MLK50 Events

Law Symposium & Luncheon
Monday, April 2, 2018
Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law  |  1 North Front Street

Featured Keynote Speaker: The Honorable Eric H. Holder, Jr.
82nd Attorney General of the United States (2009-2015); Partner, Covington & Burling LLP

The University of Memphis School of Law MLK50 Symposium is part of a two-day event presented jointly by the University of Memphis School of Law and National Civil Rights Museum.

Learn more about the Symposium - or - Register Online

(Dis)Placed Bodies - Art Exhibit
Thursday, January 4-30, 2018   |   Reception - Friday, January 26, 6-8 pm
Memphis College of Art, Main Gallery
Educational Psychology and Research

During the Fall 2017 semester, students and faculty from Memphis College of Art and University of Memphis are working together to examine (dis)placed bodies in Memphis. In this unique cross-institutional course, students and faculty are researching neighborhoods to create art and scholarship that examines how bodies are (dis)placed by intersections between poverty, available jobs with living wages, decent housing, quality education and justice. For more information, contact or 901.678.1525.

MLK Speech on Display
Tentative Dates: March 19 - April 16
McWherter Library Rotunda, UofM

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. penned the words "we shall overcome," a phrase that became a rallying cry for the civil rights movement, for a 1965 speech in Chicago. That 20-page speech – which includes a page handwritten by King – was purchased by Memphis philanthropist Avron B. Fogelman and will be displayed on the University of Memphis campus next spring to mark the 50th anniversary of the civil rights leader's assassination. The speech, which had been estimated to bring $500,000 or more, sold for $382,000. Its previous owner had turned down $5 million for it, according to the auction company, Goldin Auctions. The firm said in a news release that the speech marked the first time King spoke those famous words that inspired the civil rights movement.

"Seeing Civil Rights" - Symposium on Public Humanities
Wednesday-Thursday, March 28 - 29
Brooks Museum of Art
College of Arts & Sciences, English

Symposium on Public Humanities, "Seeing Civil Rights" will align with the Brooks Museum's exhibit on the photography of Ernest Withers, a prominent Memphis-based photographer. Withers beautifully captured some of the most iconic images of the Civil Rights movement, especially dealing with the Sanitation Workers Strike, the "I Am a Man" campaign and Dr. King's visits to Memphis. "Seeing Civil Rights" will explore how Withers and his contemporaries imagined photography's dual role as an art form and a tool for political change. In a series of roundtables and a keynote lecture, the symposium will bring together historians, art historians, literary scholars, journalists and civic leaders to contextualize Ernest Withers within the Civil Rights movement and postwar American culture. For more information contact
View program details and speaker bios >

Rights and Responsibilities - 5th Annual Southern Regional Composition Conference
Friday, March 30, 8:30 am-3:30 pm
University Center, UofM
College of Arts & Sciences, English

5th Annual Southern Regional Composition Conference for teachers of writing - taking MLK Jr.'s legacy as a civil rights leader as the jumping off point for considering the role of writing instruction as an avenue for engaging with civil rights. Keynote speaker, Dr. Victor Villanueva, will present a talk entitled "Memoria is a Friend of Ours: On the Discourse of Color." For more information contact

"At the River I Stand" - Documentary Screening & Moderated Discussion
Saturday, March 31, 2018   |   3-6 pm
Halloran Theater
College of Communication and Fine Arts

"At the River I Stand" reconstructs the two eventful months in Memphis in 1968 leading to the tragic death of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the climax of the Civil Rights Movement. Produced by three University of Memphis faculty members, the film was broadcast nationally by PBS in 1993 to commemorate the 25th anniversary of King's death. This event will include an introduction of the award-winning film by Tavis Smiley, screening and panel discussion with Tavis Smiley as moderator. For more information contact

Call for Student Poster Submissions: 6th Social Work Symposium
Deadline: Friday, April 13, 2018
Department of Social Work

Students are invited to submit posters related to the theme "Celebrating 50 years of Social Work at the University of Memphis: In the Steps of MLK." For more information contact or 901.678.3270.