Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration

2019 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration
The Time Is Now!

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “The time is always right to do what is right.” As our country wrestles with the social inequalities and injustices that plagued earlier generations, every American is called to look in the mirror. Despite the gains of the Civil Rights Movement, it is a moral imperative to remain vigilant and steadfast in the quest for obtaining liberty, equality, and justice for all. This moment in history will define who we are as a country. The time is now to be the change we wish to see in the world.  Join the James Farmer Multicultural Center as we celebrate the work and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


MLK Jr. Kids Day

Sunday, Jan. 20 | 3 to 5 p.m.  |  James Monroe High School

Children from the Fredericksburg area are invited to enjoy games, activities, and crafts to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at the community MLK celebration. The event is sponsored by the Fredericksburg-area Partnership for Academic Excellence.


“King In The Wilderness” Documentary & Discussion

Tuesday, Jan. 22 | 6:00 p.m.  |  Colonnade Room 315, University Center

Discover a new perspective via this HBO documentary on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s life in this stirring documentary about his final years before his assassination. Through interviews and archival footage, this film examines Dr. King’s philosophical struggles and commitment to nonviolence despite increasing political unrest.


The University of Mary Washington Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Keynote Speaker: Dr. Bernard LaFayette, Jr.
Wednesday, Jan. 23 • 7 p.m. • Chandler Ballroom, University Center
Sponsored by the Office of the President

Dr. Bernard LaFayette Jr., man in suit seated at podium

MLK Keynote Speaker Dr. Bernard LaFayette, Jr.

Dr. Bernard LaFayette Jr. has devoted his life to carrying out the orders Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave to him in 1968, “Institutionalize and internationalize nonviolence.” A longtime civil rights activist and organizer, minister, educator, and lecturer, he is an authority on Dr. King’s strategy of nonviolent social change. In 1960, he was a co-founder of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and the Nashville Movement lunch counter sit-ins; in 1961 he was a leader of the Freedom Rides along with Dr. James Farmer.

In 1962, he directed the Alabama voter registration project in Selma. Dr. King appointed Dr. LaFayette national program administrator for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and national coordinator of the Poor People’s Campaign. Dr. LaFayette has written many publications; among them is In Peace and Freedom: My Journey in Selma, which he wrote with Kathryn Lee Johnson. Rep. John Lewis wrote in his foreword to the book, “A powerful history of struggle, commitment, and hope. No one, but no one, who lived through the creation and development of the movement for voting rights in Selma is better prepared to tell this story than Bernard LaFayette himself.” This book was honored with the prestigious Lillian Smith Book Award in May 2014.


MLK Jr. Day of Service

Saturday, January 26 | 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.  |  Chandler Ballroom, University Center

The UMW MLK Day of Service provides students a way to give back to their community to honor the legacy of Dr. King and his commitment to strengthening communities. Many different service projects, which will be donated to various agencies in the Fredericksburg area, will be available for students to complete.  Afterwards, a discussion will take place regarding servant leadership and working toward social change.

A continental breakfast and lunch will be provided.  All members of the campus community are invited to participate.  Please register online at MyUMW.


All events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted. For more information, please contact the James Farmer Multicultural Center at 540/654-1044 or umwjfmc@gmail.com .