Martin Luther King, Jr. Series

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Each year in January, the RISD community organizes and hosts 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 and workshops designed to provide RISD and the local community with meaningful moments of service, reflection, self-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 upholds Dr. King’s values and whose service and commitment to justice make an indelible difference in the world.

Recent MLK keynote speakers include children’s rights advocate Marian Wright Edelman (2014), artist/activist Harry Belafonte (2013) and writer/activist Angela Davis (2012). It is with great honor and excitement that the MLK Series Planning Committee RISD’s 2015 MLK keynote speaker and honoree:

Danny Glover 

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photo: Victoria Will / Invision / AP

With a portfolio of work grounded in community advancement and socially responsible art making, internationally acclaimed actor, producer and humanitarian Danny Glover embodies the impact creative endeavor can have in advancing democracy and equity. His philanthropic and humanitarian work has been a constant in his career – from his early life as a student activist and community developer, to his more recent activities centered around advocacy for economic justice and universal access to health care and education. 

As an actor, Glover has been a commanding presence on screen, stage and television for more than 25 years. His film credits range from small, independent films such as To Sleep With Anger, Death at a Funeral and the film version of Athol Fugard’s play Boseman and Lena, to big Hollywood productions such as Witness and The Color Purple, to the blockbuster Lethal Weapon series.

Glover has earned Emmy nominations for his performance in the title role in the HBO movie Mandela and his work in the acclaimed miniseries Lonesome Dove, and recently co-starred in the popular TV series Touch. As co-founder of Louverture Films in NYC, he is dedicated to producing films of historic relevance, social impact and artistic integrity, such as Bamako, Trouble The Water and The House I Live In, among others.

At RISD Glover will speak about Creativity and Democracy: Social Change Through the Arts. His talk is free and open to everyone with a ticket.

Read more about Danny Glover’s life and contributions.

Change of dates

Originally scheduled for Monday, January 26, Tim Wise’s talk has been postponed due to a blizzard throughout the northeast. An alternate date will be announced soon.

In addition, due to the storm, the Wednesday keynote address by Danny Glover has been rescheduled for this Friday, January 30 at 7 pm (doors open at 6 pm). If you already had a ticket to the event, you should have received special instructions for re-validating your reservation. Check here for additional seats.

Members of the RISD community may also pick up any remaining tickets at Carr House (2nd floor) once RISD reopens after the blizzard. 

MLK 2015 | events

January 17 | opening celebration dinner, 5–8pm, Portfolio Café, 15 Westminster Street

January 17 | opening concert, 6:30–8pm, Fleet Library at RISD, 15 Westminster Street

January 19 | MLK Day of Service, 8:30am–2:30pm, Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary School, 35 Camp Street

January 19 | RISD LEADS featuring Camilo ViveirosMartin, Ella, and Cesar: Learning from Movement Leadership, 6pm, RISD Tap Room, 226 Benefit Street (4th floor)

January 23 | Rhythm + Change: screening of the Danny Glover film The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975, 8pm, Metcalf Auditorium, Chace Center, 20 North Main Street

January 24Rhythm + Change: screening of the Danny Glover film Trouble the Water, 3pm, Metcalf Auditorium, Chace Center, 20 North Main Street

January 25Rhythm + Change: screening of the Danny Glover film Soundtrack for a Revolution followed by a panel discussion with faculty, 3pm, Metcalf Auditorium, Chace Center, 20 North Main Street

January 26 | POSTPONED DUE TO STORM Tim Wise: Uprooting Privilege: Leadership Responsibilities in a World of Institutional Inequality7pm, Chace Center, 20 North Main Street (more about Tim Wise)

January 30 | NEW DATE DUE TO STORM (postponed from Jan 28 to Jan 30) Danny Glover: Creativity and Democracy: Social Change through the Arts, 7pm, RISD Auditorium, 17 Canal Walk (the lecture will be simulcast in the Metcalf Auditorium, Chace Center, 20 North Main Street

printable schedule

printable poster


promotional materials

MLK 2014 | selected coverage
Biking is big at RISD – despite the killer hill.