MLK Celebration

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Legacy of Social & Environmental Justice

Thursday, January 13 @ 6:00 – 7:15 pm
Friday, January 14 @ 10:30 – 11:30 am
Sunday, January 16 @ 1:00 – 8:00 pm
Monday, January 17 @ 10:30 am – 3:30 pm

  • Festival / Family Day
  • Free; Registration required


The Peabody's 26th Annual Celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Legacy of Social and Environmental Justice offered a line-up of inspiring and thought-provoking virtual events from January 13-17, generously sponsored by Citizens™.  Additional support was provided by the Office of the Secretary and Vice President for University Life and Belonging at Yale.
The CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) and our friends at the New Haven Museum partnered with us for a slate of programs that honor Dr. King’s legacy and illustrate how it continues to impact artists, advocates, and thought leaders today.

Watch our recorded broadcasts live on the Yale Peabody Museum YouTube Channel. English Captioning Available.

2022 Program List

People marching at a climate change rally
Photo credit: Felton Davis, Creative Commons

Environmental Justice: Exploring Race, Place & Spirituality

How we foster community and make spaces for it to thrive are critical to our efforts toward environmental justice. Leaders of this movement, from freedom fighters like Dr. King to today’s revolutionaries, understand that place—both physical and spiritual—must be created and protected to do the work of racial and environmental justice.

Join local and national luminaries Sharon Lewis, Executive Director of Connecticut Coalition for Environmental Justice; brontë velez, creative director for Lead to Life; and Maisa Tisdale, Founder and President of the Mary and Eliza Freeman Center for a conversation that explores how race, place, and spirituality can intersect and inform one another on a path toward a more just future.

Close up photo of frog hiding in a body of water
Photo credit: Yara Alshwairikh

Frozen Frogs and Climate Change

Local Wood Frog populations are remarkably well adapted to the cold. A Wood Frog can survive being frozen solid in the winter. How have Wood Frogs been touched by climate change? What does the future hold for this fascinating amphibian? Researcher and PhD candidate Yara Alshwairikh will talk about her work on genetic variation in this species and its incredible tolerance for the cold. With a few specimens from the Peabody’s collection that have been essential in her research, Yara will walk you through how museum samples are used to generate molecular data in the lab.

Students holding signs which reach 'Care, not cops'
Photo credit: Students for Educational Justice

MLK Youth Space: Art as Wellness

Created by and for middle and high school young adults, this virtual space is open to young people interested in connecting with their peers to learn and talk about mental wellness in families of color. Hosted with leadership from Students for Educational Justice, this Zoom meeting will have a political education segment on mental health, removing police presence in schools, and the legacy of Dr. King. Choose either a spoken word workshop hosted by The Word and teaching artists Tahj Galberth and Aaron Jafferis, or a visual arts workshop facilitated by teaching artist Jadie Meprivert.

Pre-registration and permission from a parent or guardian are required by Friday, January 14th. Peabody staff will follow up with parent or guardian to complete the permission form once the pre-registration is complete.

Headshots of speakers of 2022 MLK Poetry Jam
Photo credit: Ray Jane, Robert Gibbons, Bao Phi, Lorraine Currelley

Z Experience Poetry Jam

Join influential poet-performers Croilot and Ngoma as they emcee an electrifying spoken word experience in honor of Zannette Lewis, founder of our annual MLK Poetry Slam. This signature event attracts a large and supportive crowd every year. Tune in online as our hosts kick things off with a curated open mic in collaboration with artists from The Word. These talented storytellers will be followed by a slate of renowned, featured poets from all over the country, including Lorraine Currelley, Robert Gibbons, Bao Phi, and Ray Jane.

This event is appropriate for adults and young adults with discretion of a parent or guardian.

A presenter reading a book to an audience at a New Haven Museum family event
Photo credit: New Haven Museum

New Haven Museum Family Programming

Join New Haven Museum educators for a morning of enriching family programs celebrating Dr. King and his living legacy. Beloved storytellers Joy Donaldson, Waltrina Kirkland, and Clifton Graves will share fables, anecdotes, and stories that honor King’s work. An interactive dance performance and lesson from Ms. Hanan’s Dance and Beyond will follow. And you’ll be treated to a kid-friendly painting activity with Anthony Gilkes that you can do right from your home!

Statue of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Photo credit: Josue Irizarry

Supporting Black Youth in Crisis: What Would Dr. King Say? What Would Dr. King Do?

Listen in on a fascinating and candid panel discussion hosted by the Black Caucus American Library Association–Connecticut Chapter on the issues plaguing Black youth in our community. The conversation will dig into the critical role of mental health and how drugs and violence perpetuate negative behavior. The 45-minute discussion will be followed by a live 15-minute audience Q&A.

People marching and holding signs for the National Council for Negro Women
Photo credit: Marion S. Trikosko/Library of Congress

Community Conversation: Standing on Their Shoulders

Join representatives from a few of the many social and environmental justice organizations here in New Haven and from across Connecticut to learn more about their work. They’ll share the lineage of their efforts and contemporary organizing while offering ways for each of us to get involved. Speakers include representatives from the New Haven African American Historical Society and the National Council of Negro Women, and Common Ground High School, Urban Farm and Environmental Education Center.

2022 MLK Celebration flyer

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