Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration -Office of The Dean - Carnegie Mellon University

Celebrating the Life & Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Schedule of Events for 2016

“I Have a Dream”: Creative Reflections

Featuring Artwork Display and Children’s Play from Linden Academy
Sunday, January 17
1:00-2:30 pm
University Center, Kirr Commons

Local Pittsburgh youth from Linden Academy will unveil an art display about the life and social impacts of Dr. King. A short play from the Linden Academy’s Drama Club will also be featured. All members of the campus and local community are welcome to attend. Refreshments will follow the presentation.

(All children present will also receive a free coloring workbook about the life of Dr. King.)

THE CONVERSATION: “Student Voices”

An Interactive Diversity Experience 
Monday, January 18 
12:00-3:30 pm
University Center, Rangos 2 & 3 with breakout sessions in various other locations in the Cohon Center

Start your year off by joining us for engaging discussions, featured panels and experiential activities about diversity, social activism and social change. All members of the campus community are welcome to attend.

12:00 - 12:30 pm  Refreshments & Registration

12:30- 1:00 pm  Welcome & Student Voices Segment

1:00 pm -2:00 pm  Panel Discussion from Colors@CMU

2:00 pm - 3:00 pm Breakout Sessions/Experiential Activities & Conversations

3:00 pm - 3:30 pm  Closing (in Kirr Commons)

*Engineering experiential learning credit will be offered as a part of this experience.

Honor Dr. King’s Legacy Through Service

Monday, January 18 (various times)

Recreation with the Homeless at L.I.V.I.N.G. Ministry

9:30 am- 2 pm
Serve with Pittsburgh’s homeless population with L.I.V.I.N.G. Ministry, a homeless outreach organization in Pittsburgh, on Monday, January 18th. From 9:30am-2pm we will coordinate activities for and socialize with some of our most vulnerable neighbors. Play video games, board games, and enjoy general recreation while building relationships. To register for the MLK Day of Service, please go to http://tinyurl.com/LivingMinistry. For questions contact pace@andrew.cmu.edu.

Light of Life Bagged Lunch Service Project

2:00 pm
Connan Room, Cohon University Center

Join PACE as we pack 150 bagged lunches for Light of Life Rescue Mission and discuss the social issues surrounding hunger and homelessness. Light of Life has been housing and feeding homeless individuals in Pittsburgh since 1952 and these bagged lunches will be distributed to their clients. Later in the week, volunteers will have the option to learn more about Light of Life by touring the facility and eating dinner at the mission. For more information contact Kristine Kengor

MLK Day of Service

Our annual MLK Day of Service will be held on Saturday, January 23rd from 9:00 am until early afternoon. Participants will meet in the Cohon Center and will be sent off to service sites, including Animal Friends, around the Pittsburgh area. Register for the MLK Day of Service at http://tinyurl.com/MLKDoS2016. For questions contact pace@andrew.cmu.edu.

The Martin Luther King, Jr Writing Awards 2016

Monday, January 18
4:00 pm (Light Dinner); 4:30 pm Program Begin
Cohon University Center, Rangos Ballroom 
Local high school studentsand Carnegie Mellon students will read personal narratives dealing with individual experiences with racial difference and discrimination. The students are recipients of writing awards sponsored by the Carnegie Mellon Creative Writing Program, Student Affairs and Office of the President. Musical performances will be featured from the School of Drama and a special pre-program performance by the Colfax Elementary School drumming corps during the light buffet dinner. 

RSVPs are welcomed (not required): The awards ceremony is free and open to the public. RSVP.

MLK Writing Awards Winners for 2016: 

New and Classic Media: The Black Experience

Wednesday, January 20
6:00 pm
Margaret Morrison Hall, Room 103
Hors d'oeuvres will be served.

Join the Carnegie Mellon University’s Black Graduate Student Organization as we celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr with an informative panel discussion on the roles people of color have behind the scenes and how they are portrayed in classical and new media. Leading this discussion are journalists and writers that will share their experiences on their inspiration and how they were able to breakthrough to a large audience. Our panelists include:

Damon Young
Editor-in-chief of VSB, contributing editor for EBONY.com, columnist for EBONY Magazine, and founding editor for 1839.
Tony Atkins
Digital Content Producer / Multimedia Journalist at WPXI-TV Pittsburgh
Clarece Polke
Reporting Fellow, Thomson Reuters - Washington, DC Bureau
Kyshira Moffett
Founder of #HERmovement          
 Tory N. Parrish
President of Pittsburgh Black Media Federation

MLK Spoken Word Late Night

Saturday, January 23
8:30 pm (Dessert Reception)
9:00 pm Program begins
Rangos 2 & 3, Cohon University Center

As a late night event for the January Celebration of Diversity Weekend, this showcase will feature spoken word and musical artists from our campus and surrounding Pittsburgh community. Featured artist will include local high school students from the Arts Greenhouse initiative and many more. This event is sponsored by the Office of Admissions, Student Affairs and Arts Greenhouse (an initiative affiliated with CMU’s STUDIO for Creative Inquiry).

If you would like to be a featured artist for this event, please contact M. Shernell Smith by January 21.


Sunday, January 24
1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
College of Fine Arts, Great Hall

For this inaugural event of the Mind-Body-Activism Series, we warmly invite all of the Pittsburgh community to join us for an afternoon of Yoga and Social Justice discussions in the Great Hall of Carnegie Mellon’s College of Fine Arts. Come ready to move, breathe, and engage with yourself and others, as we become more aware of being in our bodies and discuss how we can impact our society to become more equitable, individually and institutionally. All ability levels are welcome to our FREE event.

RSVP for Yoga & Social Justice
Facebook Event Poster

Spirit presents:  SOUL, a talent show

Sunday, January 24
8:30 pm
Cohon University Center, Rangos 1 & 2

Join SPIRIT for our annual talent showcase featuring members of SPIRIT, Carnegie Mellon and the larger Pittsburgh community perform song, dance, poetry and more!

“From the ‘DREAM’ to the COSMOS” 
An Artistic Forum Showcasing Intersectionality

Frame Gallery located at the corner of Margaret & Forbes Avenue
January 29-February 7

“From the ‘Dream’ to the Cosmos” is an art show spanning all mediums and disciplines aiming to find a space in the Carnegie Mellon and Greater Pittsburgh Area for young creatives to continue to combat social inequalities . This show is utilizing the idea of "futurism" to establish new lenses from which to view the intersectionality of race, class, gender, sexual orientation, religion and beyond. In Ta-Nehisi Coate’s latest book, he argues “that there is no American Dream without the right to control, exploit, break, or kill black bodies.” We want this space to serve as an escape from this construct and provide an alternate reality where all of those who have been exploited by the American Dream to create a cosmos of their own.

Student curators for the show are Kelli Clark and Kasem Kydd

Opening Night Reception: Friday, January 29 from 6-8 pm

A series of Talk Backs with Artists will also be featured during the month of February.

Intersections of Poverty: Public Health & Dr. King’s Message

Thursday, February 4
5:30 pm Light Refreshments
6:00-7:00 pm Discussion
Rangos 3, University Center
In collaboration with HAS (Hospital Albert Schweitzer)

Martin Luther King’s message to America went beyond our deep racial divisions; he spoke at length about the need to address poverty at home and around the world. He understood that people are denied equal treatment everywhere because of their socioeconomic status.

Haiti is a place forgotten by the global economy; since its slave population successfully won independence from France in 1804 – just a decade after America achieved independence– Haiti has been a pariah among the world’s powerful countries. Environmental degradation and political instability are the foundations of everyday life for people who have been cut off from the rest of the world. 
Inspired by Albert Schweitzer’s philosophy of “Reverence for Life,” Dr. Larry Mellon and his wife Gwen built HAS in 1953, and it has been serving the Artibonite Valley of Haiti since. At HAS today, a staff of Haitian doctors and nurses take on the highest rates of infant, under-five and maternal mortality in the Western Hemisphere. Furthermore, a staff of community health workers promote sanitation and nutrition in rural communities.

There is no question that work like this saves lives, and that public health is the foundation of a healthy economy. We must ask, however, why the outlook is so grim for public health in Haiti. How has history led us to where we are, and what should be done to change it? These are the questions that Dr. King was asking about poverty, and they remain just as important today.

“Nations Recovering from Conflict”

Panel Discussion from Project Rwanda

Friday, February 5
4:30 pm
Connan Room, Cohon University Center

Join CMU’s Project Rwanda as we welcome keynote speaker M. Bernadine Dias, Associate Research Professor & Founder/Director of TechBridge World for an engaging dialogue featuring campus service organizations and various other platforms for cultivating social change through innovation.  Light refreshments will be served.

University Lecture Series Featured MLK Speaker
Jelani Cobb

"The Half Life of Freedom:  Race & Justice in America Today"

Writer for the New Yorker and Director of Africana Studies Institute at University of Connecticut
Thursday, February 11
4:30 pm
Porter Hall 100

Jelani Cobb writes about the enormous complexity of race in America. In 2015, he received the Sidney Hillman Prize for Opinion & Analysis Journalism for his New Yorker columns, in which he combined "the strengths of an on-the-scene reporter, a public intellectual, a teacher, a vivid writer, a subtle moralist, and an accomplished professional historian."

For more information, please visit the following sites: Jelani Cobb and New Yorker articles

Book Reading with Lunch Discussions

“Between the World and Me” by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Friday, February 19, 2016
12 noon
Mudge Piano Room
Lunch will be provided.

“The Distance Between Us” by Reyna Grande
Tuesday, February 23, 2016
12:30 pm
Lunch will be provided.

Beginning on Tuesday, January 19 a limited number of copies of each book will be made available for campus community members to read and commit to participate in a featured lunch dialogue.

To receive a copy of the book, please RSVP to this link.

martin luther king

All events are free and open to members of both the Carnegie Mellon and Pittsburgh communities unless otherwise specified.

For more information, please call the Office of the Dean of Student Affairs at 412.268.2075.