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Monday, January 18, 2021

Celebrate MLK Day with the Wright

Virtually explore the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History.

Thank You to our 2021 MLK Day Presenting Sponsor

Minister, activist, and humanitarian Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., advocated the use of non-violent civil disobedience to achieve social change in America. As founder and president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), King sparked the conscience of a generation at home and abroad. His work empowered citizens through education and civic engagement encouraging everyone to vote. Every year, on the anniversary of King’s birthday, we celebrate his past work and strive to continue his legacy.

Presented in partnership with Eastern Michigan University, our 2021 virtual keynote address was given by White House Correspondent and political commentator Yamiche Alcindor.

  • “Let The People Speak: No Justice No Peace” Virtual Keynote Message

    This video precluded our keynote address by PBS NewsHour White House Correspondent Yamiche Alcindor on January 18 at 1 pm EST.
  • The Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

    This segment features two millennial-aged Detroiters, Dr. Stacey Deering and William Reese, III, who are interested in their community and politics. In this conversation, they reflect on whether they see themselves separate or part of Dr. King’s dream, and more.
  • The First Rainbow Coalition Film Screening

    The First Rainbow Coalition examines the legacy of the Rainbow Coalition, a groundbreaking multi-ethnic coalition that rocked 1960s Chicago.
About Yamiche Alcindor

Yamiche Alcindor is an important new voice in America today. During one of the most divisive presidential elections in recent memory, her opinions and incisive analysis on the state of the White House and our Union were unflinching, hopeful, and refreshing. Alcindor is a White House Correspondent for PBS Newshour, NBC, and MSNBC; and a political contributor to CNN. Previously a national reporter for The New York Times covering politics and social justice issues, Alcindor has also written about the legacy of President Obama, outreach to voters of color, and the anxiety of working-class Americans as well as how police killings affect communities and children. She also spends time producing videos and documentaries about societal concerns such as wrongful convictions and gun violence. Alcindor earned her bachelor's degree in government and English from Georgetown University and her master's degree in broadcast news and documentary filmmaking from New York University.

About Greater Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church

On December 15, 1971, Pastor William H. Murphy Sr. and a group of 54 followers met in his home family room to organize a church body dedicated to doing the will of God. On February
21, 1972, with approximately 60 members and very little capital, Greater Ebenezer moved into a
bank building located at 12000 Grand River Avenue in Detroit. Here the congregation grew to
over 250 members.

The church quickly outgrew the Grand River Avenue location. The Lord rewards faithfulness and gave Pastor Murphy the vision to purchase a larger building to accommodate the growing ministry. Walking by faith and not by sight, Greater Ebenezer purchased and moved to 18751 Fenkell Avenue on November 6, 1977.

As the church grew in stature and grace over 2000 souls were added to the ministry.
Greater Ebenezer is now known across the nation through the leadership of Bishop William
Murphy Sr, and Mother Murphy for its teaching ministry, music ministry, and stature within the

About Dr. Stacey Deering

Dr. Stacey Deering (ABD) grew up in Detroit and attended Detroit Public Schools for grade-school. Growing up with adversity and conquering obstacles increased her desire to help others do the same. As an African American woman and native Detroiter, she has a strong desire to serve as an Associate Professor and urban scholar in the Metro-Detroit area. At Wayne State University she teaches courses in American Government, Public Administration, and Urban Policy.

About William Reese, III

William Reese, III was born in Detroit, Michigan, and grew up in Plymouth, Michigan.  He has served as a government affairs intern at Quicken Loans, where his internship innovation project was titled "Motown Revitalization" which placed emphasis on reviving the artistic culture and creating a vibrant music district in the city of Detroit. In addition, William has also served as a U.S Congressional Intern. He is greatly inspired by the social justice tradition of the modern Civil Rights movement and the 1970s singer-songwriter movement.

About Ife Martin

Ife Martin, 16 years old, discovered her spoken word voice by writing pieces that helped her process social and mental health issues among youth. She is a member of the performing arts company Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit. She enjoys participating in InsideOut Literary Arts workshops. Ife is a 2021 National Young Arts Winner in Writing: Spoken Word.

About InsideOut

Since 1995, InsideOut Literary Arts has helped nearly 60,000 of Detroit’s youth build their literary and academic skills through creative writing.

Widely recognized as one of the nation’s premiere writers-in-the-schools programs, InsideOut has earned many accolades, from a feature on PBS NewsHour to a performance on the stage of the Kennedy Center.

In recognition of our ability to foster and empower authentic youth voice, the White House awarded InsideOut the highest honor in youth arts programming, the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award, presented by Michelle Obama in 2009.


Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. waves at crowd

Monday, January 18 at 10 am

In-Person Events at The Wright

While our keynote speech and other presentations were held virtually, visitors from near and far visited the Museum on MLK Day in person for an array of activities.

Show Your Support

Thank you to the employees of Henry Ford Health System for their commitment and support of this National Day of Service.

“Dr. King, in partnership with hundreds of others, believed in America, an imperfect America, yes, but America...King and
associates knew that while his name garnered the most attention, he didn’t change America alone...Nor was his dream of
a more perfect nation extinguished by his assassination.”
Dr. Earl Lewis, January 18, 2020