MLK Week of Celebration

2024 Schedule of Events

Watch this space for event updates and additional opportunities!

  • Unity March and Community-wide Celebration
    *** Postponed until February due to dangerous temperatures
  • Rustin at FilmScene | Jan. 15, 7:00 p.m.
    A free screening presented for Martin Luther King Day 
    This new biopic with a powerhouse performance by Coleman Domingo, spotlights the man who, alongside Martin Luther King Jr., dared to imagine a different world and inspired a movement.
  • Service Day – Iowa City Free Lunch Program (all volunteer slots are filled) | Jan. 16, 2024
    *** This event has been canceled due to weather. 
  • Human Rights Educational Lecture by Dr. Russell Ledet | Jan. 17, 2024 at Noon
    Location: Prem Sahai Auditorium, 1110 Medical Education and Research Facility, MERF
    Dr. Russell Ledet will deliver a distinguished educational lecture. The title, Bootless: A Physician-Scientist's Journey To Medicine and Advocacy For The Next Generation. This lecture offers a valuable opportunity for learning and reflection.

  • Body and Soul Film | Jan. 18, 2024 at 7:00 p.m.
    More details

  • Service Day - Kit Building for Those in Need | Jan. 20, 2024 from 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
    Location: Activity Center (260 IMU)
    Come together to make a positive impact by assembling kits for individuals facing various challenges. Your participation will contribute to creating a better community.

  • MLK Distinguished Lecture by Michele Norris | Jan. 23, 2024 at Noon
    Location: Prem Sahai Auditorium, 1110 Medical Education and Research Facility, MERF
    Title: Our Hidden Conversations
    Join us for a distinguished lecture by Michele Norris, NPR Journalist, on the theme "Our Hidden Conversations."

2024 Service Opportunities

Iowa City Free Lunch Program

Jan. 16 10:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Volunteers will prepare and serve nutritious meals using their own food or the food from local restaurants, grocery stores, and food distributors.

Weeklong Food and Basic Needs Drive

Make a real difference for the campus and community by donating items and time to Food Pantry at Iowa and Shelter House. Learn more at the link below. 

Resource Drive Kit Assembly

  • Jan. 20, 5 p.m. – 8 p.m.
  • Room 260 IMU

Compile donations from the weeklong resource drive by assembling Resource Kits for those in need before sending them off to Shelter House and Food Pantry at Iowa!

A 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 the university community with an opportunity to engage in a discussion about the human values that Dr. King epitomizes. These initial events have grown into a campus and community celebration that includes lectures, discussions, and cultural arts presentations. All events are free and open to the public.

If you would like more information, please contact Freddy Sims at

Download 2024 Materials

MLK Week of Celebration Facebook Cover

Social media graphics

Help spread the word using these graphics on your social media channels. 

mlk zoom background

Zoom background

Show your support for the Celebration of Human Rights Week with this Zoom background. 

MLK Week of Celebration Digital Display

Digital display templates

Let people know about your event with these display templates.