Martin Luther King Day 2021

Everybody can be great … because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.   - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr

Dear Members of the CPUP Community,

As you know, we will observe Martin Luther King Jr. Day on January 18, 2021.  A number of activities are planned at Penn that you may consider joining.  Some are educational, others participatory and yet others involve service.  We encourage you to become engaged as we work towards an Antiracist Culture at CPUP.  

Best wishes on behalf of the CPUP Committee on Antiracism,

Frances Jensen, M.D. and Maria A. Oquendo, M.D., Ph.D.
Co-Chairs of the CPUP Committee on Antiracism


Sat., Jan 16

10:30am – noon

MLK Sports and Wellness Virtual Event

We invite families from across Penn and West Philadelphia to engage in virtual sports and wellness activities with Penn students and staff.

For more information and to register:  


Mon., Jan 18

9am – 10am

MLK Day of Service Kick-Off

The "Kick-Off" begins the Day of Service with speaker Dr. Marc Lamont Hill. Entertainment includes Nia-Next, Danse4Nia's Youth Company and Inspiration A Capella.

Join via Zoom:

Mon., Jan 18

10am – 4pm

City-Wide Donation Project
Donors choose a donation a donation site from the below link. They will purchase items on the site supply list and document the delivery of the items by posting to social media platforms using the #PennMLK.
For more information, please reach out to Diane Leslie at

Mon., Jan 18

10:30am – 11:30am

MLK Art Project: Vision Board Style Great for Families with Young Children

Artfully express your goals and dreams in this multimedia workshop that celebrates the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Art instruction provided by Cooper's Color to Canvas. Downloadable MLK image available. For a listing of art supplies needed, for more information, and to register:

Join via Zoom:

Mon., Jan 18

Noon – 1pm

Penn Reads Literacy Project Lecture

You are cordially invited to this most timely and interactive "virtual" presentation featuring a renowned scholar Ebony Elizabeth Thomas who will focus on children's and adolescent texts, the teaching, history, and culture of African American literature in K through 12 classrooms,  She will also focus on the roles that race, class, and gender play in classroom discourse and interaction. Parents and educators welcome!



For more information, please contact or  

Donation deadline: Jan 23


Penn Reads Book Donation Project

You can be the catalyst for sparking a child's imagination! The Penn Reads Literacy Project, a service activity of the MLK Day of Service, supports Philadelphia preschools/day care centers/local bookstores. Help a young child develop a love of reading by purchasing books from a curated list of short multi-cultural, anti-bias children's books.  Delivery should be directed to our drop off site.

For more information, including drop off site and booklist:

If you have any questions, please contact or

Mon., Jan 18

1:15pm – 2:30pm

The College Admissions Process During COVID-19  Great for High School Students and their Families
The College Admissions and Financial Aid Application Process can be time consuming and confusing. This virtual workshop, led by Penn Admissions and Finance Counselors will help you better understand the college admissions and financial aid process.

Registration required:


For more information contact: or

Mon., Jan 18

7pm – 8pm

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Virtual Vigil
The Mighty Psi Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. along with the Gamma Epsilon Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and the African-American Resource Center hosts an annual vigil on Martin Luther King Day to commemorate Dr. King and his legacy. The event will be held over Zoom and feature several speakers including Dean of the Wharton School, Dr. Erika James, and Penn’s Vice President for Social Equity, Rev. Charles Howard, as well as performances by the Excelano Project and a moment of silence.
For more information and to register:


Contact: Nyeem Maloney, or Ashley Codner,  

Tues., Jan 26

6pm – 7pm

MLK Interfaith Commemoration

With words, song and the presentation of our annual MLK Community Involvement Awards our annual Interfaith program emphasizes our common humanity and acknowledges individuals whose active service exemplifies Dr. King's vision.  The program will include student performances, remarks from President Amy Gutmann, Provost Wendell Pritchett and Penn student leaders.

View the event here: 

Wed., Jan 27

5:30pm – 6:30pm

The 20th Annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Lecture in Social Justice

Cornel West in conversation with Margo Crawford.

Co-hosted by the Center for Africana Studies and the Annenberg School for Communication. Co-sponsored by the Black Alumni Society. 

Viewing information will be available on the Events Page of Penn AARC as the event nears.

Thurs., Jan 28

5pm – 6:30pm

Hallmark Program – After the Marches End Part 2
Dr. Herman Beavers (professor, English and Africana Studies, University of Pennsylvania) in interview with Dr. Henry Louis Taylor, Jr., (Director, Center for Urban Studies, University of Buffalo) and Keeanga-Yamahtia Taylor (assistant professor, African American studies, Princeton University). They will share their perspectives on past, current and future changes in the movements for social justice, anti-racism, and equity, particularly as they impact BIPOC communities.

For viewing information, please visit:

Contact: African-American Resource Center, or Dr. Valerie Allen,

Fri., Feb 5

6pm – 7pm

Jazz for King

This year's theme is "Black Panthers(s), Black Power: Celebrating Black (Super) Heroism." Come jam with us as we groove to the music styling of Glenn Bryan & Friends. Laugh with Kenny Ray Walker and more.

For more information and to register:
Contact: Diane Leslie,


Penn African American Resource Center


Penn Medicine Community Relations