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17th Annual MLK Lecture in Social Justice


5:30 pm

Jon Huntsman Hall, G06
3730 Walnut Street


This event is co-hosted by the Annenberg School for Communication and the Black Alumni Society.


Click here to register.


Our 2018 Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Lecture in Social Justice will feature a conversation with Judith Browne Dianis, Co-Director of the Advancement Project; Iván Espinoza-Madrigal, Executive Director of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice; Amber Hikes, Executive Director of the Office of LGBT Affairs for the City of Philadelphia; and Marc Morial, President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Urban League.

In the spirit of Dr. King’s human rights positions, these guests will engage in a discussion of topics related to the state of the country and the continuing struggle for social justice.


Judith Browne Dianis   Executive Director, The Advancement Project

Judith Browne Dianis has an extensive background in civil rights litigation and advocacy in the areas of voting, education, policing, housing, and employment.  She has protected the rights of people of color in the midst of some of the greatest civil rights crises of our modern times, including in Florida after the 2000 election and in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Recently, Dianis and her team at Advancement Project have joined forces with the Journey for Justice Alliance, an alliance of grassroots groups in 22 cities, to challenge the growing trend of public school closures and privatization in communities of color. 

Dianis joined Advancement Project at its inception in 1999. She was named one of the “Thirty Women to Watch” by Essence Magazine and has written and commented extensively in the media about race, voting rights, and education issues, appearing often on MSNBC, CNN, BET, TVOne and various radio shows.

Iván Espinoza-Madrigal   Executive Director, Lawyers’ Committee forCivil Rights and Economic Justice

Iván Espinoza-Madrigal is the Executive Director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice. He is an expert in legal protections for people of color and immigrants. He has filed and won dozens of life- and law-changing cases across the country on behalf of people of color and immigrants. He advises federal and state policymakers on the legal needs of marginalized communities. His work is regularly featured in publications such as the New York Times. A sought-after thought leader, Iván speaks nationally on racial justice and immigration issues. He often focuses on the legal needs of people who identify across intersecting lines of race, sexual orientation, gender identity, and immigration status.

Previously, he worked at Lambda Legal, MALDEF, and Fried Frank LLP. Iván clerked in the Federal Court of Appeals in Detroit, and the Federal District Court in Manhattan. The Boston Globe has recognized Iván as one of the 100 Most Influential People of Color. The National LGBT Bar Association has recognized him as one of the Best LGBT Lawyers Under 40. A summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, he received his law degree from New York University.

Amber Hikes   Executive Director, Office of LGBT Affairs forthe City of Philadelphia

Amber Hikes is the executive director of the Office of LGBT Affairs for the City of Philadelphia, where she develops policy and serves as the principal advisor to Mayor Jim Kenney on issues that affect the LGBTQ community. Hikes joined the Office of LGBT Affairs in March 2017 and has set her sights on fighting and advocating for the most vulnerable populations within the LGBTQ community—specifically youth, transgender people, and people of color. Her personal philosophy guides the Office’s mission and approach: when we fight for the lives of the most marginalized, we, in turn, liberate ourselves.

Marc Morial   President & CEO, National Urban League

In a distinguished professional career that has spanned 25 years, Marc Morial has performed the roles of entrepreneur, lawyer, professor, legislator, mayor, president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors and President and CEO of the National Urban League with excellence and is one of the most accomplished servant-leaders in the nation. As President and CEO of the National Urban League he has expanded the League’s work around an Empowerment agenda, which is redefining civil rights in the 21st century with a renewed emphasis on closing the economic gaps between whites and Blacks, as well as other communities of color, and rich and poor Americans.   

Under appointment by President Obama, Morial has served as Chair of the Census Advisory Committee, a member of the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability, and on the Department of Education’s Equity and Excellence Commission.  He was also appointed to the Twenty-First Century Workforce Commission by President Bill Clinton.

Morial has been recognized as one of the 100 most influential Black Americans by Ebony Magazine, one of the Top 50 Nonprofit Executives by the Nonprofit Times, and one of the Top 100 Black Lawyers in America.

Click here to register.

Registration is required and seating is first-come, first-served. Registration does not guarantee a seat.