MLK Celebration

Realizing the Dream Through Healing and Resilience

“As my sufferings mounted I soon realized that there were two ways in which I could respond to my situation — either to react with bitterness or seek to transform the suffering into a creative force. I decided to follow the latter course.”

― Martin Luther King Jr.

We, too, choose the latter course – to transform our suffering into a creative force – a force of healing and resilience. Join us in the work of realizing MLK’s dream as we celebrate January 15!

Featured Speaker

Morgan Medlock


Morgan Medlock, M.D., M.Div., MPH, is a convener, educator, and clinician who is passionate about designing equitable, community-centered behavioral health interventions.


9:30-10 a.m.RegistrationHarre Union, Atrium
10-11:30 a.m.Focus SessionsHarre Union
11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.LunchFounders Table, Harre Union
1-2:30 p.m.ConvocationThe Chapel of Resurrection
3-5 p.m.Campus Service ProjectBallrooms, Harre Union
3-5 p.m.Collaborative Art ProjectBrauer Museum of Art


Spiritual Contemplative Reflections for Healing and Resilience

Location: Brown and Gold Room, Harre Union

We live in a culture that often pits contemplation and activism against each other. Yet the work of justice rooted in faith and love wouldn’t draw the distinction. Martin Luther King Jr. himself embodied a spirituality that integrated reflection and action, drawing from mentors like Howard Thurman and Abraham Heschel. In this session, we will explore the labyrinth walk as a spiritual practice that can inspire a journey of prayer and wholeness that renews us for life in the world.

Travis Scholl

Travis Scholl, M.Div., Ph.D. Author of “Walking the Labyrinth: A Place to Pray and Seek God” Speaker

Social Media for Social Justice: Harnessing the Power of Martin Luther King Day for Healing and Resilience

Location: Ballroom B, Harre Union

This session looks at the principles of communal healing and resilience through the promotion of nonviolence and antiracism in social media. A panel of speakers, led by Adam Gibson-Even ’00, discusses their approach to online activism and outreach. Session participants will come away with solid techniques for building community and organizing for action through social media and will create and post a piece of content to their online communities reflecting on antiracism and nonviolence.

Adam Gibson-Even, Ph.D.

Adam Gibson-Even ’00, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Physics and Astronomy Speaker

Haydar Cukurtepe, Ph.D., M.S.

Haydar Cukurtepe, Ph.D., M.S. Assistant Professor of Computing and Information Sciences Speaker

Sonja Streuber, M.S., M.A.

Sonja Streuber, M.S., M.A. Lecturer in Computing and Information Sciences Speaker

Mental Health for Healing and Resilience

Location: Alumni Room, Harre Union

This session will demonstrate the effects of racism and discrimination on the mental health of those impacted. Our goal is to provide a discussion and call to action to heal and build resilience as we continue to navigate cultural and racial insensitivity in the world today. 

Kimberly Boone, M.A., LMHC

Kimberly Boone, M.A., LMHC Director of Counseling Center Speaker

Jordan Embry ’19

Jordan Embry ’19 University Enrollment Marketing Manager Speaker

Government as an Agent for Healing and Resilience

Location: Ballroom C, Harre Union

This session will discuss several programs supported by the local government that foster resilience and healing by providing food, shelter, clothing, and healthcare to those citizens living in the community surrounding Valparaiso University. Attendees will enjoy the opportunity to interact with two elected officials who serve the City Council District and the Porter County Township in which Valparaiso University is located.

U.S. Senator Todd Young

Todd Young, MBA U.S. Senator Remarks

Jose Diaz

Jose Diaz Regional Director, Office of U.S. Senator Todd Young Speaker

City Councilman, Valparaiso

Jesse Harper, J.D. Center Township Trustee Speaker

Jesse Harper, J.D

Robert Cotton City Councilman, Valparaiso Speaker

Hip-Hop Stories of New America: Black and Brown Healing Through Hip-Hop

Location: Ballroom A, Harre Union

Olmeca has been featured on “BBC London,” Complex Magazine, Noisey, Huffington Post, “NPR,” “Democracy Now,” and “CNN Latino.” His music has been featured on various documentaries, including PBS “Independent Lens,” and “Two Americans,” a documentary about the immigration issues in Arizona. He has written music for television shows including “Sons of Anarchy,” “Chance” on Hulu, and a new series, “The Mayans” on FX. Noisey Magazine writes, “Olmeca is a teacher of underground hip-hop in Los Angeles and the Chicano community. An artist directly responsible so rap in Spanglish is a thing. A chat with this shaman of the 21st century…” Olmeca grew up in the barrios of Los Angeles and Mexico, a reality that brewed his blending of music genres and cultural sensitivity. While everyday people respect his lyrical content, music connoisseurs value the production, and educators utilize Olmeca’s music in their classrooms.

David Olmeca Barragan

David Olmeca Barragan, M.A. Hip-Hop artist, producer, activist, and scholar Speaker