Events to Celebrate Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.: 'Shape the Future by Building Place for All'

Beverly Daniel Tatum, author of Assimilation Blues: Black Families in a White Community; Can We Talk About Race? and Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? And Other Conversations about Race, will deliver the keynote address at the University of Dayton's annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Prayer Breakfast at 8 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 22, in the Kennedy Union ballroom.

No public tickets are available for the breakfast, but Daniel Tatum also will give a talk as part of the University of Dayton Speaker Series at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 22, in the Kennedy Union ballroom. That event is free and open to the public.

The New York Times recommended Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? And Other Conversations about Race as required reading for private school teachers and administrators dealing with issues of race and class.

Daniel Tatum was Spelman College president from 2002 to 2015. In 2013, the Carnegie Corporation of New York named her as a recipient of its 2013 Academic Leadership Award, recognizing her as an exceptional president of a U.S. college or university. She was the first president in the state of Georgia and the first at a historically black college or university to win the award.

The annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Prayer Breakfast also will be part of the Association of American Colleges and Universities' call to mark the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s third annual National Day of Racial Healing. The foundation encourages colleges and universities to engage in activities, events or strategies that day to promote healing and foster engagement around the issues of racism, bias, inequity and injustice.

Other University of Dayton events to celebrate King include:

  • Faculty, staff and students will participate in Dayton's Martin Luther King Day march at 9 a.m. Monday, Jan. 21. Open to the public.
  • The University will commemorate the feast day of Marianist founder the Blessed William Joseph Chaminade with a Mass at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 22, in the Chapel of the Immaculate Conception. Open to the public.
  • Movie nights and discussions — King in the Wilderness (6 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 23, Roesch Library Collaboration Space) and The Hate U Give (6 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 31, Roesch Library Collaboration Space).
  • Table of Plenty lunch discussion on social justice topics related to the impact and legacy of King at 12:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 24, in the Kennedy Union Torch Lounge. RSVP here. Sponsored by the Center for Social Concern and the Office of Multicultural Affairs.
  • The University's monthly prayer service for peace and people impacted by discrimination and violence — Prayers of the Heart — at 12:15 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 17, at the University of Dayton Peace Pole in the courtyard between the Immaculate Conception Chapel and St. Mary's Hall. Open to the public.
  • Faculty, students and staff will participate in a day of service in the Dayton community — the MLK Social Plunge throughout Dayton 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 26.

Other events may be added to the schedule.

To learn more about the University's events to celebrate King, contact Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Planning Committee chairs Verb Washington or Christina Smith at or, respectively.

For interviews, contact Shawn Robinson, associate director of news and communications, at 937-229-3391 or


News and Communications Staff