Eastern Michigan University to host annual Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration January 13-16

Dr. Sampson Davis, emergency physician, speaker, best-selling author and TV personality, to serve as luncheon keynote speaker

Minimal art illustration of MLK waving amid blue and white clouds on a green background.

YPSILANTI— In honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. and his sacrifices for civil rights in the United States,  Eastern Michigan University will host the 37th Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration from January 13-16. The celebration begins with a kickoff event featuring EMU’s award-winning forensics team at 10 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 13, followed by other events during the weekend. It culminates with the MLK Jr. President’s Luncheon on Jan. 16, from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in EMU’s Student Center Ballroom, located at 900 Oakwood St. in Ypsilanti. Community members are encouraged to participate in events celebrating King’s life and legacy. 

Dr. Sampson Davis wearing white coat with stethoscope around his neck
Dr. Sampson Davis will deliver the keynote address.

“Remembering the Dream,” is this year’s theme that highlights the ongoing importance of using our collective voices to address racial injustice,” said Doris Fields, interim chief diversity officer at Eastern. “The movement for civil rights and social justice is far from over, and we hope this year’s events and discussions will galvanize each of us to continue King’s legacy.” 

Event highlights include a panel discussion and academic conferences designed to deepen the understanding of King’s impact on society. The celebration concludes with a luncheon and message from keynote speaker Dr. Sampson Davis, emergency physician, best-selling author and TV personality.

Dr. Davis is known for his book "The Pact," based on a shared commitment with two of his friends to all become physicians. Davis, an example of positive peer pressure, said the power of having a dream is life-changing for those within and outside your community. 

 “We all can shape other people’s lives,” said Davis. “It is that investment into humanity that will produce a community filled with hope, love, and insurmountable achievement.” Davis’ overall takeaway from his presentation is the importance of dedication, determination and discipline.

 “Martin Luther King, Jr.'s legacy resonates with so many people because his messages promote hope despite obstacles,” said Fields. “Dr. Davis is an excellent example of King’s legacy because his story demonstrates that anything is possible if you stay the course.”

Please visit the webpage for more information about the luncheon and other events. 

About Eastern Michigan University
Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest public university in Michigan. It currently serves more than 14,000 students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, specialist, doctoral and certificate degrees in the arts, sciences and professions. In all, more than 300 majors, minors and concentrations are delivered through the University's Colleges of Arts and Sciences; Business; Education; Engineering and Technology; Health and Human Services; and its graduate school. National publications regularly recognize EMU for its excellence, diversity, and commitment to applied education. Visit the University’s rankings and points of pride websites to learn more. For more information about Eastern Michigan University, visit the University's website. To stay up to date on University news, activities and announcements, visit EMU Today.

January 11, 2023

Written by:
Melissa Thrasher

Media Contact:
Melissa Thrasher