For decades, Martin Luther King Jr. and his legacy of strength, resilience and compassion has served as a worldwide touchstone of civic responsibility and action. This year, the Samuel E. Kelly Ethnic Cultural Center, The Center for Communication, Difference & Equity  and The Carlson Leadership & Public Service Center partnered to produce a suite of events that engaged our larger community in service and activism.


This calendar reflects different opportunities for people to participate in MLK Week 2017. New events will continue to be added so, check back in to learn about even more opportunities. If you would like to submit an event to this calendar, please let us know via this web form (MyUW ID required).

Monday, January 9

Black History 101 Mobile Museum: Martin, Motown, and Michael / 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. / Mary Gates Commons

MLK Week Signature Event

The Black History 101 Mobile Museum is a collection of over 5,000 original artifacts of Black memorabilia that dates back from the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade to modern Hip Hop Culture. This exhibit, titled “Martin, Motown, and Michael,” highlights how these legacies converge around MLK’s first delivery of the “I Have a Dream” speech in Detroit two months before the March on Washington.

Tuesday, January 10

Equity and Deeper Learning with Professor Pedro Noguera / 7:30 – 8:30 p.m. / Kane 120

This event is put on by the Graduate School Lecture series. RSVP required.

While the movement for standards and accountability has largely succeeded in bringing greater attention to the issues surrounding student achievement (i.e. the fact that poor students, students of color, English language learners and students with special needs are consistently performing at lower levels), surprisingly little attention has been given to the strategies and conditions that are necessary to make achievement more likely. Missing from much of the policy debate related to achievement is how to support and cultivate effective teaching in schools and how to motivate and engage students. This presentation will describe strategies that have proven effective in supporting teaching and learning for all types of students. It will also explore how schools can develop strategies to support teachers in their efforts to raise achievement.

Speech and Counter Speech: Rights & Responsibilities / Reception (light refreshments)  4 – 4:30 p.m./ Program 4:30 – 6 p.m. / wǝɫǝbʔaltxʷ  Intellectual House

This event is put on by the Race and Equity Initiative. RSVP required.

Featuring: Michele Storms, Deputy Director at ACLU-WA; Ron Collins, Harold S. Shefelman Scholar, at the UW School of Law; Nadine Strossen, John Marshall Harlan II Professor of Law at New York Law School Immediate Past President, American Civil Liberties Union (1991–2008).

Topics include: What does the First Amendment mean in the context of a public university? How can we promote equality, diversity and civility consistent with protecting free speech? Hear a discussion of these issues and learn more about free speech from three renowned lawyers and educators.

Wednesday, January 11

MLK Birthday Party / 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. / HUB Street

MLK Week Signature Event

Help us kick MLK Week off by attending this Birthday Party for Dr. King! We’ll explore his life and the legacy of the civil rights and racial justice work he has come to represent through visual art and performances by local artists. There will also be last-minute project sign-ups for MLK Day of service and birthday cake (of course!). Drop by and celebrate with us.

Feminism in the New Era / 7:30 – 9:30 p.m. / HUB North Ballroom

RSVP required.

As part of the lectureship series to bring visionaries to University of Washington students, faculty, and the community of Seattle, the Seattle Area Delta Gamma Alumnae Chapter and the University of Washington Delat Bama Beta Chapter are honored to have Rebecca Walker as a featured speaker. Named by Time Magazine as one of the most influential leaders of her generation, she is an award winning writer, cultural ambassador, thought leader and diversity speaker.

Thursday, January 12

In Our Time, Be a Drum Major for Justice; Martin Luther King, Jr. Tribute / 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. / Warren G. Magnuson Health Sciences Lobby

Sponsored by Health Sciences Administration & University of Washington Medical Center.

This is an annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Tribute, hosted by UW Health Sciences and UW Medical Center. We will celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. King and honor UW staff, faculty, and students for outstanding community service. For more information or questions, e-mail

Red Lineage: Art, Citizenship, and Action / 5 – 7 p.m. / Odegaard 220

MLK Week Signature and UW Student Event. RSVP required.

Natasha Marin, the conceptual artist behind the viral social experiment, Reparations (, joins us to discuss how art is political action and can help us stay engaged and connected. In this hands-on workshop, participants will be invited to add their voices to her Red Lineage Project ( “Red Lineage is the title of an original poem, adapted to allow others to personalize their own versions. When performed, these poems echo and overlap, thereby fostering a sense of community despite real and/or perceived social and demographic barriers. Within the Red Lineage, everyone is red—a metaphor that invokes the idea of the bloodline.”

Friday, January 13

We Stand Together Teach-in / 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. / Kelly Ethnic Cultural Center

RSVP required.

Eugene Robinson, Pulitzer Prize winning columnist/ 10:00 AM / William H. Gates Hall 138

This event is put on by the UW Law School. RSVP Required.

Robinson’s remarkable story-telling ability has won him wide acclaim, most notably as the winner of the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for his commentary on the 2008 presidential race that resulted in the election of America’s first African-American president. Robinson discusses the disintegration of the black community into four distinct sectors—and the implication for policies such as school reform, urban renewal and affirmative action.

Sunday, January 15

17th Annual MLK Unity Party/ All Ages 6-9pm  / Northwest African American Museum

This event is organized by Northwest African American Museum & KEXP. Tickets Required.

KEXP is proud to present the 17th Annual Expansions MLK Unity Party on Sunday, January 15th at 6:00 PM at the Northwest African American Museum (NAAM) in Seattle, Washington in partnership with Gender Justice League, TeenTix, Northwest Immigrant Rights Project and NOOR. Join Expansions’ DJ Riz, Masa, Kid Hops, Alex and Sharlese for an evening of music, dance, and celebration in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Monday, January 16

MLK Day of Service / Organized by United Way of King County / Various Times and Locations

MLK Week Signature Event

Each year, the University of Washington partners with United Way of King County and hosts the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service: an event that places nearly two thousand volunteers in day-long service projects throughout King County, providing vital people-power to organizations that support our county’s most vulnerable populations. Register here as a project leader and recruit your friends to join you in a day of service…or make new friends by joining a public project on your own.

35th Annual Community Workshops, March, and Rally / 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. / Garfield High School

This opportunity is brought to you by the MLK Seattle Celebration Committee.

Be part of the 35th annual MLK Day Celebration this year by participating in the community-supported workshops, rally and march, which starts at Garfield High School in the Central District and ends outside of the Federal Building downtown. The theme of this year’s event is “Stop the Hate: Come Together.”

MLK Day of Service / YouthCare Seattle

This opportunity is organized by the Human Rights Campaign. Sign up here.

MLK Day of Service is on January 16, 2017. We hope you all will join us once again in transforming this national holiday into a “day on, not a day off” meant to turn Dr. King’s teachings into a day of action across the country, and to deepen our commitment and connection to those in our community who are too often at its margins.  One such challenge is homelessness among LGBTQ youth as well as non-LGBTQ, at-risk youth. HRC and the YouthCare invite you to partner with us on a service project benefiting homeless and at-risk youth in your community, including LGBTQ youth.

Wednesday, January 18

An Evening with Councilmember Larry Gossett / 5:30 – 7 p.m. / Kelly Ethnic Cultural Center

MLK Week Signature Event. RSVP required.

Join the ECC community for dinner and an opportunity to listen, learn and engage in dialogue with King County Councilmember Larry Gossett, former student activist and one of the founders of the Black Student Union at the UW. As a student activist he fought to eliminate racial discrimination and increase the enrollment for students of color. Mr. Gossett – also known as “one of Seattle’s best known young black radicals” – was instrumental in bringing programs like the Educational Opportunity Program and creating a space for underrepresented students at the Ethnic Cultural Center. Join us as we celebrate and stand strong for 45 years in the Nation’s largest ethnic cultural center on a university campus. As we celebrate Martin Luther King’s birthday week, let’s appreciate the unity in our communities, past activists who paved the way, and those who continue to unite and serve our communities like Councilmember Gossett. Students and UW community are welcome to attend the dinner and discussion with Councilmember Gossett.

Thursday, January 19

Race and the Legacy of Dr. King, Vol. 3 / 5:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. / Kelly Ethnic Cultural Center

This event is a collaboration between UW Tri-Campus Black Student Unions and The Brothers of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.

Mainstream descriptions of Martin Luther King, Jr. tell an incomplete narrative.  The neglect of his Black-centric ideology that led to his assassination ignore a crucial part of his existence. In the eyes of America, he was still Black first.  Join us in our this installment of the legacy of Dr. King, Jr.

Friday, January 20

Conversations for Health Equity / 10 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. / UW Hogness Auditorium and Lobby

This event is put on by the UW School of Nursing  & UW Medicine Center for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. RSVP requested.

Join us for a day of dialogue with community leaders and social justice advocates. Presentations by Washington Supreme Court Justice Mary Yu and Dr. Ben Danielson, Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic medical director. Talks about promoting health equity, coalition building and current topics affecting healthcare. Self-care activities, including guided meditation and stress-reduction projects. The event is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be provided.

Praxis Conference / 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. / Haggett Hall

This event is put on by the UW Department of English. RSVP required.

Praxis is an annual interdisciplinary conference on writing instruction for the University of Washington community. Drawing on the activist educator Paulo Freire’s conception of praxis as the intersection of theory and practice, faculty, staff, students, instructors, community partners, and others are welcome to participate. Varied insights help to enrich both our local/situated and broader understandings of writing, teaching, and learning practices. It is also a forum for making and continuing such conversations and connections across and beyond campus.

Kathleen Cleaver / 7 p.m. / Kelly ECC Unity Suite

MLK Week Signature Event

Kelly Ethnic Cultural Center and Seattle Office of Civil Rights Race and Social Justice Initiative’s “The World We Want Now Speaker Series” Present, “A Dynamic Discussion with Kathleen Cleaver”

With support from the following offices: Student Life, Undergraduate Academic Affairs, REI, OMA&D, UW Law School Diversity Committee, Center for Communication, Difference and Equity, Husky Union Building, College of the Environment, ASUW Graduate and Professional Student Senate, UW Department of Political Science and the Gates Public Service Law Program.

Kathleen Cleaver has spent her life participating in the human rights struggle.  She started alongside her parents in the 1950’s civil rights protests in Alabama. By 1966, Kathleen Neal dropped out of Bernard College in New York to join the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) where she served in its Campus Program based in Atlanta.  She then moved to the San Francisco Bay Area and from 1967 to 1971 she was the first Communications Secretary of the Black Panther Party.  The last time she visited the University of Washington campus was in 1968 when she spoke at the Resistance Teach-In at the Husky Union Building.

Tickets are available at the ECC front desk or by emailing  The event is limited to current students, staff and faculty of the University of Washington.  Only one ticket per person and a ticket is required to enter the event and doors open at 6:30pm.  For more information, visit Huskylinks.