Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Lecture at Harvard

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr visits Harvard Law School in 1962, credit Harvard ArchiveIn October 1962, Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke at Harvard Law School about the future of integration and the path to racial justice. “Human progress comes as a result of the tireless efforts and the persistent work of dedicated individuals,” said Dr. King.

In honor of the 60th anniversary of that speech, President Larry Bacow announced the annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Lecture at Harvard, which aims to recognize such dedicated individuals, who through their activism, advocacy, scholarship, or service, have made an indelible contribution to advancing justice and equality. 

Beginning with the inaugural public lecture in October 2022, the Harvard community each fall will acknowledge and celebrate an individual who, through activism, advocacy, scholarship, or service, has helped to advance the work that inspired Dr. King to act and lead. "Those of us who are privileged to work and learn at Harvard must model the behavior we want to see in the rest of the world. I hope you share my enthusiasm about creating a new way for Harvard to participate in a critical and ongoing national conversation about racial justice, equity, and opportunity. I look forward to gathering with you to welcome our inaugural King Commemorative Lecturer later this year," said Bacow in a letter to the Harvard community.

The nomination period for the 2022 lecture will open on Monday, January 17 and nominations for the inaugural lecturer will be accepted through February. Nominees do not need to be a member of the Harvard community. Nominees should embody the spirit of Dr. King’s vision of servant leadership, and individuals from a range of disciplines and backgrounds are welcome.


Submit a nominee