Community, Engagement, Belonging and Access

2022 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Celebration events scheduled


Academic, author, activist and television personality Marc Lamont Hill will headline Clemson’s 40th Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Celebration conducted under the rallying cry, “The fierce urgency of now. Let’s DO what’s RIGHT.”

Hill, the host of BET News and a former political contributor for CNN, will speak at 6 p.m. January 18 in the Brooks Center for the Performing Arts.

Hill previously hosted the syndicated television show Our World with Black Enterprise and hosts the online internet-based HuffPost Live. He received numerous awards from the National Association of Black Journalists, GLAAD and the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences. Hill is the Steve Charles Professor of Media, Cities, and Solutions at Temple University.

Since his youth in Philadelphia, Hill has been a social justice activist and organizer. He is a founding board member of My5th, a nonprofit organization devoted to educating youth about their legal rights and responsibilities. He is a board member and organizer with the Philadelphia Student Union and works closely with the ACLU Drug Reform Project, focusing on drug informant policy. In recent years, he’s worked on campaigns to end the death penalty and release numerous political prisoners.

Ebony magazine has named Hill one of America’s 100 most influential Black leaders. He is the author or co-author of four books: “Beats, Rhymes, and Classroom Life: Hip-Hop Pedagogy and the Politics of Identity”; “The Classroom and the Cell: Conversations on Black Life in America”; The New York Times bestseller “Nobody: Casualties of America’s War on the Vulnerable from Ferguson to Flint and Beyond”; and “Gentrifier.” He has also published two edited books: “Media, Learning, and Sites of Possibility” and “Schooling Hip-Hop: New Directions in Hip-Hop Based Education.”

Trained as an anthropologist of education, Hill holds a Ph.D. (with distinction) from the University of Pennsylvania. His research focuses on the intersections between culture, politics and education in the United States and the Middle East.

The Complete MLK Celebration Line Up

Many other events scheduled in addition to Hill’s speech, including the following events:

  • Jan. 17 from 9 a.m. to noon:
    • Faculty, staff and students are invited to participate in the annual Day of Service. The morning will consist of a community partner panel and a service packing event in the Hendrix Center for the Homeless Period Project.
  • The community partner panel offers a virtual conversation between local partners and student organizations. During the panel, students will learn what local nonprofits need from volunteers to make Clemson a better place. Register for the MLK Day of Service 2022.
  • Jan. 17 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.:
    • Blood Drive in the Hendrix Center in meeting rooms A and B.
  • Jan. 18:
    • In another of Clemson’s long-held traditions surrounding MLK Day, the President’s Office will present the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Awards for Excellence in Service. The awards are presented each year by the President’s Office and Division of Inclusion and Equity recognizing an employee, a student and a community member who demonstrate excellence in their service to Clemson and the surrounding community. The awards celebrate advocacy for social or environmental justice and service above and beyond their direct employment. The recipient of the student award will receive a $500 cash stipend. Other winners will be able to direct a grant of $500 to the campus or community organization of their choice. Each will also receive a personal plaque and be recognized on a permanent plaque showing past winners.
  • Jan. 20 from 7 to 9 p.m.:
    • Students are invited to share spoken-word, visual or performing arts pieces inspired by King’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” at “Pass the Mic: Amplifying Voices in the Margins.” The event occurs in the Watt Family Innovation Center auditorium.

Access a complete list of MLK Celebration events.