Chronology of the University of Michigan Annual Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Lecturers


1987 Rep. William Gray III of Pennsylvania

1988 Gov. Douglas Wilder of Virginia

1989 Mayor Willie Brown Jr. of San Francisco

1990 Cesar Chavez, President, United Farm Workers Union

Kevin Locke, Traditional Native American Dancer and Musician, Lakota Nation

1991 Adelaide Sanford, Regent, State University of New York

1992 Maulana Karenga, Director of Black Studies, California State University, Long Beach

1993 Rep. Shirley Chisholm of New York

1994 Charles Long, Director for Black Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara

1995 Benjamin Hooks, Executive Director of the NAACP

1996 Jocelyn Elders, US Surgeon General

1997 Mary Frances Berry, Chairperson of the US Commission on Civil Rights

1998 Cornel West, Professor of African American Studies and Religion, Harvard University

1999 Nikki Giovanni, Poet, Author and Essayist

2000 Henry Louis Gates Jr., Director of African American Studies, Harvard University

2001 Edward James Olmos, Actor and Humanitarian

2002 Dr. Benjamin Carson, Neurosurgeon and Medical School Alumnus

2003 Grace Lee Boggs, Detroit Activist and Author

2004 Lani Guinier, Harvard Law Professor and Author

2005 Henry G. Cisneros, Former Secretary – US Dept. of Housing & Urban Development

2006 Anna Deavere Smith, Professor, Playwright, Actress

2007 Kweisi Mfume, Executive Director, NAACP

2008 Louis Gossett Jr., Academy Award-winning Actor, Founder of the Eracism Foundation

2009 Julian Bond, Former Chairman of the NAACP

2010 Gwen Ifill, Moderator & Managing Editor of PBS’s “Washington Week” & Co-anchor for the “PBS Newshour”

2011 Shirley Sherrod, Civil rights activist and former Georgia rural state director for the United States Department of Agriculture

2012 Michelle Norris, Author and Award-winning Journalist

2013 Morris Dees, Civil Rights Activist and Founder of the Southern Poverty Law Center

2014 Harry Belafonte, Singer, Songwriter, Actor and Social Activist

2015 Marc Lamont Hill, Journalist, Scholar, Author and Activist

2016 Nontombi Naomi Tutu, Race and Gender Justice Activist – recording of event

2017 Amy Goodman, Journalist, Activist, Author

Issa Rae, Actress, Comedian, Writer, Director, Producer – recording of event 

2018 Hill Harper, Actor, Author, Philanthropist – recording of event

2019 Tim Wise, Author and Scholar – recording of event

Julia Putnam, Detroit Principal and Writer

2020 Angela Davis, Political Activist, Author, and Professor – recording of event

2021 Dr. Gloria House, Poet, Essayist, Educator and Human Rights and Community Activist – recording of event

Malik Yakini, Educator, Farmer, Food Justice Advocate and Guitarist 

*Positions and titles listed reflect status at the time of address