Community, Engagement, Belonging and Access; OUR Clemson

Bakari Sellers to headline 2024 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Celebration 


The Division of Community, Engagement, Belonging and Access has announced several events to celebrate the 2024 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Month. Keynote speaker Bakari Sellers will headline this year’s events.

“We are excited to host Clemson’s 42nd Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Celebration. This year’s theme is ‘CommUNITY: Together We Thrive,’ said Rebecca Harkless, director of the Harvey and Lucinda Gantt Multicultural Center. “Through various events throughout the celebration, the Clemson community will have an opportunity to honor Dr. King’s legacy of bringing together individuals of all backgrounds to work together for a thriving community for all.”

The son of civil rights leader Cleveland Sellers, Sellers made history in 2006 when he defeated a 26-year incumbent in the South Carolina legislature to become the nation’s youngest African American elected official at age 22. In 2014, Sellers was nominated as the Democratic nominee for Lt. Governor in the state of South Carolina. Sellers also served on President Barack Obama’s South Carolina steering committee during the 2008 election.

Throughout his career, Sellers seeks to address issues ranging from education and poverty to preventing domestic violence and childhood obesity.

A graduate of Morehouse College and earning his college degree from the University of South Carolina, Sellers has also earned various accolades throughout his career, including being named to TIME Magazine’s 40 under 40 in 2010 and being named to “The Root 100” of most influential African-Americans in 2014 and 2015. He is also the host of The Bakari Sellers Podcast.

“We are honored to have Bakari Sellers as our keynote speaker on Tuesday, January 16, for the commemorative keynote event where we will also honor members of our Clemson community with the MLK Excellence in Service Awards,” said Harkless.

In addition to the Gantt Center’s events, the Global Black Studies program in the College of Arts and Humanities is sponsoring “The Message: MLK Speaks to Hip Hop” in the Academic Success Center room 118 on Tuesday, January 16 at 5 p.m. Consultant Bryant K. Smith will deliver a multi-media experience on the iconic Martin Luther King Jr.’s connection to the Hip Hop genre.

More information about the celebration, events and registration links can be found on the Gantt Center website.

2024 MLK Day Events

Saturday, 1.13.24 | Multicultural Student Leader Roundtable
9:30 am – 3 p.m.

Barnes Center

Join student leaders from across campus for a day of leadership building focused on bettering our Clemson community together. RSVP is required. Lunch and snacks will be provided. Use the provided link to RSVP for the event. Here.

Monday, 1.15.24 | Day of Service
8:00 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Hendrix Student Center Ballrooms

The MLK Day of Service is intended to be a day “on” to celebrate MLK’s legacy and support his belief in creating a beloved community. Participants can choose the project that best meets their availability and interest in community engagement. Transportation will be provided to and from the service sites. To volunteer, fill out the MLK Day of Service 2024 – Volunteer Sign-Up Form. Spots are limited so be sure to sign up soon!

Tuesday, 1.16.24 | The Message: MLK Speaks to Hip Hop

Consultant Bryant K. Smith will deliver a multi-media experience on the iconic Martin Luther King Jr.’s connection to the Hip Hop genre. Smith is a nationally acclaimed and award-winning educator, author, speaker, trainer and workshop facilitator. He is the president and CEO of Smith Consulting and Networking, a comprehensive consulting and training firm that uses lectures, workshops, and personal coaching to improve people, their environments and the relationships between cultures and communities.

Tuesday, 1.16.24 | 42nd annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Keynote Program
6 p.m.
Brooks Center for the Performing Arts

Speaker: Bakari Sellers

The program will include MLK Awards for Excellence presentations and a keynote speech by Bakari Sellers.

Wednesday, 1.17.24 | Table for Eight: Interfaith Community Dinner
6 p.m.
Barnes Center

Celebrate the interfaith and coalition-building legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. through community with others. Table for Eight will feature dinner and facilitated discussions. RSVP for the event through the provided link.