The Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) Racial Equity Office is hosting the 40th annual tribute to the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Friday, Jan. 15, from 10-11 a.m.

This year’s keynote speaker is Reverend Dr. Carlos Perkins, pastor of Bethel Cathedral AME Church. The message to our youth will be presented by Taylor Hall, a political activist who expresses her values through interpretive artistic craft. Her debut song, “I Can’t Breathe,” will be featured on the program. Hall is a 2018 Crispus Attucks High School graduate.

Dr. Patricia Payne, director of the IPS Racial Equity Office, and Annmarie Byers, senior equity coordinator, will serve as co-emcees. 

“In the perilous times our country is now experiencing, where unchartered waters continue to challenge us at every turn, it is critical that Indianapolis Public Schools continues to present this annual program designed to help our students, staff and community understand the importance of applying Dr. King’s teachings to our own lives so that his words become our actions. Time is of the essence and the urgency of now looms before us,” said Payne. 

In recognition of the 40th year, performances from past celebrations will be featured. Aleesia Johnson, IPS superintendent, and Evan Hawkins, IPS Board of School Commissioners president, will speak on the importance of the honoring Dr. King’s lasting legacy.

Note: IPS schools will be closed Monday, Jan. 18, in observance of the Martin Luther King Jr. national holiday.

The replay of the 40th Annual IPS Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. will air on the district website at www.myips.org an on WFYI-3 at 7 p.m. Jan. 16, 2021.