Celebrating Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
“Let Freedom Ring”

In celebration of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy of peace, equity, and social justice, the 2023 commemorative theme is:“Let Freedom Reign.”

Dr. King is remembered for his achievements and philosophy during the Civil Rights Movement and for the methods he used to get there — namely, nonviolence. During the Civil Rights Movement, King preached that nonviolence and civil disobedience are the only way to fight for freedom.

Dr. King dreamed of an equal and just society for all. At the center of nonviolent actions stands the principle of love. Today, his language of love and nonviolent action resonates globally for all people who stand up for freedom.

Dr. King acknowledges that a tough mind and a tender heart are a key combination to cultivating change. MLK Jr. says, “Love, truth, and the courage to do what is right should be our guiding lights on this lifelong journey. Our strength to love will bring the dream to fruition.” This dream is freedom.

Based on King’s achievements and philosophy, our theme explores four sub-themes:

  1. Freedom
  2. Equality
  3. Social Justice
  4. Love

Event details are coming soon, so please be on the lookout for more information and updates made to the website.

If you have any questions, please CREDE Assistant Director Simone Royal at sroyal2@elon.edu or (336)-278-7243.

Martin Luther King Jr. Commemoration Events

Oratorical Essay Contest: Celebrating the Life and Legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

2022 Theme: Let Freedom Reign

Essay Prompt: Today, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s language of love and nonviolent action resonate globally for all citizens who stand up for freedom together. What would the riches of freedom look like in an equitable and just society for all people? What would you do in your community to make an impact?

Target Audience: Alamance and Guildford County Eleventh Graders

Entry Submission Deadline: November 1st, 2022

Send submissions to crede@elon.edu. For additional information or questions, contact the Center for Race, Ethnicity and Diversity Education at 336-278-7243.

Co-sponsored by the Elon Freedom Scholars

Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Address: Tommy Orange | January 10 | 6 PM

Location: McCrary Theatre, Center for the Arts, 6 p.m.

Date: Tuesday, January 10

Elon University Speaker Series • Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Address

Tommy Orange’s “There There” is an exceptional debut novel that grapples with the history of a nation while showcasing a side of America few of us have ever seen. After noticing a lack of stories about urban Native Americans, Orange created a remarkable work that explores those who have inherited a profound spirituality, but who are also plagued by addiction, abuse and suicide. “There There” tells the story of 12 characters who each have private reasons for traveling to the Big Oakland Powwow, and who come together after a brutal act of violence.

Target Audience: Undergrad Students; Graduate/Professional Students; Faculty & Staff

Admission: $15 or Elon ID. Tickets available beginning November 29 at elon.edu/boxoffice. For information, call (336) 278-5610.

DEEP: Movie Viewing, "Our Friend, Martin" | January 13 | 6 PM

Host(s): DEEP: Rooted in Social Justice, CREDE

Location: Center for Race, Ethnicity and Diversity Education

Subtheme(s): Freedom, Equality, Social Justice, & Love

Target Audience: Undergrad Students; Graduate/Professional Students; Faculty & Staff

Description: DEEP is the Center for Race, Ethnicity, & Diversity Education’s (CREDE) signature program for social justice. We provide spaces for the Elon community to learn about, reflect on, and apply concepts of social justice with a foundation in racial equity. Join the DEEP: Social Justice student group to watch a movie and have an interactive dialogue about the lessons learned and the value of love, nonviolent protest, and compassion for all people regardless of race, ethnicity, abilities, or social class.

International Civil Rights Museum | January 14 | 2-4 PM

Host(s): Center for Race, Ethnicity, and Diversity Education

Location: Greensboro, North Carolina

Register: Please click here to register!

Subtheme(s): Freedom, Equality, Social Justice

Target Audience: Undergrad Students; Graduate/Professional Students; Faculty & Staff;

Description: Spots are very limited, it will be on a first-come basis.

Martin Luther King Jr. Church Service | January 15 | 10 AM

Host(s): Elon First Baptist Church

Date/Time: Sunday, January 15th, 2023, 10:00am

Location: Elon First Baptist Church, 113 Lynn Street Elon, NC

Target Audience: Undergrad Students; Graduate/Professional Students; Faculty & Staff; Alumni, and community

Description: We welcome Elon students, faculty, staff, and community to join us in fellowship at Elon First Baptist Church as we celebrate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Join us after service for continued fellowship, fun, and games. Contact CREDE at crede@elon.edu for more information.



The National Day of Racial Healing | January 17 | 5-6:30 PM

Host(s): Inclusive Excellence Education and Development, CREDE

Location: Mckinnon

Registration: Please register here for #HowWeHeal dinner and dialogue

Subtheme(s): Freedom, Equality, Social Justice, & Love

Target Audience: Undergrad Students; Graduate/Professional Students; Faculty & Staff; Alumni

Description: The National Day of Racial Healing offers communities time and space for racial healing by gathering to take collective action for a more just and equitable world. The focus of the National Day of Racial Healing aligns with Elon’s vision for Inclusive Excellence. As a community, we embrace our shared responsibility to create a community that supports belonging and well-being, strives to dismantle oppression, and acts deliberately toward equitable outcomes. Engaging in racial healing and learning as a community enables us to move toward our Inclusive Excellence goals.

We invite the Elon community to participate in the National Day of Racial Healing in several ways, event details coming soon.

MLK Jr. Service Opportunities | January 18-20

Host(s): Kernodle Center for Civic Life

Location: Kernodle Center in Moseley 230

Subtheme(s): Social Justice

Target Audience: Undergrad Students; Graduate/Professional Students; Faculty & Staff

Description and sign-up for each event:

Service Opportunity #1:  American Red Cross Blood Drive 
Description: The Kernodle Center for Civic Life, is hosting a winter blood drive that will take place on Wednesday, January 18th from 12-6pm in Alumni Gym.

Click here and select “see times” to sign-up for a slot. (Contact Sadie Richey at srichey@elon.edu with any questions.)

Service Opportunity #2:  United Way Community Resource Distribution 
Description: Join the Kernodle Center and United Way of Alamance County to distribute community resource information to neighborhoods in East Burlington on Thursday, January 19 from 12:30-4:30pm.  Volunteers will work in small teams to distribute information door hangers to local residents in order to help spread awareness about Alamance County community resources.

Click here to register!  Contact Kyle Anderson at kanderson52@elon.edu with any questions. Transportation and lunch will be provided!

Service Opportunity #2:  Boys and Girls Club After-School Program 
Description: Join the Kernodle Center for Civic Life and Boys and Girls Club of Alamance County for an afternoon of volunteering on Friday, January 20th from 2:30-6pm with their after-school program as part of our MLK Week Activities.

Click here to register. Contact Kyle Anderson at kanderson52@elon.edu with any questions.  Transportation will be provided.