35th Annual Madison & Dane County Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Observance
Mon, Jan 20
Capitol Theater: Free
All ages. Children must be accompanied by an adult.
Freedom Songs Sing-Along: 5 PM in the Rotunda
Program begins at 6 PM
The King Coalition is an all-volunteer group of community members that has coordinated the official City of Madison & Dane County Observance along with several other events commemorating the King holiday since 1985. The Coalition aims to bring people from all walks of life together in the spirit of true brotherhood and sisterhood to commemorate the life and accomplishments of this renowned leader of the civil rights movement. This and other King Coalition events encourage the people of Dane County to reaffirm their commitment to building a just community out of our racial, religious and economic diversity.
The King Coalition is pleased to bring you the 35th Annual City of Madison & Dane County Observance of the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday. The event will feature a keynote speech by noted civil rights activist Joyce Ann Ladner along with the presentation of the Madison-Dane County Martin Luther King, Jr. Humanitarian Award by Dane County Executive Joe Parisi and City of Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway, a performance by the MLK Community Choir led by Leotha and Tamera Stanley, Freedom Songs Sing-Along in the Overture Rotunda and more.
Joyce Ann Ladner’s life has been shaped through her first-hand involvement with the civil rights movement in Mississippi, including her work as a staff member alongside Bayard Rustin and other civil rights leaders who organized the March on Washington in 1963. As a teenager, she helped organize an NAACP Youth Chapter in her hometown. Later, she was expelled from college for organizing a civil rights protest and was jailed for attempting to integrate an all-white church. Ladner was a friend and co-worker of slain civil rights leader Medgar Evers as well as civil rights pioneers Fannie Lou Hamer and Ella Baker. As a field secretary for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, she was on the front lines of most of the major civil rights protests of the ’60s. She was on the stage when Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered the “I Have A Dream” speech. An eminent sociologist, she was a pioneer in the study of the intersectionality of race, gender and class. Her book, Tomorrow’s Tomorrow: The Black Woman, was the first book published in African American Women’s Studies and is now an American classic.