Cutout photo of Martin Luther King Jr. raising his hand layered over an abstract gold background

Emory King Week

January 15–22, 2023

Emory University King Week is a series of programs offered in January by various Emory units to honor the life and legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the civil rights movement. Programs include educational lectures, spiritual events, community service projects, celebrations, and exhibits.

Additional information is added below as it becomes available. For more information, please contact

Middle School and High School Debate Tournament Volunteer Judging

Atlanta Urban Debate League

Saturday, January 14, Sutton Middle School and Saturday, January 21, Atlanta Public Schools Thomasville Heights Facility

The Atlanta Urban Debate League (AUDL) of the Center for Civic and Community Engagement will be hosting middle school and high school debate tournaments during King Week and volunteer judges are needed. The 2022–2023 debate topic focuses on how the US can partner with NATO for pandemic preparedness or cybersecurity. No debate experience is necessary—training will take place on the morning of the debate tournaments. Volunteers at these events will be working with minors and will need to complete an online orientation process prior to volunteering. Please contact Christy Bradley, director of the Atlanta Urban Debate League and K-12 Engagement, for additional information.

To volunteer for these and other AUDL events and to access the online orientation process, visit the AUDL page on Emory OPEN. Volunteers will get information about how to access the tournament after signing up.

Visit the AUDL Emory OPEN Page

Martin Luther King Jr. Scholars Breakfast Reception

Sunday, January 15, 9:30–10:30 a.m.

The Martin Luther King Jr. Scholars Breakfast Reception is a gathering for recipients of the Emory University MLK, Jr. Scholarship. Students and alumni will have the opportunity to intellectually engage with each other and celebrate the civil rights leader's life and legacy. Open to current and alumni MLK Jr. Scholars. For more information, please contact

King Sunday Worship Service

The Rev. Tolton Ramal Pace 00C 02PH, Speaker

Sunday, January 15, 11:00 a.m. Service

Noon Lunch, Cannon Chapel

The Rev. Tolton Ramal Pace serves on the clergy team at Impact United Methodist Church. He also serves as manager of strategic partnerships and grant programs for the Home Depot Foundation, where he leads philanthropic strategy and investments in Atlanta and across the country. He was recently appointed by Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens to the city’s Local Workforce Development Board. An engaged Emory alumnus, he recently completed a two-year term as co-president of the Caucus of Emory Black Alumni (CEBA) and previously served as Emory College’s assistant dean of admission and director of multicultural recruitment. Sponsored by the Office of Spiritual and Religious Life. For questions, please contact Religious Life.

Emory Beloved Community is a weekly ecumenical Protestant worship service planned for the campus community that gathers Sundays at 11:00 a.m. during the academic year. All are welcome. For more information, please email Religious Life.

RSVP for the Service and Lunch
the reverend tolton pace

Emory’s Day On

Monday, January 16, 11:00 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 

Emory’s Day On honors the work, legacy, and values of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. As always, we will meet at 11:00 a.m. for our kickoff with food, t-shirts, and speeches and check-in for specific trips. The day concludes with the return of our shuttles around 4:30 p.m. Sign-up opens January 2 at Noon. Sponsored by the Office of Civic and Community Engagement.

Secure Your Spot and Learn More

I Too: A Documentary Film from the Mind of Carol Anderson

Tuesday, January 17, 5:00–7:00 p.m., Harland Cinema

In honor of National Racial Healing Day, please join us for a viewing of I Too and a facilitated discussion with Carol Anderson, Charles Howard Candler Professor and chair of African American Studies, and Rose Scott of WABE.

Register Here

Barkley Forum, Emory Conversation Project, and Volunteer Emory

“The Union Difference: A Dialogue on Economic Justice”

Tuesday, January 17, 6:00-7:00 p.m., Emory Student Center MultiPurpose Space N102 

As workers at Starbucks, Apple retail stores, and Amazon vote to unionize, a new union movement is occurring. Join the Emory Conversation Project and Volunteer Emory for a dialogue to explore Martin Luther King Jr.’s focus on economic issues, including the importance of unionization. Participants will use excerpts from Martin Luther King’s address to the Illinois AFL-CIO convention in October 1965 to discuss the benefits of unions and how they can lead to more socially just communities. 

Oxford Campus Celebration of the Life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Tuesday, January 17, 7:30 p.m., Old Church, Oxford GA (Located at Wesley and Fletcher Streets) 

Oxford's annual MLK Celebration returns to an in-person event this year. Featuring Marla Frederick as the keynote speaker, with student leader remarks and performances by Oxappella (Oxford's a cappella group), a string quartet, and the Newton County MLK Interdenominational community choir. This event is free and open to the public and will take place at Old Church, 1011 Wesley Street, Oxford, GA 30054.

About the Speaker

marla frederick headshot

Marla Frederick

Marla Frederick is the Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Religion and Culture at Emory University’s Candler School of Theology. An anthropologist by training, she is the author and/or co-author of four books and several articles including Between Sundays: Black Women and Everyday Struggles of Faith and Colored Television: American Religion Gone Global and ethnographic studies that examine issues at the intersections of race, religion, activism, and media.  She is currently working on a project that explores the work of religious institutions in the founding of historically Black colleges and universities. Frederick has served in numerous capacities in her guilds, including president of the Association of Black Anthropologists and most recently as president of the American Academy of Religion. 

For more information about the event, contact: Lyn Pace, Oxford College Chaplain.

“Call My Lawyer: Fred Gray and Civil Rights Lawyering in the African American Freedom Struggle”

Wednesday, January 18, 4:00 p.m., Glenn Auditorium

Fred Gray image at a microphone

Fred Gray

Attorney Fred Gray is a nationally recognized civil rights attorney, celebrated lecturer, successful author, ordained minister, and former legislator. Elected to the Alabama House of Representatives in 1970, he was one of the first African Americans to serve in the Alabama legislature since Reconstruction. His legal career spans more than six decades, and his landmark civil rights cases can be found in most constitutional law textbooks. He was thrust into the national spotlight in 1955 when he represented Rosa Parks after her arrest for refusing to give up her seat on a Montgomery city bus. The incident sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott and Attorney Gray went on to serve as Martin Luther King’s first civil rights attorney. He also served as counsel in preserving and protecting the rights of individuals involved in the infamous Tuskegee Syphilis Study. In July 2022, President Joseph Biden awarded him the Medal of Freedom. A book signing will follow the lecture. Sponsored by the Department of African American Studies. 

Law School MLK Lecture

Thursday, January 19, 6:00 p.m., Gambrell Hall

Janai Nelson, president and director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, speaker.

MLK Community Service Awards 2023

Thursday, January 19, 4:00-5:30 p.m., Zoom Webinar

Rashard Johnson portrait

Rashard Johnson, keynote speaker

For more than 20 years, the Rollins School of Public Health and the Goizueta Business School have honored the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. through the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Service Awards program. Since then, RSPH and GBS have been joined by other Emory schools, Emory School of Medicine and the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, to sponsor this celebratory event. Join us to recognize groups and individuals from the Atlanta area who have demonstrated unparalleled efforts to fight injustice. 

This year’s awards celebration theme is The Sword That Heals: Championing Leaders of Peace, Love, and Justice and is centered on MLK Jr.’s quote “Nonviolence is a powerful and just weapon, which cuts without wounding and ennobles [those] who wield it. It is a word that heals.” Rashard Johnson, CEO of Emory Decatur Hospital, Emory Hillandale Hospital, and Emory Long-Term Acute Care, is the keynote speaker. Sponsored by the Rollins School of Public Health, Goizueta Business School, Emory School of Medicine, and the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing. 

Nominate an Award Recipient by January 9

Register to Attend the Ceremony 

Interfaith Social Justice Journey

The Legacy Museum and National Memorial for Peace and Justice

Sunday, January 22, 6:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m.

The Office of Spiritual and Religious Life and the Inter-Religious Council invite you to join an Interfaith Social Justice Journey to Montgomery, Alabama. We will be visiting the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) Legacy Museum and the National Memorial for Peace and Justice. This daylong trip will focus on the legacy of slavery, mass incarceration, and racially motivated crimes. Costs will be covered by OSRL, including breakfast, lunch, and snacks. Registration is open to Emory students, faculty, and staff. Space is limited. Sponsored by the Office of Spiritual and Religious Life.

Register Here

exterior photo of the Legacy Museum in Montgomery, Alabama

Morehouse King Collection Lecture and Conversation

January 26, 5:30 p.m., Ray Charles Performing Arts Center, Morehouse College 

Join former South Carolina State Representative and national political commentator Bakari T. Sellers in conversation with Andrea Young, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia, and moderator David Wall Rice, Morehouse College professor of psychology. The discussion topic is “Now is the Time: Perspectives on the Continuing Struggle for Justice and Peace.” Special music is provided by the Uzee Brown Society of Choraliers and the Morehouse College Glee Club Quartet. For more information, contact

CANCELED—Morehouse College King Collection Viewing of Documents

January 30, 5:30 p.m., Atlanta University Center Woodruff Library

To honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the 60th anniversary of the March of Washington, the Morehouse College Martin Luther King Jr. Collection, the AUC Robert W. Woodruff Library, and the Emory University Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion have scheduled a viewing session of documents from Morehouse College’s Martin Luther King Jr. Collection. For more information, contact

This open house viewing will be held in the Archives Research Center on the upper level of the AUC Woodruff Library. Documents will include handwritten sermons and speeches, research materials, photos, and correspondence that chronicle the life and work of King. This collection also allows insight into King’s thoughts, personality, ministerial preparation, organizational skills, and strategic planning during the civil rights period.


All Black Emory podcast logo

Podcast: All Black Emory and the Black Women's Initiative 

Words Are Beautiful, but Action Is Supreme

Season 2, Episode 2 

Release Date: January 18, 2022 

Listen to “All Black Emory” panelists draw from Judas and the Black Messiah themes to discuss their inspiration for current political, social, and economic movements. All Black Emory’s podcast can be found on Apple Podcasts.

Off-Campus MLK Jr. Day Programming

As the birthplace of Martin Luther King Jr. and the headquarters of the civil rights movement, the city of Atlanta offers many opportunities to learn and connect with the history of civil rights and ongoing initiatives to continue these efforts. Several institutions to follow include Ebenezer Baptist Church, the MLK Jr. National Historical Park, the King Center, and the National Center for Civil and Human Rights.

Past King Week Events

Watch videos of some of last year’s events on the 2023 Emory King Week page.

Emory Black History Month Programming

The events of King Week often continue into February, which is Black History Month. Please see our partner offices below for Black History Month programming.

Conveners: Carol Henderson, chief diversity officer, Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Office of the Provost, and Gregory McGonigle, dean of religious life, Office of Spiritual and Religious Life, Office of the President
  • Advancement and Alumni Engagement
  • Barkley Forum for Debate, Deliberation, and Dialogue, Campus Life
  • Belonging and Community Justice, Campus Life
  • Candler School of Theology
  • Center for Civic and Community Engagement, Campus Life
  • Department of African American Studies
  • Emory College Center for Creativity and Arts
  • Emory University Libraries
  • Goizueta Business School
  • James Weldon Johnson Institute for the Study of Race and Difference
  • Laney Graduate School
  • Office for Undergraduate Education
  • Office of Government and Community Affairs
  • Oxford College
  • Rollins School of Public Health
  • School of Law
  • School of Medicine
  • School of Nursing