Skip to Content
FIU’s 2020 annual MLK commemorative celebration will feature Yusef Salaam of the Exonerated Five

FIU’s 2020 annual MLK commemorative celebration will feature Yusef Salaam of the Exonerated Five

January 13, 2020 at 12:00am

FIU’s Office of Multicultural Programs and Services will honor the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with a month-long celebration inspired by King’s lifelong dedication to equality, social justice and peace. The 2020 celebration will be centered on the theme advocating for liberty and justice for all.
One of the highlights is the 29th annual MLK Commemorative Breakfast, which will take place Friday, Jan. 17 at 8 a.m. in the Graham Center Ballrooms at FIU’s MMC, located at 11200 SW 8th St. in West Miami-Dade.
The breakfast keynote speaker will be Yusef Salaam, criminal justice reform activist, recipient of the President’s Volunteer Service Award for lifetime achievement, board member of the Innocence Project, and public speaker.
Yusef Salaam was one of five boys—four of them black and one Latino—who were tried and wrongfully convicted in 1989 for the rape of a young woman in New York City. They became known collectively as “The Central Park Five.”
Their convictions were vacated in 2002 after a convicted murderer and serial rapist confessed to the murder. The boys, now men, spent between seven and 13 years behind bars before their convictions were overturned and they were exonerated.
Since his release, Salaam has committed himself to advocating and educating people on the issues of false confessions; police brutality and misconduct; press ethics and bias; race and law; and the disparities in America’s criminal justice system.
In 2016, Salaam received the President's Volunteer Service Award from President Barack Obama for having completed over 4,000 service hours and was appointed to the board of the Innocence Project in 2018. In May 2019, Netflix released “When They See Us,” a miniseries based on the true story of the Central Park Five, directed by Ava DuVernay and produced by Oprah Winfrey and Robert De Niro.
Other FIU MLK commemorative celebration events include:

  • MLK Day of Service: On Saturday, Jan. 18 at 9 a.m. more than 200 students will participate at locations throughout South Florida. At FIU’s nature preserve, 11200 SW 8th St., students will assist with beautification projects. Students also will visit Feeding South Florida, 2501 SW 32nd Terr. Pembroke Park; and Lotus House 217 NW 15th St., Miami; where they will assemble food packages, and assist in planting produce in the garden respectively. To participate, please register here:
  • MLK Parade: On Monday, Jan. 20 at 8 a.m.: FIU President Mark B. Rosenberg, joined by students, faculty, and staff will participate in Liberty City’s annual parade along Northwest 54th Street.
  • Robert M. Coatie MLK Youth Forum & Peace Walk:  On Wednesday, Jan. 22 at 10 a.m. at FIU’s Biscayne Bay Campus, 3000 NE 151st St., Lisa Lee Arneaud host of the high school game show School Duel on Beacon-TV
    will speak to more than 300 high school students before the annual peace walk. Arneaud is a former teacher and currently serves as the community spokesperson for the State Attorney’s Office in Broward County.
  • MLK @ The Frost Art Museum FIU ExhibitFrom Jan. 25 to April 26 the Patricia and Phillip Frost Art Museum will feature an exhibition by filmmaker Terence Price II, entitled Terence Price II: Never Ending Gardens, which includes new and recent street photography and videos that address familial rites of passage, preserving history, gun violence, and community celebrations.
           The exhibition is part of the Martin Luther King Jr. Exhibition Series, which
           addresses issues of race, diversity, social justice, civil rights, and humanity to
           serve as a catalyst for dialogue and to enrich the community with new

           An opening reception will be held at the Frost Art Museum on Feb. 6 at
           4 p.m.
and is free and open to the public. Click here for more additional

For more on FIU’s MLK Commemorative Celebration, please click here or contact the Office of Multicultural Programs and Services in the Division of Academic and Student Affairs at 305-348-2436.