Northwestern's 10-day celebration of the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. began with a day of service on January 17 and will include several events in Evanston and Chicago, from speakers to theater productions.


Carol Moseley Braun, who in 1992 became the first African American woman to be elected to the US Senate, delivered a keynote address during a candlelight vigil January 19 at Alice Millar Chapel on the Evanston campus.


Michelle Alexander, a celebrated civil rights attorney, advocate and legal scholar, will deliver a keynote address at 6 p.m. January 26 at Pick-Staiger Concert Hall on the Evanston campus. Alexander has written that many of the gains of the civil rights movement have been undermined by the mass incarceration of black Americans through the war on drugs.


The Northwestern community has celebrated King's life and legacy since 1987 with an expanded special commemoration, including stage events, discussions, lectures, films, music, the continuation of the Alpha Phi Alpha Candlelight Vigil, and theater and service projects. In January 2013, Northwestern designated Martin Luther King Jr. Day as an official University-recognized annual holiday for students, faculty and staff.


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