Celebration of Human Rights

Recognition of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthdate has been a tradition at the University of Iowa since 1969, and the national holiday has been observed through human rights programs since its inception in 1986. In 1990 the University initiated the Human Rights convocation program. Afternoon classes were canceled to encourage student, faculty, and staff participation in programs that encourage dialogue about diversity and reinforce the principle that the University is a forum for the free exchange of ideas. The convocation has been an opportunity for serious thinking by all of us about issues of social justice, human rights, and world peace.

An official University holiday was designated in 1995 to provide an opportunity to engage the University community in a discussion of the human values that the King holiday epitomizes. These initial events have grown into a campus-wide celebration that engages faculty, staff, students and community members to give lectures, discussions, and cultural arts presentations. All events are free and open to the public.

If you would like more information, please contact Shalisa Gladney at shalisa-gladney@uiowa.edu.

We also welcome you to like the Johnson County Day of Celebration Facebook page.


Day of Service

Monday, January 16, 2023

  • Please check back for more information and the full Day of Service schedule.

Community-Based Service Projects

Please check back for more information on the 2023 community-based service projects.

Each year during the MLK Jr. Human Rights Week Celebration, we come together through service projects to serve our community in meaningful and tangible ways, alongside local non-profits.


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