Welcoming Eddie S. Glaude, Jr. on Jan. 18

Excited to announce that the keynote speaker for the official Madison & Dane County King Holiday Observance will be New York Times Bestselling Author & Chair of Princeton’s Department of African American Studies, Eddie S. Glaude, Jr. Details below.

MONDAY – JANUARY 25

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6:00 PM

MLK Symposium – An Evening With Isabel Wilkerson

Hosted by UW Madison – DDEDA

The UW–Madison will welcome Isabel Wilkerson - first African American woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for journalism - as the keynote speaker for an MLK Day observation.

On Jan. 25, 2021, the University of WisconsinMadison will welcome Isabel Wilkerson as the keynote speaker for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Wilkerson is the Author of Caste and The Warmth of Other Suns, and she is the first African American woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for journalism. Join us to hear Isabel Wilkerson’s discussion on connections and reflections on the messages and life of Dr. King in researching and writing Caste. 

Wilkerson, winner of the National Humanities Medal, is a highly respected narrative nonfiction writer. Her works, Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents” and “Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration,” interpret the human condition of Black people and how knowing stories of the past can help bring understanding to American hierarchy still experienced today.  

Wilkerson’s ability to “humanize history” is one of the many reasons her work stands out from the rest. The Warmth of Other Suns, her debut work, became an instant New York Times bestseller upon publication and has reappeared multiple times since its release. It has been named to Time magazine’s 10 Best Nonfiction Books of the Decade and to The New York Times’s list of the Best Nonfiction of All Time. 

Before the release of her most recent book“Caste,” the Chicago Tribune declared that it “should be at the top of every American’s reading list.” Dwight Garner, chief book critic of The New York Times, called the book “an instant American classic and almost certainly the keynote nonfiction book of the American century thus far.” Oprah Winfrey featured Caste as part of her Summer 2020 Book Club.  

The event will be hosted virtually by UW–Madison Student Affairs and the Division of Diversity, Equity and Educational Achievementin partnership with the Wisconsin Union Theater. The Q&A-style event will begin at 6 p.m. Central live on YouTubeIt is open to the public. More details will be available at today.wisc.edu. 

MONDAY – JANUARY 18

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10:00 AM & 3:30 PM

United Way MLK Day of Action & Virtual Conversation

Hosted by United Way of Dane County

In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., United Way & Local Voices Network want to hear about your dreams for our community.

On Monday, January 18, United Way will be hosting two 90-minute, recorded virtual conversations at 10:00 am and 3:30 pm as an extension of their Centennial Conversations initiative. They want to hear your unique experiences and dreams for this community. United Way will use what is shared in these recorded public conversations to better serve you and your neighbors in Dane County for years to come!

As Dr. King said, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” So, speak up, share your voice and help build a Dane County where all can succeed in school, work and life.

Instructions to view the ceremony will be posted here in early January.

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1:00PM – 4:30PM

MLK Day Youth Call to Service

Hosted by The King Coalition of Madison & Dane County

Middle & High School Youth exploring Dr. King's legacy of service and activism.

The King Coalition, in partnership with the City of Madison, Dane County, MSCR, Madison Out of School Time (MOST), Madison Public Library, United Way of Dane County, and the Urban League of Greater Madison is pleased to invite middle and high school youth to attend the MLK Day Youth Call to Service on Monday, Jan. 18.

The 2021 MLK Day Youth Call to Service will be held virtually on Monday, January 18, from 1:00-4:30pm (Central Time). Sessions will be conducted over Zoom and will feature local representatives. This year’s partners include Simone Lawrence, The Hitterz Collective, Freedom Inc., and K. Sankofa.

This is a completely free experience. Attendees will receive t-shirt and any necessary supplies for them to participate in the workshops.

Space is limited. Click here to register.

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12:00 - 6:00 PM

Downtown Madison Community Meal

Hosted by Downtown Madison

Madison Community Meal in Honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Overture Center for the Arts and Little John’s Kitchens are working to bring us together for a community meal on Monday January 18, 2021 in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Madison’s Central Businesses Improvement District (BID) and the downtown Madison businesses it represents are proud to work in partnership to fundraise, market and organize this effort.

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6:00PM – 7:00PM

36th Annual MLK Day Observance

Hosted by the King Coalition

Official Madison & Dane County MLK Day Observance featuring NY Times Best Selling Author Eddie S. Glaude, Jr., MC Angela Fitzgerald, Madison Mayor & Dane County Executive, MLK Community Choir, and more.

The 36th annual Madison-Dane County MLK Day Observance will take place virtually on Monday, January 18, from 6:00 to 7:00 PM. This annual observance includes presentation of the MLK Humanitarian Award by City of Madison Mayor, Satya Rhodes-Conway and Dane County Executive Joe Parisi. Noted musician Leotha Stanley will again lead the MLK Community Choir. The MC for this year’s observance will be Angela Fitzgerald, host of Wisconsin Life on Wisconsin Public Television and the keynote speaker will be NY Times Best Selling Author Eddie S. Glaude, Jr.

Instructions to view the ceremony will be posted here in early January.

SUNDAY – JANUARY 17

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1:00PM – 2:00PM

Urban League Outstanding Young Person Breakfast

Hosted by Urban League of Greater Madison

Get a jump start on college at this summit in honor Dr. King.

The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Virtual College Summit is designed to help high school students and families understand the college admissions and financial aid process. Get a jump start on college planning by registering for this summit in honor and celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King’s legacy and advocacy for equal opportunity for all. This event will be held virtually on Saturday, January 16, 2021 from 10am-12pm. Click for more info

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4:30PM – 6:00PM

MLK Ecumenical Service

Hosted by The King Coalition of Madison & Dane County

Join us to promote the "beloved community" through spiritual inclusivity.

Hosted by the King Coalition in parternship with a diverse group of faith community leaders, the MLK Ecumenical Service joins people together from diverse religious traditions, socioeconomic statuses, ethnicities and political beliefs in the spirit of brotherhood/ sisterhood to honor Dr. King’s dream of social justice and equality. It also seeks to develop the “beloved community” through spiritual inclusivity and recognition of our shared humanity.

This year’s service includes remarks from:

  • Pastor Everett Mitchell, Christ the Solid Rock
  • Pastor Karla Garcia, SS Morris AME Church
  • Pastor Sterling Lynk, Dekorra Lutheran Church
  • Reverend Karen Armina, James Reeb Unitarian Universal Congregation
  • Pastor Charles Yu, Blackhawk Church
  • Rabbi Andrea Steinberger, Hillel at University of Wisconsin
  • Pastor Roger Bertschausen, First Unitarian Society of Madison
  • Minister Melva Bishop, Mt Zion Baptist Church (invited)

Our thanks to First Unitarian Society for producing the virtual service. Instructions to view the online broadcast will be posted here in early January. 

SATURDAY- JANUARY 16

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1:30PM – 12:00PM

MLK College Summit

Hosted by The College Station

Get a jump start on college at this summit in honor Dr. King.

The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Virtual College Summit is designed to help high school students and families understand the college admissions and financial aid process. Get a jump start on college planning by registering for this summit in honor and celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King’s legacy and advocacy for equal opportunity for all. This event will be held virtually on Saturday, January 16, 2021 from 10am-12pm. Click for more info

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6:30PM – 8:30PM

Dream Ball

Hosted by Women in Focus

35th Anniversary Dream Ball: An inspirational evening benefiting WIF Scholarships

For the past 35 years, Women in Focus, Inc. (WIF) has been proud to encourage and support students of color to succeed in education through our college scholarship program.  WIF deeply believes in the abilities and talents of students of color in Dane County and that college education is key to their future and to building stronger communities locally, nationwide and worldwide. Funding has come from the generosity of sponsors, donors and guests at our “I Have a Dream” Ball, held each January in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

This year the event is FREE. The will include a silent auction. Auction bidding opens January 11 and all proceeds will fund scholarships for 2021! The Virtual Ball will feature top MCs and entertainment, with music starting at 6:30 for “Happy Hour.” Click here for more info.

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