Since 1975, Harvard University has hosted an annual celebration of the life and legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  The theme of this year’s service, to be held on Feb. 7 from 7 to 8 p.m. at the Memorial Church, is “Social Transformation through Compassion.”  The event is free and open to the public.

Featuring:

  • Keynote speaker Father Gregory Boyle, S.J., executive director of Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles.  Father Boyle has worked with gang members for the past 30 years, helping to provide them with jobs, training, meaning, hope and alternatives to violence.
  • Harvard’s Kuumba Singers will provide musical selections.
  • Members of the Harvard College Interfaith Council will be reading selections from King’s speeches.

“This event is especially poignant in light of the recent tragic shootings in Tucson, and the gun violence that plagues Boston and other urban centers. Dr. King’s call to build the ‘Beloved Community’ requires us to creatively envision alternatives that bring greater wholeness and purpose,” said Rev. Robert J. Mark, McDonald Fellow of the Memorial Church at Harvard.  “To this end, we look forward to being inspired by Father Gregory Boyle’s powerful story of living and working with gangs in Los Angeles, and the vital role compassion plays in helping to transform our society.”

This event is sponsored by the Harvard Chaplains, the Memorial Church, the Harvard Foundation for Intercultural and Race Relations, and the Black Students Association.