and address the theme “Solidarity: How do we ground our community in justice?”  The Rev. Dr. Craig Kocher, University Chaplain, will offer the reflection. Please contact Bryn Taylor, Associate Chaplain, at to receive a Zoom link.

Fri., Jan. 22

1:00 p.m.

CCE Brown Bag Discussion

Join via Zoom

As part of the University's programs held in observance of MLK Day, faculty, staff, and students are invited to hear about and discuss the continued research by Shelby Driskill and Dr. Lauranett Lee into the history of the enslaved burial ground located on what is now our campus. The conversation will give the campus community an opportunity to ask questions about the deepened research and learn more about actions taken for memorialization within the last year. The MLK Day presentation is entitled "'Consecrated Space': Pathways to Preservation and Protection" and will take place at 1 p.m. on Friday, January 22, over Zoom.

Fri., Jan. 22

4:00 p.m.

Sacred Pause

Sacred Pause is a spiritual, nonreligious service that invites us to share our lives with one another. It is also an opportunity to reflect on the news unfolding in our larger world. The service includes opportunities for meditative breathing, reflection, and optional sharing with the gathered community. This week’s service will include the words of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and focus on his impact on our world. Please contact Jamie Lynn Haskins, Chaplain for Spiritual Life, at to receive a Zoom link.

Fri., Jan. 22

5:30 p.m.

Welcoming Shabbat

As a ritual and communal practice, our Jewish community welcomes Shabbat every Friday. All are welcome to join us as we light the candles, drink the wine, eat challah, and say blessings over it all. In addition, we sing, share stories, laugh, and celebrate. This week’s service will honor the work of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the theme “The Revolution Then and Now: A Time of Healing,” by drawing from the wisdom of the week’s Torah portion (Parshat Bo), which tells the story of our Exodus from Egypt. Please contact Josh Jeffreys, Jewish Chaplain and Director of Religious Life, at to receive a Zoom link.


MLK Day 2021 Reflections

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