ALMA — The life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. will be commemorated at Alma College over the week of Jan. 15, with a series of events designed to reflect and celebrate on his visions for civil rights and social justice.

The week’s activities are highlighted by a brunch for the campus and local community, with a keynote speech from René Revis Shingles, PhD, a Mount Pleasant, Mich.-based author, educator and keynote speaker, on Monday, Jan. 15, from 10 to 11:45 a.m. (doors open at 9:30 a.m.) at the Hogan Center, Art Smith Arena, on campus at Alma College.

“This is a day for us as a community to reflect on the life of Dr. King and his impact on our society. His vision and dream are still relevant today, and it’s incumbent upon us to reflect on ourselves and what steps we need to take to continue to live out that dream,” said Damon Brown, vice president for student affairs and chief diversity officer at Alma College.

On that day, classes are canceled and athletics practices will not take place during scheduled events.

Shingles is a program director, faculty member, and internship coordinator for athletic training in The Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow College of Health Professions at Central Michigan University. She is the author of books including “Cultural Competence in Sports Medicine,” and “Patient-Centered Care in Sports Medicine,” and is currently writing a third, “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Health Care.”

In addition to the brunch, a number of other events are slated to take place for students, staff and faculty of Alma College. This year’s MLK Program Series, dedicated to interactive activities centered around civil rights and social justice, is highlighted by a series of workshops hosted by Braver Angels, a nonprofit organization focused on political depolarization.

In these workshops, students from across the political spectrum come together to better learn how they can understand one another’s positions and discover their shared values. The workshops, as well as other Program Series events, take place from 12:15 to 3:30 p.m., Monday at various locations across campus.

“Working with Braver Angels is a great opportunity for our students to learn how to engage in meaningful conversations across differences,” Brown said. “Our ultimate goal is for students to use this day to learn from each other, to grow with each other and become better citizens, and we thought these workshops fit seamlessly with those goals.”

A blood drive is scheduled from 11 a.m. to 4:45 p.m., Monday at the Stone Recreation Center. Appointments are preferred, but walk-ins are welcome. Make an appointment at

The public is invited as poets of all skill and experience levels perform works centered on King’s legacies at the Hilson Poetry Slam, scheduled from 6 to 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 17, in the lobby of Gelston Hall. There is an open mic session for anyone who wishes to perform; memorization is not required. The Hilson Poetry Slam is dedicated to the late Calvin Hilson ’06, who started the tradition of hosting a poetry slam on Martin Luther King Jr. Day at Alma College, and tragically passed away in 2016.

The 2024 Unity Celebration, at the conclusion of the week’s events, takes place from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 19, at the Tyler-Van Dusen Campus Center. There, participants will celebrate the achievements of the past week, while enjoying live entertainment, dinner and community. The public is invited to attend; RSVP is not required.

For more information about the week’s events, email Jonathan Glenn at