MLK Celebration

MLK Celebration


The annual MLK Celebration is a University-wide event. Every year, a prominent keynote speaker who exemplifies Martin Luther King’s commitment to social justice comes to campus to address an audience of UChicago students, faculty, and staff along with members of the public. The 2011 keynote speaker was Geoffrey Canada, the president and CEO of the Harlem Children’s Zone and a leader in school reform. Our clients, the MLK Committee, aimed to launch a high-profile marketing campaign to match the prominence of the speaker.

Our Role

To build hype around the MLK Celebration, we created an interactive Voice Your Dream campaign beginning in November for the January event. Community members were asked to share their goals for the future and hopes for humanity on a Dream Wall that traveled around campus. Those not on campus could voice their dreams on a custom landing page and via Twitter.

In addition to these interactive components, UChicago Creative created posters, worked with the News Office to coordinate press releases and a homepage feature story, and broadcast the event live.


The interactive campaign contributed to the success of the event, which drew a diverse audience from across UChicago and the greater community to fill Rockefeller Memorial Chapel—an unprecedented level of attendance from past MLK Celebrations. In addition, nearly 450 remote viewers tuned in to a password-protected webcast of the event, exclusively for the University of Chicago community.

Interactive Voice Your Dream Wall

Postings on the Voice Your Dream Wall

Custom Voice Your Dream landing page on Twitter

MLK Celebration event website

Printed materials promoting the MLK Celebration and Dream Wall

Photography of community members at the Voice Your Dream Wall

To create excitement for the 2011 MLK Celebration, UChicago Creative developed an interactive Voice Your Dream campaign to engage audience members for nearly two months leading up to the event.


The 2012 MLK Celebration drew 1,579 attendees, double its 2011 attendance.

“University Communications’ work has been invaluable in raising awareness about the MLK events. Last year’s campaign created a dialogue across campus and even into the community throughout the academic year. I am excited about the opportunity to again work with UChicago Creative to increase participation in the MLK Celebration.”

Ana Vázquez
Deputy Dean of Students and Director of the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs