About the Celebration

 

The Martin Luther King Jr. holiday celebrates the history, spirit and life of one of America's greatest champions of social justice and equality. Each year we honor the work of Martin Luther King Jr. and his legacy of loving and serving humanity.

The Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration at Case Western Reserve University includes the MLK Convocation, which features the celebration's keynote address, along with a variety of other events. Programs are organized and presented by Case Western Reserve University schools, departments and student organizations, aiming to remember King's mission and inspire all members of our community to keep his dream alive. Past events have included art exhibitions, speeches, lunches, panel discussions, performances, plays and films.

The "Campus Celebration Events" section below will be populated as events are confirmed. 

The 2021 celebration theme was “Closing the Divide: Building Communities of Support, Belonging, and Togetherness.” 


Events throughout University Circle

Click here for information on how museums and institutions throughout the University Circle neighborhood are honoring the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.  


Campus Celebration Events

Check back for additional events. 


MLK Convocation featuring Heather McGhee

Friday, February 5, 2021, 12:45 p.m. 

Live online event. Free & open to all. 

Keynote speaker, Heather McGhee, shares insights from her forthcoming book, The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together

MLK Convocation is presented by the Office of the President; Programs, Events, and Protocol; and the Office for Inclusion, Diversity and Equal Opportunity


Power of Diversity Lecture featuring Donna Brazile

Tuesday, February 9, 2021, 4:30 p.m. 

Live online event. Free & open to all. Register for Brazile's lecture

Keynote speaker, Donna Brazile, is expected to discuss the increase in the number of women in Congress and their potential impact on politics. Her lecture is part of the events being held on campus in honor of Black History Month.

The Power of Diversity Lecture Series is presented by the Office for Inclusion, Diversity and Equal Opportunity

Contact: Janetta Hammock, janetta.hammock@case.edu, or visit the Power of Diversity website


Building Black Avenue 

How Youth Voices are Shaping the Development of Cleveland’s East 66th Street

Thursday, February 18, 2021, 4:00-5:30 p.m. 

Zoom event. Open to the entire campus community and the public. Registration required to receive the Zoom link

Join Daniel Gray Kontar (director of Twelve Literary Arts) and members of the Youth Development Council for a virtual discussion about the creation of the new "Black Avenue" along E. 66th Street and the integral role that teens are playing in its development.  Hear how the built environment has shaped the youths' lives and their understanding of the neighborhood, learn how the act of collecting stories from residents and elders in strengthening intergenerational trust and respect, and discover their vision for the new Black Avenue.

Sponsored by the CWRU Schubert Center for Child Studies, Center for Civic Engagement and Learning, Social Justice Institute, and Twelve Literary Arts. 

Contact: Lisa Kollins at lbk24@case.edu


Advocacy 101: Virtual Workshop

Community Organizing with Ohio Student Association & CWRU Clubs

Friday, February 19, 2021, 12:30-2:00 p.m. 

Zoom event. Open to the entire campus community. Registration requested via Campus Groups

The Advocacy 101 virtual workshop is designed to give students tools to stand up for issues they believe in. During this workshop, learn about approaches to advocacy from Rachel Collyer with the Ohio Student Association, a statewide organization led by young people in Ohio that organizes young people to work towards racial, social, economic, and educational justice. Student organizations, such as CWRU Survivors, Physical Resource Center, Student Caregivers, and the Black Student Union, will also help you see CWRU student advocates in action by sharing ways they have used advocacy tools, including public education, dialogue, political engagement, demonstrations, and more, to make change on causes they care about.

Sponsored by Center for Civic Engagement & Learning (CCEL), Student Executive Council. 

Contact: Adrian Griffin at aag72@case.edu


Warm Packs with a Snack

Friday, February 19, 2021, 2:00-3:00 p.m. 

Limited in-person (HEC 201), and online streaming event.  Visit the SNMA/LMSA Facebook page

Student National Medical Association (SNMA) & Latino Medical Student Association (LMSA) will be creating 100 warm packs for the Broken Connections Homeless Shelter. The packs will include a thermal blanket, hats, gloves, water, masks, and snacks. We will livestream the creation of the packs as only 15 people will be allowed in the room. A representative from the Broken Connections Homeless Shelter will be on the zoom call to discuss the history of the shelter, the services they provide and how students can get involved. 

Sponsored by Office of Multicultural Affairs, Student National Medical Association (SNMA) & Latino Medical Student Association (LMSA). 

Contact: Maya Holmes at myh7@case.edu


Redlining, Racism, Communities and Health 

An academic evaluation on education and health disparities caused by systemic racism

Friday, February 19, 2021, 1:00-2:30 p.m. 

Zoom event. Open to the entire campus community and the public. Registration required to receive the Zoom link.

This event will include a viewing of the short film "How Race Settled the Suburbs," which explores the practice of redlining and its effects on health and health disparities. Following the video, a panel of experts will lead a discussion on how communities and other social determinants of health influence health outcomes.

Sponsored by the Diversity and Inclusion Committee at the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing. 

Contact: Elizabeth Lundblad at exl341@case.edu


Black History in Your Backyard

Sunday, February 21, 2021, 3:00-4:00pm 

Zoom event. Open to the entire campus community and the public. Visit The Cleveland Observer website for more information and to register

The event will offer an opportunity to students of Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland Residents at large to learn about Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights Movement, through a virtual speaking engagement with Director of Fatima Family Center, LaJean Rae. There will be a free giveaways of books written by authors of color or relevant to the civil rights movement and gift cards to local businesses. 

Sponsored by The Cleveland Observer and Black Girl Media. 

Contact: Devon Jones at daj63@case.edu


Building Bridges of Community through Poetry & Vocal Expression

Thursday, February 25, 2021, 6:00-8:00pm

Zoom event. Open to the entire campus community and the public. Registration required to receive the Zoom link

The Mandel Black Student Association at Case Western Reserve University is excited to announce that we will be hosting Building Bridges of Community through Poetry & Vocal Expression. Join us as we showcase talented performers from throughout the city of Cleveland, sharing their creative visions on how we can build a community of support, belonging, and togetherness.

Sponsored by The Mandel School, The Mandel Black Student Association. 

Contact: Ivan Conard at ivan.conard@case.edu.


Declaring Racism a Public Health Crisis

Friday, February 26, 2021, 4:45-6:00 p.m. 

Zoom event. Open to the entire campus community. Registration requested via Campus Groups

During the summer of 2020, both the Cleveland City Council and the County Council of Cuyahoga County passed resolutions declaring racism a public health crisis and established citizen task forces to recommend strategies, policies, and programs to implement at the city and county levels to advance racial equity. Attend a virtual panel discussion of changemakers from Cuyahoga County who were influential in advocating for the passage of these resolutions and who serve on the citizen task forces to share more about the resolutions and changes they would like to see implemented.

Sponsored by Center for Civic Engagement & Learning (CCEL), Student Executive Council. 

Contact: Adrian Griffin at aag72@case.edu


In Our DNA: Arts, Activism and Black Cleveland

Thursday, March 11, 2021, 4:00-5:00 p.m. 

Zoom event. Open to the entire campus community and the public. Registration required to receive the Zoom link

Join artist activist Amanda D. King for a discussion on In Our DNA, a public art initiative that uplifts Cleveland’s Black history to catalyze present and future racial equity, social justice, and civic engagement efforts across Cleveland communities.  Hear about the leadership, intellect, ethics, creativity, determination, and resistance of the artists, activists and community organizers who collaborated in Cleveland’s Black history and how our city could be a model for social transformation with Black and Brown residents leading the way. In addition, King will discuss how the initiative and Shooting Without Bullets are educating young people and involving them in political discourse. Powerful visuals and a focus on resistance, civics and faith will be woven throughout the virtual presentation.

Sponsored by the Schubert Center for Child Studies, Department of Art and Art History, Department of Political Science and the Provost Scholars. 

Contact: Lisa Kollins at lbk24@case.edu