Campus News

Dillard to commemorate Martin Luther King Jr. holiday with King Legacy Celebration January 15-17

Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivering the baccalaureate address inside of Dillard University’s Lawless Memorial Chapel on May 31, 1959.

January 10, 2023
Contact: Danielle Miller,

NEW ORLEANS – Dillard University will commemorate the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday with the King Legacy Celebration, which is a series of events that will take place Sunday, January 15 through Tuesday, January 17. 

On SundayJanuary 15 at 5 p.m., members of the Greater New Orleans community are invited to join in an interfaith celebration of Dr. King, inside of Dillard University’s Lawless Memorial Chapel, where King delivered the baccalaureate address on May 31, 1959. The service will commence with a community prayer and a tribute from members of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Dillard alumna Rev. Patricia G. Watson ‘79, of Watson Memorial Teaching Ministries and Rabbi Daniel M. Sherman of Temple Sinai, will be guest speakers for the event.

Dillard’s Office of Community and Church Relations will host the annual MLK Day of Service on Monday, January 16 at 10 a.m., at Bethany United Methodist Church, located at 4533 Mendez Street. Day of Service activities will include community gardening, tree planting and a health fair.

The King Legacy Celebration will culminate on Tuesday, January 17 at 6 p.m., with a screening of Shared Legacies: The African American-Jewish Civil Rights Alliance, followed by a panel discussion to showcase Black-Jewish relations. During the dialogue, historical lessons of Black-Jewish cooperation will be revisited, as well as pivotal events will come alive through archival materials, narrated by eyewitnesses, activists, Holocaust survivors and leaders of the movement, including the late Congressman John Lewis, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Andrew Young, Senator Rapheal Warnock, King’s attorney Dr. Clarence B. Jones, Oscar-winning actor Louis Gossett Jr., members of the King family and many others. 

The dialogue is dedicated to Dillard University President Emeritus Samuel DuBois Cook, friend and college classmate of Dr. King, and founder of the National Center for Black-Jewish Relations. Panelists will include Dillard University President Dr. Rochelle Ford, film director of Shared Legacies, Dr. Shari Rogers, attorney and draft speechwriter for Dr. King, Dr. Clarence B. Jones, Pastor Emeritus of Providence Missionary Baptist Church, Rev. Dr. Gerald L. Durley, and Rabbi Katie Bauman of Touro Synagogue. The panel will be moderated by Wendell Shelby Wallace, special advisor to the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and National Youth President of Spill the Honey Foundation, Blake Weissman. The event is free and open to the public. Register today via Eventbrite.

About Dillard University
Dillard University is a historically Black institution that cultivates leaders who live ethically, think and communicate precisely, and act courageously to make the world a better place. Located in New Orleans, Dillard is a private faith-based liberal arts university that offers 22 majors and two certificate programs. Ranked 5th on 2021 The New York Times Overall Mobility Index and 14th in 2022 by Academic Influence for Best Colleges and Universities by Academic Stewardship, Dillard’s call to future leaders is to Write Your Legacy. Find out more about Louisiana’s oldest HBCU by visiting