Temple to debut annual day of service and dialogue to honor Martin Luther King Jr.


To honor the memory of civil rights leader Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., President Hart announced Temple's first annual universitywide commemorative celebration of King and his legacy.

Events for Temple staff, faculty, students, alumni and neighbors will include community mentoring and service opportunities, film screenings, facilitated discussions about diversity issues and a candlelight memorial service.


"An annual day of community engagement and intellectual exploration honoring Dr. King's legacy is a natural extension of Temple's mission. I can think of no better way to begin the spring semester," said President Ann Weaver Hart, who will speak at the evening memorial service.

The celebration will begin with a free screening of the documentary film "Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.: A Historical Perspective" on Saturday, Jan. 19, at 1 p.m. at the Pearl Theater at Avenue North (1600 N. Broad St.). The screening will be open to community residents, Temple employees and students.

Martin Luther King Jr at Temple University
Photo courtesy Temple University Libraries/

Urban Archives
The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. addresses a gathering at the Baptist Temple in 1965.

On Monday, Jan. 21, the day before classes begin in the spring 2008 semester, a series of events will take place at Temple's Main Campus in Philadelphia.

Activities begin at 11 a.m. in Ritter Hall’s Kiva Auditorium with a brief introduction and a multimedia presentation about King's life. Participants will receive complimentary refreshments and Martin Luther King Day of Service T-shirts.

The presentation will be followed by a screening of an excerpt from the film "Martin Luther King Jr.: 'I Have a Dream.'" After the film, Temple experts in the fields of diversity, inclusion and improvisational theater will lead staff, faculty, students and community members in discussions about topics related to King's legacy as well as some of today's most challenging social issues.

The Kiva Auditorium session will conclude with opportunities for Temple staff, faculty and students to serve as volunteer mentors to local youths participating in the Achieving Independence program, an effort run by Temple's School of Social Administration to assist young people who are aging out of the foster care system.

At 4 p.m., the celebration will move to Temple's Student Center, room 200, where a multimedia candlelight memorial service will be held. President Hart, Temple Trustee Judge Theodore A. McKee, Temple University Black Alumni Alliance President Tim Reese, Temple theater faculty member Charles Dumas and religion and women's studies faculty member Rebecca T. Alpert will share their reflections about King.