Contains an abstract illustration of MLK and the text "Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. - Dr. Martin Luther King"

2022 Virtual Celebration Livestream:

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

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

Day of Service

  • 10:00am Dr. MLK Jr. Day of Service Virtual Celebration Livestream available on this webpage, on Facebook and YouTube.
  • 10:30am Family Storytime at the Iowa City Public Library
  • 11:30am Protest and Car Parade
  • 12:00pm Dr. MLK Jr. In-Person Day of Service
    • Teen Art Drop-In at the Iowa City Library

More information and full schedule

Community-Based Service Projects

Date: Donations are accepted Monday January 17 through Friday January 21, 2022, at 5 PM at any drop-off location.

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. This year, the service opportunities will consist of two projects. Community members can assemble an Emergency Care Kits that will be donated to DVIP and RVAP or donate to our week-long food and basic needs drive.

Learn more about the community-based service projects.


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