student marching with signs for MLK Jr Day

Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration

Martin Luther King

2024 Event Schedule

  • January 15: Official MLK Day Holiday (university closed)
  • January 18: On-Campus Rally and March (Community Time)
  • January 26: Unity Luncheon (registration required)
  • January 26: Day of Service (Westminster only)
  • January 31: Bastian Diversity Lecture MLK Keynote (registration required)

Event Details

Westminster University’s evolving efforts to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. are anchored in his powerful words: “Intelligence plus character—that is the goal of true education.”

Intelligence and character are pillars of a Westminster education and experience. They are embedded in Westminster’s university-wide learning goals, Diversity Statement, and our commitment to inclusivity.

Each January, Westminster holds a week of events celebrating Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy that provides opportunities to connect and have conversations about diversity, community, and engagement.

Three students posing with a fist in the air in the middle of Richer Commons

Students marching with linked arms on the street holding signs

About the Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration

While the state of Utah lagged for decades in officially acknowledging Martin Luther King Jr. Day, dedicated Westminster campus community members mobilized, strategized, and at times organized with other universities to acknowledge and celebrate Dr. King’s work and commitment to social justice.

In recent years, Westminster’s activities have grown to include a rally and march in the Sugar House neighborhood, a Day of Service, a keynote address, and a luncheon to recognize those among us who are actualizing diversity, equity, and inclusion in their circles of influence. The Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration advances the talk and action toward building healthy, respectful, and brave living and learning communities for all.

Westminster honors Dr. King’s life and legacy as a leading activist to gain equal civil and human rights for African Americans and all who suffered social, economic, educational, and legal injustice.

Celebration Planning Committee

If you would like to participate in the planning committee for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration Week, contact Tamara Stevenson at

Unsung Hero Awards

The Unsung Hero Awards recognize members of the Westminster community who have demonstrated a commitment to promoting a diverse and inclusive community–on campus and in our surrounding communities. Nominees may be students, staff, faculty, and campus units, along with community leaders, partners, and local organizations who demonstrate exceptional courage, conviction, and capacity in their field of work or service that has made a positive and productive difference in the lives of individuals and communities.

The Unsung Hero Awards are presented at the Unity Luncheon, which is part of the university's annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Week.

Past Unsung Hero Awardees

  • Bobbi Deal, Student, Nursing
  • Julie Tille, Staff, Director, Katherine W. Dumke Center for Civic Engagement
  • Dr. Bianca Thompson, Faculty, Mathematics
  • Amanda Darrow, Alum
  • First Scholars Program, Campus Unit (Kari Lindsay and Julian Mendez)
  • Utah State Representative Sandra Hollins, Community Leader
  • Wasatch Community Gardens, Community Organization
  • Sophie Caligiuri, Student
  • Meghan Wall, Faculty, Dance
  • Nancy Brown, Staff, Institutional Advancement
  • Giovale Library, Campus Unit
  • Plan-B Theatre, Community Organization
  • Eliza Van Dyk, Student
  • Joan Roque Peña, Faculty, Chemistry
  • Frances Peacock, Staff, Assistant Director, Student Success and Retention
  • Computer Science: Helen Hu and Kathryn Lenth, Campus Unit
  • Angela Dunn, MD, MPH, lead epidemiologist for the state of Utah, Community Leader
  • Lucas Horns, Project Rainbow, Community Leader
  • YWCA Utah, Community Organization
  • Alvaro Cortez, Student
  • Shari Duckworth, Director, Student Account Services
  • Marilee Coles-Richie, Faculty, Education
  • Adam Sklute, Artistic Director of Ballet West, Community Leader
  • B.W. Bastian Foundation, Community Organization
  • Marley Dominguez, Student
  • Lesa Ellis, Faculty, Neuroscience
  • Tamara Stevenson, Faculty, Communication
  • Collin Bunker, Staff, Information Services
  • Engels Tejeda, Alum
  • Office of Marketing and Communications, Campus Unit
  • Sabi Lowder, Student
  • Karnell McConnell-Black, Dean of Students
  • Han Kim, Faculty, Public Health
  • James Jackson III, President, African American Chamber of Commerce, Community Leader
  • Multicultural Engagement for Utah, Community Organization
  • Mary Jo Hinsdale, Director, McNair Scholars Program
  • Eileen Chanza Torres, Faculty, English
  • Cherie Wood, Mayor, City of South Salt Lake

Martin Luther King Jr. Day Remarks