MLK Day lineup includes day of service, Boots Riley and Yusef Salaam lectures


Yusef Salaam, a member of the Exonerated Five, will be speaking in the Ferguson Center Ballroom on Jan. 27. Photo courtesy of UA News

Jeffrey Kelly | @jeffkellyjr, Staff Reporter

In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day on Monday, the University will be hosting a series of events over the next week. Check out Monday’s day of service put on by the Center for Service and Leadership and the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, or listen to two guest lecturers – one of whom is a member of the Exonerated Five. 

MLK Day of Service: A Day On – Not a Day Off

What: The Center for Service and Leadership and the office of the Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion are sponsoring several service opportunities for MLK Day. 

Who: The event is open to all. 

When: Monday, Jan. 20, starting at 8 a.m. 

Where: The Center for Service and Leadership lobby 


In an interview with UA News, Dr. G. Christine Taylor, vice president and associate provost for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion said the “MLK Day of Service: A Day On Not a Day Off” will include service opportunities coordinated by UA’s Center for Service and Leadership. 

For those service opportunities, volunteers are instructed to register here and to meet on the first floor of the Ferguson Student Center in the Center for Service and Leadership’s lobby at 8 a.m. 

According to the registration form, students will be provided transportation to a service site of their choice and can contact Ashley Clark at [email protected] with any questions.

Others may choose to work with family or friends on projects such as cards for those who are sick, collecting items for food pantries, collecting coats … the list goes on,” Taylor told UA News. “No matter what you do, make this day a day on and not a day off.”

The Basis of Power

What: The Department of Gender and Race Studies presents a lecture by Boots Riley, activist, musician and director of “Sorry to Bother You.” 

Who: The event is open to all

When: Tuesday, Jan. 21 at 3:30 p.m.

Where: ten Hoor 30

Streets as Unfinished Civil Rights Work

What: The College of Communication and Information Sciences and the Department of Geography are presenting a lecture by Derek H. Alderman, a professor of geography at The University of Tennessee. 

Who: The event is open to all. 

When: Tuesday, Jan. 21, from 3:30 p.m. to 4:45 p.m.

Where: 118 Graves Hall 


According to his biography on the University of Tennessee’s website, David H. Alderman’s primary interests are cultural and historical geography with a specific focus on public memory, race, heritage tourism, social/spatial justice, and politics of geographic mobility and travel-all with the goal of advancing our understanding of the American South (southeastern United States). 

Much of my work focuses on the histories, memory-work, commemorative activism, and place-making efforts of African Americans as they assert and claim civil rights, their right to belong with public spaces, and the power to remember the past and shape the American landscape on their own terms,” Alderman said. 

His interests are particularly focused on critical place name studies and the important lens for understanding the unresolved place of race, memory, and identity in America that using cultural struggles over the naming and renaming of streets, schools, parks, and other public spaces create. 

Yusef Salaam Lecture

What: Yusef Salaam, one of the Exonerated Five, formerly known as the Central Park Five, will be at the University of Alabama for a campus presentation. 

Who: The event is open to all. 

When: Monday, Jan. 27, starting at 7:30 pm.

Where: The Ferguson Student Center’s Ballroom 


Yusef Salaam, one of the Exonerated Five, will be leading a lecture in the Ferguson Student Center’s Ballroom on Monday, January 27th. 

According to the Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion’s MLK Day poster, he will be sharing his story, which leads to important questions about race and class, the failings of our criminal justice system, legal protections for vulnerable juveniles and fundamental human rights. After the lecture Salaam will be signing his book, “Words of a Man: My Right to Be.”