The Beloved Community Begins Here

2018 Theme

Dream, Believe, Do

art making

2018 Calendar of Events

Friday, January 12, 2018


Annual Countywide Dr. MLK, Jr. Celebration

4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
The Vineyard Church
1500 North Lincoln, Urbana

This annual countywide celebration commemorates Dr. King’s legacy. It brings together community members from Champaign County to celebrate the mission, teachings, and legacy of Dr. King. This year the committee will honor the leadership of local youth who are serving the Champaign-Urbana communities. With the theme of Fifty Years Past, Fifty Years Forward…Our Future Dreamers, Sally Carter, CEO of Tap In Academy, will provide the keynote address.

Contact: Tracy Kleparski (



Sunday, January 14, 2018


33rd Annual Dr. MLK, Jr. Service of Celebration

5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Krannert Center for the Performing Arts
Foellinger Great Hall
500 South Goodwin, Urbana

Since 1988, the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Advocacy for Justice Committee has awarded over 200 scholarships to local students attending colleges such as Parkland College, University of Illinois, and Historically Black Colleges and Universities. This year we honor the memory of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with Reverend Dr. Charlie Dates’ keynote address and music from the community choir.

Contact: Tracy Kleparski (



Monday, January 15, 2018


33rd Annual Unity Breakfast

9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
The Vineyard Church
1500 North Lincoln, Urbana

The 2018 Martin Luther King, Jr. Advocacy for Justice Committee the Vineyard Church welcomes community members to join in celebrating the birthday of America’s preeminent advocate of nonviolence and one of the greatest nonviolent leaders in world history at the 33rd annual Unity Breakfast. Former scholarship recipient, Shawanna Lee, will provide the keynote address to the 2018 scholarship recipients.

Contact: Tracy Kleparski (



Day of Service

1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Illini Union Rooms, ABC
1401 West Green Street, Urbana

University Students, Faculty, Staff, and Community are invited to learn about the impact Dr. King had on the world. Chancellor Robert Jones will provide opening remarks, Dr. Eboni Zemani Gallaher will highlight the importance of service work, and participants will complete hands-on service projects including winter survival kits, birthday kits, and food packaging.

Register as an individual or group at Walk-ins are also welcome.

Contact: Office of Volunteer Programs (



Thursday, January 18, 2018


Krannert Uncorked

5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, Stage 5
500 South Goodwin, Urbana

Performing Arts has served as a global language used to connect people from all walks of life. Join us as we engage through a mixture of music with an original performance by the U of I Hip Hop Collective led by Professor Rudolf Haken and the Black Chorus directed by Dr. Ollie Watts-Davis.

Contact: Tracy Kleparski ( or Price F. Robertson (



Friday, January 19, 2018


Poverty Simulation

1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
School of Social Work, Room 2027
1010 West Nevada Street, Urbana

Of all Dr. King’s messages, one of his most prominent was the issue of poverty. The School of Social Work at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign will be hosting a poverty simulation to help local community members and students better understand the issues, hurdles, and roadblocks faced by those living in poverty. The simulation will allow participants an opportunity to debrief their experiences and think about how they can begin to tackle the challenge of poverty in Champaign County.

To Register:

Contact: Laura Graven (



Saturday, January 20, 2018


Community Celebration

10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, Stage 5
500 South Goodwin, Urbana

This event marks the culmination of the week of events celebrating Dr. King’s legacy. Associate Chancellor Assata Zerai will provide opening remarks. Champaign resident Dawn Blackman, Sr. will provide an engaging historical story about Dr. King. The program will include a performance by students from International Prep Academy and a lecture demonstration dance performance with Dr. Kemal Nance. The winners and honorable mention recipients of the MLK Creative Expressions Contest will also be presented. The event will have entertainment for all ages and is free of charge. 

Contact: Tracy Kleparski (,Rebecca Ferrell (

MLK Creative Expressions Contest Contact:


Victor Perez (