2023 Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service

Monday, January 16, 2023

Martin Luther King Jr. with hands folded

Daring to Dream: The Radical Imagination of a Liberated Other America

The University of Evansville invites everyone to take part in celebrating the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Activities and events throughout the day will commemorate King’s passionate pursuit of social justice and the work that remains today.

“In this America, children grow up in the sunlight of opportunity. But there is another America. This other America has a daily ugliness about it that transforms the buoyancy of hope into the fatigue of despair. In this other America, men walk the streets in search for jobs that do not exist.”Excerpt from “The Other America” by Martin Luther King, Jr. (March 14, 1968) Watch the full speech

UE’s annual MLK Day of Service will be held on Monday, January 16, 2023. In-person events will be held throughout the day, and the complete schedule is listed below. To purchase tickets or a table for the luncheon, click the button below.

Order of Events

  • 9:00 a.m. – Faith-based service in Neu Chapel
  • 10:30 a.m. – Rally at Meeks Family Fieldhouse
  • 11:15 a.m. – Complete the final mile of 54 Miles to Social Change that began December 15 and finish by 11:45 a.m.
  • 12:00 p.m. –Luncheon in Eykamp Hall featuring the William G. and Rose M. Mays Lectureship, 2023 Mays Legacy Award, and Rising Star Service Award presentations
  • 2:00 p.m. – Community service projects in Carson Center
  • 3:30 p.m. – Local leaders panel discussion in Shanklin Theatre
  • 4:30 p.m. – Final Lead Forward Lecture in Shanklin Theatre
  • 5:30 p.m. – Reception in Toyota Lounge of Hyde Hall

54 Miles to Social Change


During the Civil Rights March of 1965, activists gathered in Selma, Alabama, to complete a 54-mile trek to the state capital in Montgomery. In recognition of this historical event, UE invites everyone to participate in 54 Miles to Social Change, a virtual march that raises awareness for social injustice in the United States.

54 Miles to Social Change will be held December 15-January 16, and participants can complete the first 53 miles by walking, running, biking, or even swimming. You may register individually or in teams, and participants will receive a T-shirt to celebrate the march. At 11:15 a.m. on the MLK Day of Service, we will complete the 54th mile together.

All proceeds will go directly towards Journey to Justice Scholarships for students expressing a financial need. To donate, visit UE Alumni Online.

Faith-Based Service – 9:00 a.m.

The MLK Day of Service will begin with a faith-based service in Neu Chapel.

Rally – 10:30 a.m.

We will hold a rally in Meeks Family Fieldhouse, located inside Carson Center. The rally will recap the significance of a day on, not off, and include remarks from Christopher M. Pietruszkiewicz, president of UE; and Rob Shelby, PhD, vice president for talent & community and chief inclusion & equity officer.

Symbolic March – 11:15 a.m.

After the rally, UE invites everyone to complete the 54th Mile to Social Change together. The march will begin at Meeks Family Fieldhouse and along nearby streets before returning to campus at Ridgway University Center. Public Safety will have streets blocked off to safely complete the march, which should conclude by 11:45 a.m.

MLK Day of Service Luncheon and Lectureship – 12:00 p.m.

Chris EmdinHeld in Eykamp Hall on the second floor of Ridgway University Center, the MLK Day of Service Luncheon will be an opportunity for community members to join together in fellowship. The time will be filled with performances, student speakers, award presentations, and our featured keynote speaker.

Each year, the Martin Luther King Lectureship is made possible by the generous support of William G. and Rose M. Mays. The 2023 lectureship will feature keynote speaker Chris Emdin.

Chris Emdin is the Robert A. Naslund Endowed Chair in Curriculum Theory and Professor of Education at the University of Southern California. There, he also serves as Director of Youth Engagement and Community Partnerships at the USC Race and Equity Center. He is the creator of the #HipHopEd social media movement, and he is the author of numerous award-winning works. He was recently named one of the 27 people bridging divides in the United States by TIME, and he has been named to Root 100’s list of most influential African Americans.

During the luncheon, the 2023 Mays Legacy Award and the 2023 Rising Star Service Award will also be presented.

Tickets and table sponsorships for the 2023 MLK Day of Service Luncheon can be purchased below until Sunday, January 8, 2023.

Register for the Luncheon

All proceeds will go directly towards benefiting Journey to Justice.

Community Service Projects – 2:00 p.m.

Four community service projects will run concurrently in Carson Center. Participants will have the ability to participate in a project of their choosing upon arrival. All service projects will go towards benefiting the following local organizations: United Caring Shelter, Youth First, and House of Bread and Peace.

Local Leaders Panel Discussion – 3:30 p.m.

Held in Shanklin Theatre, this panel will bring together dynamic individuals from across Evansville to discuss their roles as changemakers and how we, as a community, can support the next generation in the continued pursuit of ‘a Liberated Other America’. This panel will be moderated by Dr. J.C. Campbell. Dr. Campbell is the senior pastor at Greater Hope Church and vice president and chief diversity officer at Oakland City University.

Panelist Include:

  • Alex Burton
  • Courtney Johnson
  • Melissa Morehead-Moore
  • Arlinda Payne
  • DeAndre Wilson

Lead Forward Lecture – 4:30 p.m.

The 2023 MLK Day of Service will culminate in a final Lead Forward Lecture. This final discussion will amplify the messages and works of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and encourage all community members to ‘Lead Forward’ with what was learned throughout the day. This final Lead Forward Lecture will be provided by UE Men’s Basketball Coach David Ragland.

Reception – 5:30 p.m.

Participants are invited for a reception following the final lecture, hosted in the Toyota Lounge outside of Shanklin Theatre in Hyde Hall. The reception will include light refreshments.