Yale and community to pay tribute to the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.

A panel discussion, exhibitions, a “love march,” and more are among the Martin Luther King Jr. Day activities planned across campus.
A person holding a Martin Luther King portrait during the annual peace march on Yale campus.

(Photo credit: Michael Marsland)

Community activists who continue to promote the mission and values of the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. will speak about their work during a panel discussion titled “Think Globally, Act Locally,” one of the many events on campus and in the community celebrating the legacy of the civil rights leader.

Other Martin Luther King Jr. Day activities will include campus exhibitions, a “love march,” a conference, the Yale Peabody Museum’s annual MLK program, and more. (See the complete schedule.)


Three campus exhibitions will open in conjunction with Yale’s MLK Day celebration. All are free and open to the public.

From “The Kings at Yale,” King receives an honorary Doctor of Laws degree at Yale on January 14, 1962.
From “The Kings at Yale,” King receives an honorary Doctor of Laws degree at Yale on January 14, 1962.

The Kings at Yale” documents Martin Luther King’s visits to Yale in 1959 and 1964 (first to speak and later to receive an honorary degree) and Coretta Scott King’s tenure in 1969 as the first Frances Blanshard Fellow at Yale. The exhibition, which draws on materials in the Manuscripts and Archives Department and other campus entities, is free and open to the public. It is on view through March 1 in the nave of Sterling Memorial Library, 120 High St.

C. Vann Woodward, Martin Luther King, and the Civil Rights Movement,” exploring how the Yale professor’s book “The Strange Career of Jim Crow” inspired the civil rights leader, will be on view Jan. 14-27 at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, 121 Wall St. Admission is free. See the Beinecke’s website for more information.

Dr. King and the Long Civil Rights Movement” is a one-day exhibit featuring select highlights from the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library’s collections related to King and to the African American freedom movement across the 20th century. The exhibit, which is free and open to the public, will be on view noon-4 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 21 at the Beinecke Library, 121 Wall St.

Think Globally, Act Locally”

The 2019 MLK commemoration “Think Globally, Act Locally” on Wednesday, Jan. 23 will feature a panel of local organizers who honor King’s life and legacy through their daily work towards social justice. The event will take place 5:30-7:30 p.m. in Sheffield-Sterling-Strathcona auditorium, 1 Prospect St. (corner of Grove Street). The event is free and open to the public; seating is on a first-come basis.

The panelists will be: Barbara Fair, retired social worker and social justice advocate; Kerry Ellington, community & economic development community organizer for the New Haven Legal Assistance Association; Aaron Jafferis, founding artistic director of The Word New Haven; and Mikveh Warshaw YSN ’17, psychiatric nurse practitioner and founding member of Mending Minyan. The panel will be moderated by Hanifa Washington, communications and participant engagement coordinator at Co-Creating Effective & Inclusive Organizations.

Peabody’s annual MLK celebration

The Yale Peabody Museum will open its doors to the public once again in honor of King and his efforts to ensure environmental and social justice for all people. The 23rd Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration at the Yale Peabody Museum will take place noon-4 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 20 and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 21. Admission to the museum is free both days.

Martin Luther King on May Day.
(Manuscripts & Archives, Yale University)

The weekend’s activities will include performances, community open mics, and educational activities for visitors of all ages. Special programming also includes the 9th annual Teen Summit, professional poetry slam, art contest, and storytelling at the New Haven Museum.

The Yale Peabody Museum is located at 170 Whitney Ave.

Other campus activities

Savonala “Savi” Horne, executive director of the Land Loss Prevention Project, will be the guest at a tea being held 4-6 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 21 in Pierson College’s Leitner House, 231 Park St. Horne will share her insights on agricultural justice law and talk about her decades of experience in coalition-building and connecting socially disadvantaged farmers, particularly farmers of color, with the resources and recourse they need. The event is free and open to the public.

The Black Church at Yale (BCAY) and the University Church in Yale will hold a joint worship service 10:30-11:30 a.m. on Sunday, Jan. 27 in Battell Chapel, 400 College St. This annual Christian worship celebration reunites Yale’s congregations in worship honoring Martin Luther King Jr. The service will feature Breath of Life, the BCAY praise choir, and the University Church Choir. All are welcome.

Community activities

The annual MLK Love March will take place on Tuesday, Jan. 15 at 10:45 a.m. beginning at the Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church of New Haven, 100 Lawrence St. A tradition since 1971, the Martin Luther King Jr. Love March was created to conserve the notion of nonviolence and to honor King on the date of his birth The march will take place rain or shine. All are welcome.

The annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Conference on Monday, Jan. 21 will celebrate the legacy and honor the dream of Martin Luther King Jr. The theme of this year’s conference is “Visions from the Mountaintop.” The conference will take place 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. at Wexler-Grant Community School, 55 Foote St. The event will feature a variety of workshops, vendors, exhibits, and entertainment for K-12 youth and adults. Continental breakfast will be served 8:30-9:30 a.m. The event is free and open to the public.

‘Drive Out Darkness’: Martin Luther King Day at Eli Whitney Museum” gives children ages 6-12 a chance to create their own solar models while at the same time supporting the work of Let There Be Light International, which aims to empower off-grid communities throughout Africa through their solar light and electrification programs. Attendees will construct a tiny house with a solar cell that will collect energy during the day and store it for use at night. Participants will also create a game that spins circles of light to help children become more familiar with the geography of Africa. The program costs $65. For each child who participates, the museum will donate a safe solar light to a child in Africa. Families interested in lighting even more lives can make a matching contribution of $15. The event will take place 9 a.m.-3 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 21 at the Eli Whitney Museum, 915 Whitney Ave., Hamden.


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