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Page last updated on January 11, 2022 at 4:11 pm

For more information, please contact

Michael Shermis, Special Projects Coordinator, Community and Family Resources or 812.349.3471


James Sanders, Chair, City of Bloomington Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission




City Invites Public to Celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Birthday Celebration

Bloomington, Ind.–The City of Bloomington invites the community to the 2022 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Celebration, Monday, January 17 at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater*. The event will include remarks by Deputy Mayor Don Griffin, members of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Celebration Commission, and others starting at 7 p.m. Admission is free. 


Due to the Omicron variant, extra safety precautions are being taken to limit the spread of COVID. In addition to the Buskirk-Chumley’s vaccine, testing, and mask requirements*, there will be limited seating to allow for physical distancing. Monday’s event will also be available via live stream at


This year’s theme is “The Challenge of Action and the Challenges of Action” and will feature a keynote presentation by Dr. Eddie Cole. Keynote speaker Dr. Eddie Cole is an associate professor of higher education and organizational change at UCLA.


He has published and presented on a variety of topics, primarily college presidents, during the Black Freedom Movement and their responses to racial incidents. In 2021, Education Week named him as one of most influential U.S.-based education scholars. His work and speaking events on college presidents and race have appeared in multiple popular press outlets, including The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Boston Globe, and The Chronicle of Higher Education, among others. 


A pioneer at heart, Dr. Cole’s book, The Campus Color Line (Princeton University Press, 2020), explores academic leaders’ role in shaping racial policies and practices both inside and outside of the educational sphere. He earned a Ph.D. from Indiana University and his bachelor’s degree from Tennessee State University.


The event will also feature music and dance performances by the Indiana University African American Choral Ensemble (directed by Dr. Raymond Wise) and the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music Ballet Department, as well as the presentation of the Commission’s MLK Legacy Award.  


Major event underwriters include the City of Bloomington Community and Family Resources Department, Indiana University, Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Multicultural Affairs, Cook Inc., Indiana University School of Education, Boston Scientific, and Griffin Realty. Event sponsors include Bloomington Montessori School, Indiana University Credit Union, Ivy Tech Community College Bloomington, Old National Bank, the Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of Bloomington, Old National Bank, and the Monroe County Board of Commissioners and Human Rights Commission. 


For a list of Martin Luther King Day of Service volunteer opportunities and other activities, visit or contact Michael Shermis, Special Projects Coordinator, at 812.349.3471 or



*The Buskirk-Chumley Theater requires proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test for everyone attending an in-person event. Masks are required. The full policy is available at