The Burlington community is hosting a number of events honoring Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and members of the Champlain family are invited and encouraged to attend. Let us take this time to engage, learn, and discuss.

While we cannot gather in-person this year to honor and remember Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., there are many valuable opportunities for us to come together virtually. Please see a detailed list below.

Learn and Discuss

The City of Burlington has compiled a list of events here. After some of these events, Champlain College staff will be hosting post-event discussions. These are outlined below.

  • Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Remembrance, hosted by The Greater Burlington Multicultural Resource Center on Sunday, January 17 at 3:00 PM.

    Keynote speaker Tim Wise is among the most prominent anti-racist writers and educators in the United States. He has spent the past 25 years speaking to audiences in all 50 states, on over 1,500 college and high school campuses, at hundreds of professional and academic conferences, and to community groups across the country. View the event livestream here and join Champlain’s Lisa Mazzariello for a post-event discussion here.

  • Martin Luther King’s Legacy and Disability Rights, hosted by the Vermont Center for Independent Living on Monday, January 18 from 4:00 to 5:00 PM.

    Keynote speaker Deborah Lisi-Baker is a disability rights advocate. She was the Associate Director of the Center on Disability and Community Inclusion at UVM, where she taught UVM’s Culture of Disability Course and coordinated UVM’s Graduate Certificate in the Interdisciplinary Study of Disabilities. She was also a former executive director of VCIL. Register in advance at this link. Join Champlain’s Stephanie Doan for a post-event discussion at this link.

  • Slave Health Deficit: The Journey to Health Parity, hosted by the University of Vermont on Wednesday, January 20 at 5:30 PM.

    Keynote speaker Leon McDougle, M.D., M.P.H., is the 1st African American Professor with tenure in The Ohio State University Department of Family Medicine and the 1st Chief Diversity Officer for the OSU Wexner Medical Center. Dr. McDougle was installed on August 3, 2020 as the 121st President of the National Medical Association (NMA), which serves as the oldest and largest collective voice for African American physicians in their effort to eliminate health inequalities. Reserve your free ticket here. Join Champlain’s Marguerite Leek for a post-event discussion at this link.

The Champlain College Office of Diversity & Inclusion also recommends attending the following:

  • Braided Legacies, Sovereign Futures: Virtual Community Series, hosted by the Center for Whole Communities on Friday, January 22 at 3:00 PM. Welcome in the new year with a grief-transformation ceremony, led by two holders of the tremendous visionary work being done to address reparations, repatriation, and sovereignty on land—Stephanie Morningstar and Leah Penniman. Find more info here.


As MLK Day is also a day of service, the United Way of Northwestern Vermont has a list of suggested options for volunteering safely through acts of kindness or virtual, at-home, or socially distant activities:

  • Create cards for patients recovering from COVID-19
  • Letter writing to seniors in nursing homes
  • Knitting blankets, hats, or mittens for the homeless
  • Contactless food or warm coat donations to a nonprofit
  • Individual neighborhood clean-up or “snow angel” shoveling

The learning doesn’t stop here. Planning is underway for a robust schedule of programming during Black History Month in February, which will be announced later this month.

Read Champlain College President Dr. Benjamin Ola. Akande’s full MLK Day message to the Champlain community here.

Kaylee Sullivan