The annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Celebration features a prominent, successful African American keynote speaker and attracts a large crowd from throughout the community. Past speakers have included actors, journalists, judges,
The event is sponsored by the USI Multicultural Center and other sponsors, which vary each year.
Emmy-nominated documentary filmmaker to keynote 2023 USI Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration
The University of Southern Indiana will host a presentation by Keith Beauchamp, Emmy-Nominated Documentary Filmmaker, honoring the memory and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as part of USI’s annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Celebration at 11 a.m. Monday, January 16 in Carter Hall, located in University Center East. Doors will open at 10:15 a.m. The presentation is open to the public.
In 1999, Beauchamp founded Till Freedom Come Productions, a company devoted to socially significant projects aimed at teaching and entertaining. Over the past 22 years, he has worked tirelessly to tell the story of Emmett Till and has traveled extensively between New York, Chicago and Mississippi to investigate the historic murder.
Till was a 14-year-old African American boy who was abducted, tortured and lynched in Mississippi in 1955 after being accused of offending a white woman in her family's grocery store. The brutality of his murder and the fact that his killers were acquitted drew attention to the long history of violent persecution of African Americans in the United States, and he posthumously became an icon of the civil rights movement.
Throughout his journey, Beauchamp has worked with witnesses who had never spoken about the case and with influential figures like Muhammad Ali and Reverend Al Sharpton, all while persistently lobbying both the State of Mississippi and the federal government to reopen the Till murder investigation.
In May 2004, the United States Department of Justice re-opened the 50-year-old murder case, citing Beauchamp’s documentary, The Untold Story of Emmett Louis Till, as both a major factor in their decision and the starting point for their investigation.
In May 2005, Till’s body was exhumed, and in 2006, the FBI turned over their evidence to the appropriate district attorney in Mississippi. In February 2007, a Mississippi Grand Jury decided to not indict the remaining suspects in the case.
That same year, Beauchamp began his collaboration with the FBI’s new civil rights “Cold Case” initiative, producing documentaries on other unsolved civil rights murders in hopes of helping federal agents with their investigations and bringing remaining perpetrators to justice.
Beauchamp has been featured on 60 Minutes, ABC World News Tonight 'Person of the Week,' Court TV, MSNBC, Good Morning America, CNN, BBC, and in hundreds of publications around the world, including The New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, Associated Press and the Chicago Sun-Times. He is currently the executive producer and host of Investigation Discovery’s crime reality series, The Injustice Files, and the producer of the upcoming feature film Till. Beauchamp is also a frequent lecturer at colleges and universities around the country.
“We are excited to have Mr. Beauchamp as our keynote speaker. He accepted the call to action that Dr. King passed on to each of us seriously,” says Pam Hopson, Executive Director of the USI Multicultural Center. “In the spirit of Dr. King’s life’s work, we must reaffirm ourselves as individuals in strengthening our community as we stand on the shoulders of him by championing the rights and dignity of all people.”
Tickets are $15 for USI students, $25 for USI employees and $30 for the public and can be purchased online.
For more information or accommodations, please contact the Multicultural Center at 812-465-7188 or at firstname.lastname@example.org,
- 2023 - Keith Beauchamp
- 2022 - Dr. Gwendolyn Carol Webb
- 2021 - Dr. Talitha Washington
- 2020 - April Ryan
- 2019 - Donna Brazile
- 2018 - Dr. Johnnetta Cole
- 2017 – Cornell William Brooks
- 2016 - Major General Barrye L. Price
- 2015 - Dr. James D. Anderson
- 2014 - Jasmine Guy
- 2013 - Susan Taylor
- 2012 - Judge Glenda Hatchett
- 2011 - Hill Harper
- 2010 - Juan Williams
- 2009 - Dr. John Carlos
- 2008 - Coach Herman Boone
- 2007 - George E. Curry
- 2006 - A'Lelia Bundles