Martin Luther King, Jr. Series


Each year in January, RISD produces the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Series to acknowledge the life and vast contributions of Dr. King in creating a more just and democratic society. The annual series of special events includes lectures, programs, discussions and workshops designed to provide RISD and the local community with impactful moments of service, reflection, skill development, inspiration and celebration.

At the heart of the series, the MLK Keynote Lecture highlights the role of creative endeavor in advancing democracy and equity. Each year RISD invites a speaker to campus who consistently and skillfully employs Kingian values and whose service and commitment to justice make an indelible difference in the world.

MLK keynote speaker Marian Wright Edelman with Tony Johnson 93 SC, director of Intercultural Student Engagement.

Marian Wright Edelman at RISD
On January 29, Marian Wright Edelman delivered the 2014 MLK keynote address to a full house at the RISD Auditorium. After more than 50 years of work giving voice to those without one, the eloquent activist clearly demonstrates the values at the heart of RISD’s annual MLK Series. From her activism in the early days of the civil rights movement to her groundbreaking achievements as a woman – and a woman of color – to her political acumen and dogged determination to show all of us the importance of making the right choices for our children, she has created an extraordinary legacy of social activism and change. The RISD community was pleased to welcome Mrs. Edelman to campus in January, appreciating the opportunity to learn her valuable perspective on the role visual artists can play in promoting equity and positive social change.

The Providence River and cityscape as seen from the southern edge of campus, behind the Industrial Design and
Architecture buildings.