2020 Featured Events

January 19

Candlelight Prayer Service

Main Building Rotunda

The Notre Dame family is invited to a Candlelight Prayer Service where all who gather will commemorate the life of Dr. King, celebrate the diversity that currently exists on our campus and examine our consciences with regard to our own contributions to making this community welcoming and inclusive.

University President, Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., will preside.

Post-event (complimentary) late-night breakfast will be provided at South Dining Hall.

January 20

MLK Celebration Luncheon

Joyce Center, North Dome

The fifth annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Luncheon is sponsored by the Office of the President and the Oversight Committee on Diversity and Inclusion. Diane Nash will be the keynote speaker at this luncheon. Nash became a leader in the Civil Rights Movement in 1959 while a student at Fisk University. By the time she was 22, Nash was a Freedom Rider and had co-founded the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). She worked closely with Dr. King and played a pivotal role in the Selma Voting Rights Movement. Join students, faculty, and staff at this free but ticketed event.

Faculty and staff will receive information regarding ticket distribution from their department leaders. Students will be able to pick up tickets at the LaFortune Box Office beginning January 13. There will be shuttles available for transportation to/from the luncheon.

MLK Celebration Luncheon shuttle information

Community Building Lunches in Dining Halls

North & South Dining Halls

Members of the Notre Dame community — students, faculty and staff — who are not able to attend the campus-wide luncheon at the Joyce Center are invited to gather with friends and colleagues for lunch in the campus dining halls to continue the day’s conversations. Lunch is complimentary from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. with a Notre Dame ID.

Let's Talk About Race

Geddes Hall Coffeehouse

Please join us for "Let's Talk About Race: Race and Faith Edition." Broadly, the goal of "Let's Talk About Race" is to cultivate spaces where members of the Notre Dame community can be authentic and vulnerable in their exploration of how their racial identities intersect with countless other aspects of their lives before, during, and after Notre Dame. How are your racial identity and your faith tradition(s) in dialogue with each other in your daily life? What assumptions might people make about your faith tradition(s) based on your race, or vice versa? How, if at all, have your experiences with faith, spirituality, and religion informed your perspectives toward local, national, and global race relations? In what ways might you leverage your faith to promote racial justice, solidarity, and reconciliation? These are just a few of the challenging-yet-crucial questions that will be raised during the third "Let's Talk About Race" of the year!

January 21

Social Concerns Fair

Duncan Student Center, Dahnke Ballroom

Martin Luther King, Jr., said, "Everyone can be great, because everyone can serve." Students and faculty who want to find their path to service and civic engagement in South Bend are encouraged to encounter the more than 50 local organizations who will invite you into their work. Meet local social service organizations who can help you sign up for volunteering and community-engaged learning/research opportunities, governmental and nonprofit agencies who will share employment and internship opportunities, and arts/entertainment organizations who will help you celebrate South Bend. More information can be found here.

This event is sponsored by the Center for Social Concerns, ND Student Government, Alliance for Catholic Education, Saint Mary's College, and Holy Cross College.

Frank Hayden: A Mid-Century Sculptor between Catholicism and the Civil Rights Movement

Snite Museum of Art

Professor Darius A. Spieth's research restores attention to the life and work of Frank Hayden (1936-1988). Hayden was a Notre Dame graduate (MFA '59) and a leading African-American mid-century sculptor of the South. The uniqueness of Hayden’s art is defined by his place at the intersection of Catholic faith, the Civil Rights movement, and the combination of modernist aesthetics with solid craftsmanship. Spieth's richly illustrated talk presents a visual overview of Hayden’s most important sculptural works – executed in wood, bronze, and fiberglass – from the key decades of his career, ranging from the late 1950s to the late 1980s. Hayden loved his work to be accessible and to serve the public. Many of his sculptures, including some of the nation's first public monuments to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., can still be found in open spaces and churches in southern Louisiana, as well as in public and private collections.

This talk is free and open to all. The program is generously supported by Percy A. Pierre. 

"With Voices True" Campus Launch Event

246 Hesburgh Library, Navari Family Center for Digital Scholarship

The Klau Center for Civil and Human Rights will introduce a new project on Notre Dame stories of race. Designed to collect and archive stories from students, staff, and faculty, “With Voices True” creates a space to initiate dialogue and understanding across differences. The event will afford everyone a chance to explore the online platform and an opportunity to contribute to the collection by telling their own story. Presented in collaboration with the Gallivan Program in Journalism, Ethics, and Democracy and University Archives.

Learn more here

January 22

Reparations and Reconciliation at Notre Dame: Opening and Framing the Discussion

Hesburgh Library, Carey Auditorium

The Mediation Program of the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies hosts a panel discussion on reparation and reconciliation at Notre Dame and beyond. The panelists will include diverse speakers from the university and the South Bend community, with ample opportunity for audience participation.The discussion will explore the requirements for reconciliation, such as truth-telling, acknowledgement of harm, and different kinds of reparation.

Panelists include: 

  • Susan D. Page, Visiting Professor of the Practice, Keough School (moderator)
  • Debra Stanley, Executive Director, Imani Unidad Inc.
  • Marcus Winchester, Director, Language and Culture, Pokégnek Bodéwadmik (Pokagon Band of Potawatomi)
  • Brian Collier, Director, American Indian Catholic Schools Network
  • Savanna Morgan, senior student and spokesperson, End Hate at ND
  • Laurie Nathan, Professor of the Practice of Mediation, Kroc Institute

This event is co-sponsored by: Black Faculty and Staff Association; Center for Social Concerns; Department of Africana Studies; Human Resources, Diversity and Inclusion; Institute for Educational Initiatives and Native American Initiatives; and the Provost Office, Academic Diversity and Inclusion.

A Discussion on Faith, Culture, and Mental Health

St. Liam Hall, 3rd Floor Conference Room

Student Government's Department of Diversity and Inclusion is hosting "A Discussion on Faith, Culture, and Mental Health" alongside key staff members from the University Counseling Center and the McDonald Center for Student Well-Being. Please join students, faculty, and staff in addressing disparities in mental health and well-being within the student body, as well as how these disparities may be connected to conventions in cultural and faith expression. The event will end with a brainstorming session focused on how the Notre Dame community can better hone its Spirit of Inclusion to advance the mental well-being of its students through culturally competent health promotion strategies.

Mass for Peace and Unity

Basilica of the Sacred Heart

Rev. Peter McCormick, C.S.C., will preside over the Mass for Peace and Unity and Deacon Mel Tardy will serve as Deacon. All are welcome.

January 23

Thomas Jefferson, Race, Slavery, and the Problem of American Nationhood

McCartan Courtroom, Eck Hall of Law

Professor Annette Gordon-Reed and Professor Peter Onuf, authors of Most Blessed of the Patriarchs: Thomas Jefferson and the Empire of the Imagination, will deliver a lecture on their ongoing research on Thomas Jefferson and his world.

Danielle Allen, author of Our Declaration: A Reading of the Declaration of Independence in Defense of Equality, has said, "A peerless team, Annette Gordon-Reed and Peter Onuf pierce the mysteries of Jefferson’s character and at last offer a compelling explanation of how the republican statesman and plantation patriarch could coexist in a single soul. Jefferson’s flaw was not hypocrisy but conviction, his unswerving belief in paternalism as empowering and beneficent."

Snite Salon Series

Snite Museum of Art

Join fellow art lovers in the galleries for in-depth conversations about great work of art. Guided by the group’s observations and insights, Snite Salons encourage close looking and thoughtful conversation with a different work each session. In conjunction with campus Walk the Walk week celebrations, the conversation will focus on Charles Moore's photograph Fire Hose Aimed at Young Demonstrator, Birmingham, Alabama from the Birmingham Campaign on May 3 in 1963. This work will only be on view during this program.

Conversations that Matter: What’s Happening at Our Southern Border

Coleman-Morse Center, Hammes Lounge (1st Floor)

Rev. Joe Corpora, C.S.C., recently spent an extended time working with immigrants and refugees in McAllen, Texas, at the Humanitarian Respite Center founded and directed by Sister Norma Pimentel, MJ, Notre Dame’s Laetare Medal recipient at the 2018 Commencement Exercises. During his time there, a seminar-pilgrimage led by Campus Ministry and the Center for Social Concerns also visited. Fr. Joe and some of these students will share part of their experience. All are welcome. 

Waves Screening and Panel Discussion

DPAC, Browning Cinema

Waves will serve as a prompt for a panel discussion on African American women representation within this film (and film generally).The future is bright for Tyler (Kelvin Harrison Jr.), who seems to have everything he needs: a wealthy family to support him, a spot on the high-school wrestling team, and a girlfriend (Alexa Demie) he's head over heels in love with. Committed to greatness and under intense scrutiny from his father (Sterling K. Brown), Tyler spends his mornings and nights training. But when pushed to the limit, cracks in the perfect facade of Tyler's existence start to show, and the stage is set for a true American tragedy.

While from a macro view, the story might seem simple, Waves is anything but. Structurally ambitious and thoughtfully bold, director Trey Edward Shults' third feature is so carefully populated with relatable details that you get immersed in the world, hanging on for the ride as it takes you to unexpected storytelling places.

Ticket information

January 24

The Drum Major Instinct: A Reflection on Masculinity and Authentic Leadership

Duncan Student Center, Room 210

Just two months before his assassination, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered a powerful sermon entitled "The Drum Major Instinct." In it he put forth his own philosophy on identity, the desire for recognition, and leadership. Join the Gender Relations Center and Carroll Hall's Eric Styles in honoring the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. while reflecting on masculinity and authentic leadership. Lunch will be provided.

Featured Media from 2020


2020 MLK Celebration Luncheon: Diane Nash

Civil Rights Leader Diane Nash was interviewed by a Notre Dame faculty member and students on stage at the Fifth Annual Campus-Wide MLK Celebration Luncheon. They explored Ms. Nash's role in the Civil Rights Movement, working alongside Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and her advice to future generations.

Walk The Walk 2020 Candlelight Service

The fifth annual Walk the Walk Week began with the candlelight prayer service in the Main Building rotunda. The event kicked off a week of events designed to foster dialogue and reflection on making Notre Dame a more inclusive community.


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