Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration

2023 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration:
Out of a mountain of despair, a Stone of Hope

January 15 – January 21, 2023

Recently, this country and the world have been witnesses to incidents of tragedy, division, hate, violence and injustices.  However, we have also observed amazing triumphs, sacrifices, unified voices, and demonstrations of humanity and love in the midst of despair.  In his famous “I have a dream” speech, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. exclaimed, “With this faith, we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope.” Dr. King, and many other influential leaders, called on us to hold on to hope and continue to strive toward the ideals of freedom, justice, and equality.  Let us carry this stone of hope for these ideals, as well as universal peace, love, and dignity for all.

The University of Mary Washington Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Keynote Speaker:  Attorney Tara Murray

Wednesday, January 18 | 7 p.m.  | Chandler Ballroom C, Cedric Rucker University Center

Sponsored by the Office of the President

A smiling woman with long hair in locs wearing a pink, red, and teal striped topTara Murray is a justice defender, public advocate, and civil and human rights lawyer based in Washington, D.C.  Her law office’s mission is to bring accountability in the justice system through litigation and public advocacy on behalf of communities most vulnerable to unfair treatment.

Tara is the former Deputy Director of London-based human rights non-profit, Reprieve, where she represented over 30 Guantanamo detainees in federal district court proceedings and led the organization’s first investigations into civilian casualties in drone strikes in Pakistan – an investigation that has expanded to include Yemen and the horn of Africa.  Tara’s work on behalf of Muslims targeted as a result of the ‘War on Terror,’ and her conversations with her clients and their traumatized family members, bears striking similarities to her own experiences growing up in Los Angeles, California where law enforcement’s heavy-handed and abusive tactics served to terrify her surveilled community and sent a message much like the one sent by drones: that the state intends to police the community with force, and the lives of those impacted do not matter.  Tara is committed to dismantling structural racism and xenophobia that has both domestic and global implications.

Tara’s work as a lawyer and advocate has been featured in several publications and news outlets worldwide, including CNN, BBC News, The Times, and Aljazeera.

Speaking Truth to Power

Thursday, January 19  |  6 pm  |  Underground, Lee Hall

If you would like to contribute your own work or feature work from an artist you love, submit your interest at bit.ly/UMWSpeakTruth

There is power in artistic expression. This event will feature art, music, dance, and spoken word created by members of the UMW campus community, who have created pieces in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and others who have led the fight for human rights and social justice. Join us in this expression of our struggles, our triumphs, and our power!


MLK Jr. Day of Service

Saturday, January 21 |1 pm – 4 pm |  Chandler Ballroom, Cedric Rucker University Center

Sign up to participate in the MLK Day of Service

Join your fellow students to celebrate MLK Day of Service by registering here. This event honors Dr. King’s vision with service projects for Fredericksburg-area agencies. Refreshments will be provided. Sign up to participate in the Day of Service at bit.ly/mlkumw2023

For more information, contact the James Farmer Multicultural Center at 540/654-1044 or umwjfmc@gmail.comPlease email us at umwjfmc@gmail.com if you have any questions regarding disability-related accommodations.