Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration

2021 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration
The Beloved Community: A Dream of Justice, Equality and Love

Every January, our nation dedicates time to commemorate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King.  His prophetic words on racial injustice, voting rights, economic justice, housing discrimination, and public safety are still relevant more than sixty years later.  One of Dr. King’s greatest desires for this nation and world was the achievement of a “Beloved Community” that embraces full inclusivity, equality, justice and love for all.  In this community, everyone is able to enjoy the richness of the land and society, and human dignity and quality of life are paramount.  We understand our work of forming the beloved community is far from attainment, but must stay steadfastly committed to positive social change, freedom and justice for all to achieve this reality.  Join the James Farmer Multicultural Center as we celebrate the work and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.



2021 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration Keynote Speaker:  Rev.  Dr. Aaron Dobynes

Rev. Dr. Aaron Dobynes in a suit with a gold tie.

Wednesday, January 27 | 6 p.m.  | Register here for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration Keynote Speaker


The Rev. Dr. Aaron L. Dobynes, Sr., began his service as Shiloh’s tenth pastor on June 1, 2014.

A native of Alabama, Pastor Dobynes is a fourth generation preacher. He attended high school in Selma and earned a B.S. degree in psychology at the University of Alabama. He received his Master of Divinity degree from the Virginia Union University School of Theology and his Doctor of Ministry degree from United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio. He is passionate about black history, womanist theology, and the “Beloved Community.” He has received his Ph.D. in humanities, with a concentration in Martin Luther King, Jr., studies.

As of this year, Pastor Dobynes had been a senior pastor for thirty-four years. During those years, he has served churches in Virginia, Alabama, and Louisiana. In addition to pastoring, Pastor Dobynes serves on The Community Foundation of the Rappahannock River Region. He is a member of the 2017 class of Leadership Fredericksburg. He is a founding member of Epsilon Rho chapter of Sigma Pi Phi “The Boule,” a member of the Omicron Lambda chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Incorporated, and a 32nd degree Mason of the James O. Bampfield Consistory #56.

Pastor Dobynes has served as an executive vice-president of Selma University, as a continuing education professor at Southern University in Shreveport, as a Doctor of Ministry professor at Virginia University at Lynchburg, and as president of the Shreveport Baptist Ministers Conference. Earlier in his life, Dr. Dobynes served for a time in the United States Army and held the rank of 1st Lieutenant (promotable) in the United States Army Reserves.

Pastor Dobynes is married and has five children. His wife, Ginger Dobynes, is a middle school social studies teacher. Their oldest son, Aaron Jr., and his wife Brittany currently reside in Virginia. Their oldest daughter, Andrea, is a Ph.D. student at the University of Alabama and an English teacher in Marion, Alabama. Austin is a senior at Grambling State University in Louisiana. Alanna is a recent graduate of Miles College in Birmingham. Their youngest, Alexis, attends NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.


Movie Showing:  Against All Odds:  The Fight for a Black Middle Class

Thursday, January 28  |  6:00 p.m.  |  Register here for Against All Odds:  The Fight for a Black Middle Class

“Have black Americans had a fair shot at the American dream?” acclaimed journalist Bob Herbert asks. He probes the harsh and often brutal discrimination that has made it extremely difficult for African-Americans to establish a middle-class standard of living, while also exploring the often heroic efforts of Black families to pursue the American Dream in the face of unrelenting barriers. [From PBS]


MLK Jr. Day of Service

Saturday, February 27 | 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.  | Zoom

Register here: bit.ly/mlkdayumw

Join your fellow students to celebrate our national Day of Service on the UMW campus. The MLK Day of Service is a celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s vision of building “beloved community.” Observed each year as “a day on, not a day off,” MLK Day is the only federal holiday designated as a national day of service to encourage all Americans to volunteer to improve their communities. This year marks the 25th anniversary of the celebration of the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. We will have “Take and Make” kits (to make blankets and scarves for area nonprofits) and outdoor volunteer activities. A virtual program will be offered between 1:00 and 3:00 on Saturday as well. Sign up to participate in the Day of Service at bit.ly/mlkdayumw 

Here is the link to the SignUp Genius and the link on Presence.

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.