The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Keynote Lecture is a major event each January open to the entire Villanova community and to the public.

For more than twenty years, Villanova has celebrated the life and legacy of Dr. King with a series of events and programs designed to highlight continuing injustices, while also celebrating those individuals and organizations that challenge and overcome them. Past keynote speakers include Sonia Sanchez, Chaka Fattah, Cornel West, Patricia Williams, Melissa Harris-Lacewell, Timothy Tyson, Phillip Atiba Goff, Crystal Lucky, Sonya Douglas Horsford, Anthea Butler, Bryan Stevenson. M.K. Asante and Ian Haney Lopez.

2023 LECTURE: The Fierce Urgency of Now

headshot of Jim Wallis

Rev. Jim Wallis

Founding Director, Georgetown University Center on Faith and Justice & Founder/Ambassador, Sojourners

7 PM | Wednesday, January 25

Villanova Room, Connelly Center

Jim Wallis is a globally respected writer, teacher, preacher, justice advocate, regular international commentator on ethics and public life, and mentor for a new generation. He is currently serving as the first Chair in Faith and Justice, and leader of the Center on Faith and Justice in the Georgetown University McCourt School of Public Policy. Prior to this position, he was a research fellow at the Berkley Center since 2010.

Wallis is the founder and ambassador of Sojourners, a progressive Christian grassroots movement that advocates spirituality and social change in America. Sojourners' ministries grew out of the Sojourners Community, located in Southern Columbia Heights, an inner-city neighborhood in Washington, DC. Under Wallis’ leadership, Sojourners has had international acclaim as a group of Christians who work together to live a gospel life that integrates spiritual renewal and social justice

Wallis is a New York Times bestselling author of twelve books, including Christ in Crisis, America’s Original Sin, God’s Politics and The Great Awakening. He served on President Obama's White House Advisory Council on Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships.

MLK Commemoration Co-Sponsors: McNulty Institute, Waterhouse Institute, CASA, Center for Arab and Islamic Studies, Center for Political Theology, VU-ODEI, CLAS-ODEI, VSB-ODEI, Office of Intercultural Affairs, Service Learning CLAS, Student Involvement, Student Life, ACS, Ethics, Political Science, Office of the President

Please press the button below to see the video of the 2023 MLK Keynote Lecture.

2022: Winona LaDuke

2021: Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor

2020: Valarie Kaur

2019: Ibram X. Kendi

2018: Diane Nash

2017: Ian Haney Lopez

2016: M.K. Asante

2015: Bryan Stevenson

2014: Anthea Butler

2013: Sonya Douglass Harsford

2012: Crystal Lucky


The Center often records their events, making them accessible to the wider community. You can watch them on YouTube.

Villanova Univeristy
Center for Peace and Justice Education
Corr Hall, 106
800 Lancaster Ave., Villanova, PA 19085

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The Center for Peace and Justice Education is closely integrated with the Office for Mission and Ministry and its departments, programs and initiatives.