Penn presents 2018 annual symposium on social change honoring Martin Luther King Jr.

The University of Pennsylvania will honor the life of Martin Luther King Jr. with film screenings, lectures, workshops, panel discussions and musical performances during its 23rd Annual Commemorative Symposium on Social Change, Jan. 15-31.                                                      

Organized by the African-American Resource Center at Penn, all MLK Symposium events are free and open to the public; however, registration is required for some events.

The centerpiece is the annual Day of Service, Monday, Jan. 15, which opens with a breakfast for volunteers in Houston Hall’s Hall of Flags at 8:30 a.m.

After breakfast, attendees will participate in a variety of community-service projects, including recording audiobooks to promote literacy, a drive to collect professional attire for women re-entering the workplace, beautification efforts at designated community spaces, a college fair and a panel discussion, “Finding Your Path to STEM,” where high school students can learn about career opportunities involving science, technology, engineering, math and medicine.

Other events during the 2018 Symposium include the Interfaith Program and Awards Commemoration, Jan. 18; Performance Art for Social Change, Jan. 19; Penn Lightbulb Café, Jan. 23 at World Café Live; “MLK Hallmark Program,” Jan. 24; “Jazz for King,” with live music and poetry, Jan. 26, at Philadelphia’s African-American Museum; and “Being Black in Philly: We Choose to Stay!,” Jan. 29, an event created in response to a 2013 Philadelphia Magazine article, “Being White in Philly.”

These events lead to the 17th annual MLK Lecture on Social Justice on Jan. 31, featuring a conversation with Judith Browne Dianis, co-director of the Advancement Project; Ivan Espinoza-Madrigal, executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice; Amber Hikes, executive director of the Office of LGBT Affairs for the City of Philadelphia; and Marc Morial, president and chief executive officer of the National Urban League.