Annual MLK Celebration The MIT community gathers every February to celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The Institute began its annual celebration of Dr. King Jr. in 1975 with memorial activities and lectures by prominent speakers, including a keynote address by Coretta Scott King in 1994. Martin Luther King Day was designated an Institute holiday in 1976, a decade before its first official observance as a federal holiday. Hosted by the Office of the President, these celebrations feature remarks from MIT leadership, from each of the recipients of that year’s MLK Leadership Awards, from a staff speaker nominated by the community, and from a keynote speaker who is a prominent leader, nationally or in the local community, in accordance with Dr. King’s dual emphasis on global and local issues. Staff Speaker Nominations Please submit a nomination for a staff member who embodies the values and vision of Dr. King. The nomination deadline for the 2023 MLK Celebration is November 30, 2022. Watch: MLK Leadership Awardees share their thoughts at the virtual 2022 celebration. Previous MLK Annual Celebrations For a comprehensive information about previous MLK Annual Celebration events, visit the MLK Scholars website. YearPast keynote speakers2022Eddie S. Glaude Jr.; educator, author, political commentator, and public intellectual.VIDEO, ARTICLE2021Ijeoma Oluo; writer, speaker, internet yeller. “What we are fighting for is Black Joy.”VIDEO, ARTICLE2020Kevin Richardson, one of the Central Park Five: Speak Up, Have Courage, Confront InjusticeVIDEO, ARTICLE2019Rahsaan Hall of the ACLU’s Massachusetts branch: America’s bank of justice is overdrawn but not bankruptVIDEO, ARTICLE2018Wade Davis: Sustaining the struggle for equity: Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhereVIDEO, ARTICLE2017Aprille Joy Ericsson: Discrimination affects us allVIDEO, ARTICLE2016Freeman A. Hrabowski, III: Truth & Power, Students Leading for ChangeVIDEO, ARTICLE2015Hosted by President Rafael Reif (keynote speaker Rinku Sen was unable to attend): iActivism Individuals Empowering the CollectiveARTICLE, POSTER2014Michael Eric Dyson: Should human rights be determined at the ballot box?2013Paula Williams Madison: Illuminating the Elements of Meritocracy.2012Richard Tapia: Expanding the Possible2011Roland Martin: Excellence is a Shared Path: Working Together for Justice and the Quality of Life2010Gerry Hudson: Deploying Our Gifts for the Betterment of Humankind: What would Dr. King say about us?2009Johnetta Cole: Yes We Must: Achieve Diversity Through Leadership2008Johnnetta Cole: Ensuring Educational Access: Our Challenge, Our Opportunity Ray Hammond2007Ted Childs, Jr.: Maximizing Potential: The Congruence of Diversity and Excellence2006Donna Brazile: Dr. King’s Unfinished Agenda: A Call for Economic & Social Justice in the 21st Century2005Gwen Ifill: Justice and Equality for All: America’s Moral Dilemma2004Julianne Malveaux: Rhetoric or Reality: Civil Right Under Seige2003Julian Bond: Faces at the Bottom of the Well: Nightmare of Reality vs. Dr. King’s Dream2002Tavis Smiley: From Dreams to Reality: The Illusion of Full Inclusion2001Lani Guinier: Confronting the Gap: Building and Sustaining Inclusion2000Shirley Ann Jackson: Engineering Bold Leadership for the 21st Century: A Blueprint for Full Participation in Academia, Government and Industry1999Kweisi Mfume: Teaching and Learning: The Key to Full Inclusion1996Dr. Julius L. Chambers: With Liberty and Justice for All Don’t miss the ceremony! If you would like to receive a notification when registration opens, please subscribe to the ICEO mailing list.