Stanford celebrates Martin Luther King Jr.

Jan. 16, 2024, 12:35 a.m.

Stanford will be hosting a number of events honoring the life of Martin Luther King Jr. throughout January.

King joined students, faculty and staff at Memorial Auditorium on April 14, 1967 to deliver what would become known as “The Other America” speech. King described two versions of America: one where “young people grow up in the sunlight of opportunity” and the other “perishing on a lonely island of poverty.”

The Martin Luther King, Jr. Research & Education Institute continues his legacy today through educational activities. The King Institute and other campus communities organized events on Jan. 15, MLK Day, and throughout the month to commemorate King’s life.

Students living in Otero, Stanford’s public service and civic engagement themed dorm, rallied in for MLK2024, an annual event hosted by the NorcalMLK Foundation. “This is an important annual event involving thousands from across the Bay Area to commemorate the Selma to Montgomery marches in 1965,” wrote resident fellow Luke Terra M.A. ’08 Ph.D. ’14.

“In Otero, we encourage residents to celebrate MLK Jr. Day as a day on, not a day off,” Terra wrote.

Dining halls also offered a special dinner menu. The programming doesn’t end on Monday: Throughout the month, Stanford will celebrate King’s life, legacy and work with various events and programs across campus.


Jan. 16 at 12 p.m. | Martin Luther King’s Legacy: Inspiring Today’s Change

The Hub at Stanford Research Park

Speaker David Lai ’08 will speak on the importance of honoring King “beyond the dream,” and on how King’s work remains present today. Lai is an assistant editor for the King Papers Project, the King Institute’s archived collection of its namesake’s speeches and writings. Register for this event here.

Jan. 17 at 8:30 a.m. | Health Equity Symposium

Stanford Arrillaga Alumni Center

Co-hosted by Stanford Medicine and the King Institute, this event will work toward identifying methods to eliminate disparities in healthcare across communities. Stanford leaders, professors, biotech executives and nonprofit leaders are expected to attend. Registration for this event has closed, however, a waiting list is currently open.

Jan. 17 to Jan. 18 | Cardinal Café Special Lunch Menu

Cardinal Café

Stanford’s Redwood City campus is offering a special lunch menu to honor the holiday, featuring BBQ chicken, Southern style potato salad and collard greens.

Jan. 18 at 4 p.m. | Living the Dream Starting with Me

Stanford Health Care Beam Team

The Black Employee Advancement and Mentoring Through Empowerment, Affiliation and Membership (BEAM) Team, which “strives to cultivate an inclusive work place” at Stanford Health Care, will be hosting a virtual event to discuss how King’s aspirations manifest in people’s lived experiences.

Jan. 18 at 6 p.m. | Changemakers 2024

Centers for Equity, Community and Leadership

Changemakers 2024, an annual event series to highlight Stanford alumni who have created impactful change, will invite three Stanford alumni — Christine Cordero ’02, Darel Scott ’17 M.S. ’18 and Walter Thompson-Hernández ’14 — to speak on Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy. Registration is currently open.

Jan. 20 at 1 p.m. | Celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. with the Stanford Soul Line Dancers

Black Community Services Center

The Black Community Services Center will be hosting an event with the Stanford Soul Line Dancers, a Stanford dance organization themed around R&B, jazz, zydeco, blues and country Western music. Additional information will be provided via Stanford Events.

Feb. 8 at TBD | Film screening: Loudmouth with Rev. Al Sharpton

Martin Luther King Jr. Research and Education Institute

Stanford’s Martin Luther King Jr. Research and Education Institute will be hosting a film screening of “Loudmouth,” a documentary on Al Sharpton’s life, an American reverend, civil rights activist and founder of the National Action Network civil rights organization. Additional information will be provided via Stanford Events.

Christian Figueroa ’27 is a University desk writer. He is from Los Angeles, CA and is majoring in History.

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