Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration 2016

January 17 to 23, 2016



The University of Mary Washington Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Keynote Speaker: Donzaleigh Abernathy

Wednesday, Jan. 20| 7 p.m. | Dodd Auditorium, George Washington Hall

Sponsored by the Office of the President


Donzaleigh Abernathy was born in the midst of the American Civil Rights Movement to Mrs. Juanita Jones and Reverend Dr. Ralph David Abernathy, who created with their best friend, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., a nonviolent social movement which changed the course of American History. Ms. Abernathy’s in-depth knowledge and participation in all of the major Civil Rights Marches as well as witnessing integral decisions being made that helped to shape American laws and society make her a powerful voice in today’s discussions on race and equality.

Ms. Abernathy was given the distinguished honor of introducing Rosa Parks at one of her last public appearances for the 45th Anniversary of the Montgomery Bus Boycott Banquet. She also introduced Coretta Scott King and Dawn Steele, the first female President of a Motion Picture Studio for the Women’s Federation for World Peace.

In 2004, Ms. Abernathy’s first book, Partners To History, Martin Luther King, Ralph David Abernathy and the Civil Rights Movement, was nominated as one of the “Best Books for Young Adults” by the American Library Association. Later, Emory University’s Brave New Works Project produced her screenplay, in which she starred based on a chapter in her book.

For four years, Ms. Abernathy starred in Lifetime Television’s critically acclaimed series, Any Day Now, weekly portraying a character from age thirty and age seventy. Television audiences may also know her from her recurring roles on the series, The Walking Dead, Lincoln Heights, Dangerous Minds, House, 24 and Amazing Grace.

Ms. Abernathy received the 2012 Tanne Foundation Award for her work as an Actress and Writer. Ms. Abernathy also gained acclaim from Film Critic Roger Ebert for her performance as “Martha-the slave” in Warner Bros. Studio’s Civil War Epic, Gods and Generals, directed by Ron Maxwell.

She has appeared on various radio and talk shows from CNN, FOX Morning Show (NY), to Politically Incorrect. In addition to her career as an actress, she has worked as Environmentalist, for the Centers for Disease Control HIV/AIDS Awareness Program, Amnesty International, Artists for a New South Africa and served as a Founding Trustees for the New Visions Foundation and the former Vice President of the Board of New Roads Schools of Santa Monica. Her life is profiled in the books No Mountain High Enough and Fearless Women.



MLK Jr. Day of Service

Saturday, January 23 | 10 a.m. to noon | Center for Faith and Leadership

1514 College Ave, Fredericksburg, VA  22401

The UMW MLK Jr. Day of Service is a way for students to give back to the Fredericksburg community in honor of the legacy of Dr. King and his commitment to strengthening communities. All members of the campus community are invited to participate in the UMW MLK Jr. Day of Service. Please register online at the James Farmer Multicultural Center website, students.umw.edu/multicultural.