Harry Belafonte Announced as Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Lecture Keynote Speaker

Rhode Island School of Design produces the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Series to acknowledge the life and vast contributions of Dr. King toward creating a more just and democratic society. Held annually in January, the MLK Series includes programs, events, and workshops that provide the RISD and local community with impactful moments of service, reflection, skill development, inspiration, and celebration.

The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Keynote Lecture serves as the centerpiece of the MLK Series. The lecture highlights the role of creative endeavor in advancing democracy and equity. Through this annual lecture, RISD acknowledges an individual whose legacy of service and commitment to justice has made a profound and indelible difference. We select the keynote lecturer in part, because of her / his consistent demonstration and skillful employment of Kingian values as a model for change.

Mr. Harry Belafonte will join us as this year’s annual Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Keynote Lecture keynote speaker. He will address the community on January 29th, speaking about “The Artist as Activist” while reflecting upon his life and long history as a incredibly successful actor and singer as well as a political, humanitarian, and civil rights activist.  Among other things, the 85 year old Belafonte personally funded many of the activities of the early civil rights movement, stood with Dr. King at the Lincoln Memorial as the latter delivered his famous “I have a dream speech,” serves as a UNICEF ambassador, and has remained active in many different programs supporting hunger relief, AIDS awareness and the need for education, particularly directed toward the struggles of children in Africa. Never afraid to express his opinion, he has drawn both fire and admiration for his outspoken political views. We look forward to bringing this extraordinary individual to spend time with our community.


One (1) ticket per person with RISD ID will be available beginning Wednesday, January 16
Tickets are free and will be available at the front desk of Carr House 8:30am – 4:30pm / Monday – Friday
Any remaining tickets will be available to RISD and the general public beginning Thursday, January 24
Simulcast will be available at the Metcalf Auditorium in the Chace Center; entrance will be free and seating on a first come, first served basis

Harry Belafonte, Martin Luther King

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