Honoring Martin Luther King, Jr.

Dear UMA Community,

On Monday, January 16, 2023, the University of Maine at Augusta will commemorate the legacy and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.. An American Baptist minister, civil rights leader, and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Dr. King was assassinated in 1968 at the age of 39 after delivering his last speech in Memphis, Tennessee. He led the first large nonviolent demonstration against racially segregated buses and was jailed 29 times for his activism. This U.S. federal holiday first passed legislation in 1983, with the first national observance occurring in 1986. This is the first U.S. holiday to honor an African American, usually celebrated on the third Monday of every January. Both campuses and all Centers will be closed in recognition of Dr. King on Monday, January 16.

Dr. King’s commitment to community building serves as an example to the UMA community. We encourage everyone to commemorate the life and work of Dr. King by finding ways to provide service to others not only on this day, but throughout the year.

We have listed below some local events commemorating this holiday that you can participate in.

Local Events Honoring Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

UMaine 2023 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Breakfast Celebration

In Orono, attend the 2023 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Breakfast Celebration in the Wells Conference Center on January 16, 8 am-10 am, an event co-sponsored by the Greater Bangor Area Branch NAACP and the University of Maine Division of Student Life. You will need to register in advance.

Committed to Listen: The BTS Center and the Maine Council of Churches

You can register to attend a public reading of Dr. King’s 21-page “Letter from Birmingham Jail” written in April 1963 addressing Alabama’s white clergymen. Featuring multiple voices, contemplative music, and space for reflection and co-hosted by the BTS Center and the Maine Council of Churches, the event will take place online on January 16, 2023, at 12:15 pm.

Museums, Books, and Other Learning Opportunities

  • For more information on the day’s history, read about the life and work of Dr. King at The King Center. If you want to take action, support the African American community and the ongoing cause of racial justice.
  • To contribute to the spirit of the only federal holiday nominated as a National Day of Service, find and participate in volunteer opportunities around you.
  • Attend parades and museums that honor the Day. You can explore and support the work of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture.
  • If you want to know more and learn the history of racial discrimination in the United States, add an anti-racist reading list to your New Year’s resolutions. You can either read the books for free through the UMA library or The Internet Archive or if you are able, support the authors by purchasing their books.


Joe Szakas
Interim President