Skip to main content

In Honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Villanova University Hosts Four-Day Celebration Featuring Freedom School

Villanova’s observance Jan. 19-22 includes Day of Service, Inauguration Day panel, Freedom School and keynote address from award-winning author Melissa Harris-Lacewell

27 unique Freedom School sessions include topics such as “Martin Luther King’s Dream and Barack Obama’s Presidential Campaign” and “The Life and Times of Rosa Parks”

January 14, 2009

VILLANOVA, PA., January 14, 2009 – To honor the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Villanova University will host a four-day celebration Jan. 19-22 featuring over 30 different events open to the public. The highlight of the celebration is The Freedom School, a program sponsored by Villanova’s Center for Peace and Justice Education, which offers sessions focusing on topics surrounding Dr. King’s work on Jan. 21.

Villanova’s four-day observance kicks off with a day of service Jan. 19 beginning at 8 a.m. Villanova students will volunteer at various service sites in the Philadelphia area as part of the 14th Annual Greater Philadelphia Martin Luther King Day of Service. Projects include building improvement and beautification at several local churches and schools, as well as food preparation and delivery with the Camden Neighborhood Renaissance program.

On Inauguration Day, Tuesday, Jan. 20, at 4:30 pm., noted Villanova faculty will participate in a panel and open forum discussion about the upcoming presidency in the Connelly Center’s Presidents Lounge.

Twenty-seven Freedom School sessions addressing issues related to Dr. King’s work and vision will be offered throughout the day on Wednesday, Jan. 21, from 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. in the Connelly Center. Sessions will focus on topics such as “Martin Luther King’s Dream and Barack Obama’s Presidential Campaign” and “The Life and Times of Rosa Parks.”

For a complete schedule of Freedom School sessions, please visit:

The four-day celebration wraps up on Thursday, Jan. 22, with a keynote address, “Building the Promised Land: The Continuing Significance of King in the Age of Obama,” from award-winning author and Princeton professor Melissa Harris-Lacewell at 7 p.m. in the Connelly Center’s Villanova Room. Harris-Lacewell, an associate professor of politics and African-American studies at Princeton University, is the author of “Barbershops, Bibles, and BET: Everyday Talk and Black Political Thought.” She has studied the challenges that African-Americans face in today’s society and the ways in which African-Americans can respond to these challenges.

All events are free and open to the public. For more information about Villanova’s 2009 Freedom School, please visit:

Villanova University, a co-educational Roman Catholic institution, was founded by the Order of Saint Augustine in 1842. A premier institution of higher education, Villanova provides a comprehensive education rooted in the liberal arts; a shared commitment to the Augustinian ideals of truth, unity and love; and a community dedicated to service to others. A wide variety of undergraduate and graduate degree programs are offered through the University’s four colleges: the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Villanova School of Business, the College of Engineering and the College of Nursing, as well as the Villanova School of Law. With a total enrollment that surpasses 10,000 undergraduate, graduate and law students, Villanova is the oldest and largest Catholic university in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.