From Dream to Reality: Voices of Hope and Action

Despite the many challenges of the COVID-19 Pandemic, Loyola University Chicago is excited to host a virtual celebration of Black History in 2021. We are pleased to continue our annual recognition of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr during the week of January 25, 2021. Additionally, we will continue our celebration throughout the month of February in commemoration of Black History Month. The 2021 theme is From Dream to Reality: Voices of Hope and Action.

Loyola students, faculty, staff, alumni, as well as members of the Chicago community are invited to join us for a host of familiar activities including guest speakers, Interfaith Dialogue, and service. In addition, we are thrilled to announce several inaugural events including a Book Discussion, Rambler Video Series, and an LUC Faculty & Staff Black History Research Symposium-- all virtual!  

As you continue planning your spring semester calendar, we encourage you to bookmark this website, review the Black History Month Poster, and see details along with registration information for each event below. In addition, we recommend regularly checking this website for updates.

CBH Committee Members

Executive Sponsors

  • Jane Neufeld
  • Winifred Williams, PhD

Planning Committee

  • Black Cultural Center  – Camille Braswell, Char Coates
  • Campus Ministry – John Paul Salay, PhD
  • Community Service and Action – Hannah Sternig
  • Civic Engagement  – Summur Roberts
  • Diversity and Inclusion  – Marshawn Brown, Mark Torrez
  • Human Resources  – Ariana Lewis
  • School of Communications – Doretha Tyler-Gant
  • School of Law  – LaTrina Porter
  • Student Diversity and Multicultural Affairs  – James Thomas
  • Water Tower Campus Life  – Astrid Beltran

MLK Celebration Overview

The Executive Council on Diversity and Inclusion is excited to announce that the 2021 MLK Celebration will take place during the week of January 25. All of the events and activities will demonstrate how participants advance Dr. King's work through their professional practice in alignment with the theme, From Dream to Reality: Voices of Hope and Action.

  • 2021 MLK Service Days | January 15 – 31
  • Interfaith Dialogue Panel | January 26 (12:30PM – 1:30PM CST)
  • Speaker Series
    • January 27 (5:30PM – 6:30PM CST)
    • January 28 (12:00PM – 1:00PM CST)
  • Book Discussion | January 29 (12:00PM - 1:00PM CST)

MLK Celebration Photos
We invite you to view the collection of photos from previous MLK Celebration activities.

MLK Celebration Ad

For a complete list of MLK Celebration events and activities, check out the 2021 MLK Celebration Ad.

MLK Service Days - Early Registration Requested

Greetings Ramblers!

The Executive Council on Diversity & Inclusion invites you to join the University community by participating in Loyola University Chicago's annual celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. This year, we will celebrate virtually through shared service opportunities that are designed to expand upon existing community efforts in alignment with our commitment to work and live for and with others in the name and spirit of Dr. King.

We encourage you to sign-up for one or more service opportunities. The 2021 MLK Service Days will take place virtually and during a time that’s convenient for you between the dates of January 15 - January 31. A sample of the opportunities available as well as links for more information are available here. Please use the registration link to let us know the way in which you plan to serve.

  • Monetary Donations: In this time of economic downturn many organizations are looking for monetary donations to continue their important work. Below is a selection of various organizations who support racial justice or support the Loyola community directly. Feel free to consider a donation of any amount to any of these organizations, or another organization of your choosing.
  • Advocacy: Advocacy and systemic change at the governmental level was one of Dr. King’s lasting legacies. To continue this legacy we encourage you to reach out to your legislators regarding various issues that you care about. Below you will find a link that will remind you of your elected representatives, and some suggestions for advocacy from Loyola Community Engagement as well as suggested advocacy topics.
    • Find your elected officials
    • Write letters to elected officials on any topic of your choosing, ideas include
      • Continuation of DACA
      • Affordable Care Act
      • Environmental Acts
      • Police Accountability
  • Card Writing: This time of social distancing has been difficult and lonely for many of us, including individuals with disabilities or those experiencing homelessness during this pandemic. In order to alleviate some of that loneliness in a safe way we at Loyola have been engaging in letter writing campaigns. We encourage you to take some time out of your day to create a card for individuals with the following organizations.
    • Misericordia (A home for individuals with disabilities- mostly adults) - Please send cards to: 
      Tina Stenardo
      6300 N. Ridge 
      Chicago, IL 60660 
    • Envision Unlimited (An organization working with adults with disabilities including within living communities) - Please send cards to:
      ATTN: Donna Ennis
      8 South Michigan Avenue; Suite 1700
      Chicago, IL 60603
  • Making lunches/Donating Meals: Especially at this time with a strong economic downturn for many working class families food supply has become a challenge and demand at food distribution centers has increased. If you find yourself in the situation where you are able to assist (from a distance) with this challenge please see the following links.
  • In Person Meal Service: Some organizations in the Chicago area have found ways to continue to receive in person food distribution volunteers in a safe way. If you are in a position to consider in person food distribution services we encourage you to check out the following sites to learn more about how you can serve. You may also consider sites where you are already serving.

Additionally, if you are interested in a particular type of opportunity but you would like to work with an alternative organization that is an option as well.

Speaker Series

We are excited to share that the Celebrating Black History program includes a Speaker Series highlighting inspiring guests that are dedicated to advancing social justice in the spirit of supporting diverse community development, eliminating economic gaps, and promoting enriched scholarship access & opportunities. Additional information will be made available in January and February.

Zoom Registration
We encourage you to register to attend the Speaker Series events below:

MLK Book Discussion - See the 2021 Selection

LUC faculty, staff, students, and alumni are invited to participate in the MLK Book Discussion. We will commemorate Civil Rights icon, the late Congressman John Lewis. Congressman Lewis won the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work, and we are excited to explore a rich discussion about his book, Across That Bridge: A Vision for Change and the Future of America, on January 29 from 12:00PM - 1:00PM CST. We encourage you to bring your lunch. 

Interested in participating? Preferred registration by January 27 is available. Once registered, you will receive the Zoom meeting information to join us on January 29.   

Book Reading
A limited number of electronic copies of Congressman Lewis' book are available through Loyola's University Libraries. Alternatively, below are several local, independent retailers that may have the book available for purchase: 

Get Involved - Discussion Facilitator's Needed
Are you interested in volunteering as a Discussion Facilitator? Register to attend the Book Discussion by January 15, and we will provide additional information about volunteering on January 29.

MLK Interfaith Dialogue Panel - January 26

You are invited to attend the Interfaith Dialogue Panel discussion on January 26 from 12:30PM - 1:30PM CST. Loyola faculty, staff, and students will come together to share how various faith-based activities incorporate Dr. King's principles. Meet via Zoom to engage in discussion with faith-based experts, and learn about Hinduism, Catholicism, Islam, & Judaism. Registration is available online.

Why the Emmett Till Story Still Matters - February 3

We invite you to register to attend the “Why the Emmett Till Story Still Matters” event taking place on February 3 from 4:00PM -5:30PM CST. Dr. Elliott Gorn from Loyola's History Department will share information about the tragic story of Emmett Till--the Chicago child murdered in Mississippi in 1955, allegedly for whistling at a white woman--has only grown more important with the emergence of the Black Lives Matter era. In addition, you are encouraged to review Dr. Gorn's book, Let the People See: The Story of Emmett Tillcourtesy of LUC's University Libraries.

Participatory Action Research - A Roundtable Discussion - February 4

New in 2021, part of our Black History Month Speaker series will include a Participatory Action Research - A Roundtable Discussion via Zoom on February 4 from 12:00PM – 1:00PM CST. Loyola faculty, staff, and students are invited to register to attend the event to learn about best practices regarding accessing and successfully engaging in participatory researchopportunities.

Rambler Video Series – Entries Due February 5

We are excited to announce that University faculty, staff, students and alumni are invited to submit a short video highlighting support of this year’s Celebrating Black History theme, From Dream to Reality: Voices of Hope and Action. We will share selected videos online throughout January and February. 

Entry Requirements

  • Entries are due February 5. An entry may include readings of personal or professional work, and/or personal photos.
  • Learning more about how to submit a Rambler Video.

LUC Faculty & Staff Black History Research Symposium - February 17

New in 2021, Loyola will host our inaugural LUC Faculty and Staff Black History Research Symposium to highlight research & practicum initiatives demonstrating how collective and/or grassroots efforts are working towards closing inequity gaps. We invite faculty, staff, students, alumni and the greater Chicago community to attend the February event, and learn how faculty and staff advocate for empowerment & encourage cultural development experiences across academic, social, political, economic and/or health & wellness arenas for African American and/or Black identified communities.


Synchronous Delivery

  • Modifiable Resources and Resilience in Older Women: Implications for Health Outcomes and Culturally Tailored Interventions
    • Presenter:
      • Sparkle Springfield, PhD (Public Health Sciences) 
  • Dehumanization of Black Males by Police
    • Presenter:
      • Dana K. Harmon, PhD (School of Social Work)

Asynchronous Delivery

  • The Mask of the African Mahler: Embracing the Black Past of American Classical Music
    • Presenter:
      • Colin Holman, PhD (Fine and Performing Arts)
  • Preliminary Evidence for a Race-Based Stress Reduction Intervention for Black Women at Risk for Cardiovascular Disease
    • Presenter(s):
      • Karen Saban, PhD (School of Nursing) 
      • Regina Conway-Phillips, PhD (School of Nursing)
  • Love and Power:  A Community Power Building Case Study
    • Presenter(s):
      • Lena Hatchett, PhD (Neiswanger Institute for Bioethics & Healthcare Leadership) 
      • Sparkle Springfield, PhD (Public Health Sciences)

Presentation Materials
We invite you to review materials for both synchronous and asynchronous presentations online

Join Us
We encourage you to register to attend the event, and check this website for updates about the event, including how you can view presentations online.

What is at Stake in the Study of Race in the Early Modern Period? - February 22

We encourage you to register to attend the What is at Stake in the Study of Race in the Early Modern Period? event taking place on February 22 from 4:00PM - 5:30PM CST. Loyola's English Department professor, Dr. Ian Cornelius & Dr. Ania Loomba, English professor from the University of Pennsylvania, will share ways we can advance the conversation about race in the early modern period at this moment both in the United States and the world at large. The discussion will argue that the range of ideologies and practices about racial difference in the early modern world alert us against oversimplifying our understanding of racial ideologies and their complicated global histories. 

From Surviving to Thriving: A Panel Discussion on Black Excellence - February 25

In celebration of Black History Month, we invite you to register to attend the From Surviving to Thriving: A Panel Discussion on Black Excellence event on February 25 from 12:00PM - 1:00PM CST via Zoom. Loyola University Chicago alumni Panelists representing diverse disciplines will share how Black students in predominantly White institutions of Higher Education can excel while navigating scholarship, work, networking, etc. 


  • Dr. Joseph Nelson
  • Lydia Hamilton 
  • Taquita Love
  • Brandhyze Stanley

A Discussion with Council Member Andrea Jenkins - February 25

In 2017, history was made in the United States when Andrea Jenkins became the first African American openly trans woman elected to office. She serves in the Minneapolis City Council-- representing Ward 8 and serving as the Vice-President the Council. Additional details about the event will be made available soon.

Thank You

We appreciate you joining us throughout January and February as we highlighted a variety of research and work efforts designed to close inequity gaps impacting African American and/or Black identified communities.