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Professor David Wall Rice to speak at Jan. 16 Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration

Invited speaker David Wall Rice will deliver the keynote address prior to the awarding of the Martin Luther King Jr. Social Justice Awards

In recognition of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, UND will host an MLK Day Brunch in the Ballroom of the Memorial Union on Monday, Jan. 16, from 10 a.m. to noon.

Community members are invited to join the Office of Diversity & Inclusion, Student Diversity & Inclusion, and the Pride Center in attending the event. The annual UND event features the awarding of the Martin Luther King Jr. Social Justice Awards, which are given to individuals that actively demonstrate a commitment to social justice in the UND community.

David Wall Rice

David Wall Rice, professor of psychology at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Ga., will give the keynote address at the brunch event. Wall Rice is the Principal Investigator of the Identity, Art and Democracy Lab at the college, which is “a research space where we examine identity with life stories and an asset-based lens.”

Wall Rice will speak about individual responsibility, as analyzed through the lens of the legacy of Dr. King.

“I hope that in meaningfully meditating on the significance of Martin Luther King, Jr. — in this time and at this space — there will be an investment in oneself in considering the responsibility of finding an actionable democracy that means what it says,” Wall Rice said.

He continued: “Dr. King is in many ways the conscience of the American who believes in the value of equality and justice for all.  And with this, there is a responsibility for those who have privilege, those who will be in the room on Monday, to recognize the strength and power that is tethered to that privilege and use them to make a greater good, not in a performative, rhetorical way, but in a way that impacts lives.”

A student ID is not required to attend the event. Information about the MLK Day event can be found online, or by contacting the Office of Diversity & Inclusion at

Week of Service Challenge

MLK Day is the only federal holiday designated as a National Day of Service. People are encouraged to volunteer to improve their communities as a way to honor the legacy of Dr. King, who lived his life serving others. Below are some things people can do to serve:

  • Donate needed items to the Food for Thought Food Pantry
  • Shovel snow for someone who could use some assistance
  • Volunteer in your community
  • Give to local organizations that support diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts
  • Educate yourself on topics of diversity, equity, and inclusion to better serve people