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.


January 2022

Winona LaDuke is a Harvard-educated economist, environmental activist, author, hemp farmer, grandmother, and a two-time former Green Party Vice President candidate with Ralph Nader. LaDuke specializes in rural development; economic, food and energy sovereignty; and environmental justice. Living and working on the White Earth reservation in northern Minnesota, she leads several organizations including Honor the Earth (co-founded with The Indigo Girls 28 years ago), Anishinaabe Agriculture Institute, Akiing and Winona‚Äôs Hemp. 

These organizations develop and model cultural-based sustainable development strategies utilizing renewable energy and sustainable food systems. She is also an international thought leader and lecturer in climate justice, renewable energy, and environmental justice, plus an advocate for protecting Indigenous plants and heritage foods from patenting and genetic engineering. She has written seven books including, Recovering the Sacred, All Our Relations, Last Standing Woman, The Winona LaDuke Chronicles, and her newest work, To Be A Water Protector: The Rise of the Wiindigo Slayers.

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.