Martin Luther King Commemorative Events

Martin Luther King Commemorative Events

From Judy Seidenstein, Chief Diversity Officer and Associate Dean of Diversity & Inclusion, Duke University School of Medicine.

Over the next few days, people across the nation will engage in numerous celebrations to honor the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., a visionary leader of the civil rights movement who transformed the social justice landscape through his commitment to service, community and nonviolence. In a 1966 speech that Dr. King gave to the Second National Convention of the Medical Committee for Human Rights in Chicago, he said, “Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane.”  Promoting the awareness of health care disparities, addressing current challenges, exploring solutions, and our role in eliminating them are essential to Duke Health’s mission and align with Dr. King’s vision.

I invite you to join your peers and colleagues in the thought-provoking and inspirational activities taking place to celebrate the memory of Dr. King.


  • Friday, January 17 at 5:30 pm, Trent Semans Center for Health Education-Sixth Floor, 8 Searle Center: Portrait Unveiling of Brenda Armstrong, MD. An evening to celebrate her contributions to Duke University, School of Medicine and the Durham Community. Free parking is available in the Bryan Research Parking Garage, 311 Research Dr.
  • Saturday, January 18 at 6 pm, JB Duke Hotel: 27th Annual Student National Medical Association (SNMA) MLK Jr. Banquet with keynote speaker, Claudia L. Thomas, MD, first African-American female orthopaedic surgeon (SOLD OUT)
  • Sunday, January 19 at 3 pm, Duke Chapel: Duke University’s 2020 Service of Celebration with keynote address by Andrew Gillum, Former Mayor of Tallahassee and Florida’s first African-American nominee for governor, as well as music and dance.  The event is free and open to the public. Free parking is available in the Bryan Center Parking Garage on Science Drive (map at
  • Monday, January 20 at 9 am, Duke School, Middle School Gym, 3716 Erwin Rd.: MLK Meal Packaging Event. Duke staff and students will join others from Durham to bring 100,000 meals to the Triangle. All food items will be distributed by the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle and their partner agencies. (VOLUNTEER SLOTS FILLED/REGISTRATION CLOSED)
  • Tuesday, January 21 at 5 pm, Sanford School of Public Policy, Fleishman Commons, 201 Science Dr.: Robert R. Wilson Distinguished Lecture with Hon. Dikgang Moseneke, Former Deputy Chief Justice of South Africa and a 2020 spring semester Rubenstein Fellow at Duke
  • Thursday and Friday, January 30th and 31st, Rubenstein Arts Center, 2020 Campus Drive, von der Heyden Studio Theater: From Myth to Man: Martin Luther King, An Interpretation. Created and presented by Duke Division of Student Affairs staff member Ira Knight, playwright, producer, director, and author, this compelling and redefining one-man play features actor John Ivey as Martin Luther King. 


Event Date