The 24th annual community celebration honoring the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. will begin on the East Mall near the MLK Statue on Monday, January 15 at 9 a.m. After a brief opening ceremony, the march will head toward the south steps of the State Capitol and will continue on to the historic Huston-Tillotson University, where exciting activities are planned.
The opening ceremony will include
- Invocation by A.W. Anthony Mays, UT Austin alumnus and senior pastor at Mt. Sinai Missionary Baptist Church
- A performance of “Lift Every Voice and Sing” by Innervisions Gospel Choir
- Introduction of UT Austin President Gregory Fenves by Dr. Leonard Moore, professor of history and interim vice president for diversity and community engagement
- Official UT greetings by President Fenves
- A speech by the first-place winner of the MLK Oratory Contest
- Theme exploration by Dr. Edmund T. Gordon, vice president for diversity and professor at UT Austin
The MLK Community Festival, organized by the Austin Area Heritage Council, kicks off as soon the marchers arrive and will last until 3 p.m. Participants are encouraged to bring canned goods or nonperishable items for donation. Visit the Austin Area Heritage Council website for more details about the festival and donation drive.