MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. CELEBRATION DINNER

IUPUI faculty, students, and staff have shared a tradition with the Indianapolis community since 1970, honoring the memory of slain civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with a day of activities. The day, an official campus holiday, includes a number of events throughout the day, capped by the annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. dinner, the longest-running celebration honoring King in Indianapolis. The dinner attracts sell-out crowds to commemorate King's goals and dreams and to hear nationally renowned speakers. Past speakers include the famed American poet Maya Angelou; Benjamin Hooks, former director of the NAACP; former Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm; Hollywood actor and director Bill Duke; nationally syndicated columnist William Raspberry; and the scholar Henry Louis Gates. The Black Student Union with the Black Faculty and Staff Council present awards to outstanding faculty, students, and a community organization at the dinner.

IUPUI joins a national effort to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by making this national holiday a day on rather than a day off. Since classes are not in session, students, faculty, and staff participate in a half-day service project in the local community. A kick-off breakfast is followed by team service projects that may include painting and general clean-up, assisting with a youth basketball clinic, or preparing a low-income home for renovation. Students and student groups may also apply for mini-grants to fund special service projects to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  In 2010, over 500 people from IUPUI and the Indianapolis community participated in service to 23 service organizations.

1990Maya Angelou
1991Na'im Akbar
1992Shirley Chisholm
1993Bill Duke
1994Z. Mae Jimison
1995Nathan McCall
1996Dorothy Cotton
1997Samuel Proctor
1998Benjamin Hooks
1999Lea Williams
2000Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
2001Tavis Smiley
2002Minnijean Brown-Trickey
2003Roslyn McCallister Brock
2004Benjamin Carson
2005Kevin Powell
2006Mae Jemison
2007Christopher Edley, Jr.
2008Nikki Giovanni
2009Jeff Johnson
2010Nontombi Naomi Tutu
2011Kevin D. Brown
2012Elaine Brown
2013Bobby Seale
2014Jasmine Guy
2015Marc Lamont Hill
2016Angela Davis
2017Cornell William Brooks