The annual observance includes presentation of the MLK Humanitarian Award by City of Madison Mayor, Satya Rhodes-Conway and Dane County Executive Joe Parisi. Noted musician Leotha Stanley will again lead the MLK Community Choir. The MC for this year’s observance will be Angela Fitzgerald, host of Wisconsin Life on Wisconsin Public Television and the keynote speaker will be New York Times best-selling author and chair of Princeton’s Department of African American Studies Eddie S. Glaude, Jr.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, events will be virtual this year. To access the live broadcast and the most up to date information visit the King Coalition website >
About Eddie S. Glaude, Jr. - Keynote Speaker
Eddie S. Glaude, Jr. is one of the nation’s most prominent scholars, Glaude is an author, political commentator, public intellectual, and passionate educator who examines the complex dynamics of the American experience. His most recent book Begin Again: James Baldwin’s America and Its Urgent Lessons for our Own is a New York Times bestseller. He is an American critic in the tradition of James Baldwin and Ralph Waldo Emerson, confronting history and bringing our nation’s complexities, vulnerabilities, and hope into full view. Hope that is, in one of his favorite quotes from W.E.B. Dubois, "not hopeless, but a bit hopeful."
Some like to describe Glaude as the quintessential Morehouse man, having left his home in Moss Point, Mississippi at age 16 to begin studies at the HBCU and alma mater of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He holds a master’s degree in African American Studies from Temple University and a Ph.D. in Religion from Princeton University. He is currently the James S. McDonnell Distinguished Professor of African American Studies at Princeton University, where he is also the Chair of the Center for African American Studies and the Chair of the Department of African American Studies. He is the author of the 2020 book Begin Again, about James Baldwin and the history of American politics. Glaude is known both for his inspiring oratory and ability to convene conversations that engage fellow citizens from all backgrounds — from young activists to corporate audiences looking for a fresh perspective.
Glaude frequently appears in the media, as a columnist for TIME Magazine and as an MSNBC contributor on programs like Morning Joe and Deadline Whitehouse with Nicolle Wallace. He regularly appears on Meet the Press on Sundays. Glaude also hosts Princeton’s AAS podcast, a conversation around the field of African American Studies and the Black experience in the 21st century.
There is no cost to attend. See Facebook Event >
This event is co-sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Madison and is the capstone of a series of events hosted by the King Coalition to commemorate the King Holiday.
More King Coalition Events
MLK Ecumenical Service
Sunday, January 17, 2021
4:30 pm - 6:00 pm
See Details on Facebook >
The MLK Free Community Dinner which traditionally kicks-off the MLK Day weekend has been canceled this year. However, the official City-County Observance, MLK Ecumenical Service, and the Youth Call to Service event will all continue with dynamic virtual observances of the Dr. King Holiday. In addition, other community events are also being planned virtually
The King Coalition was established in the fall of 1985 as a community group to plan the official City of Madison and Dane County observance of the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday. The planning of this holiday celebration takes on special significance as people from all walks of life gather in the spirit of true brotherhood and sisterhood to commemorate the life and accomplishments of this renowned leader of the Civil Rights movement. The Coalition consists of representatives from religious communities, organized labor, the UW-Madison, public schools, peace groups, service organizations, and city and county government. Other individuals have joined because of their personal commitment to equal rights and justice for all people.