Astronaut Mae Jemison to speak at Johns Hopkins' 2024 MLK Jr. Commemoration

Jemison, the first African American woman to travel in space, will deliver keynote remarks at the annual event in East Baltimore on Jan. 12

Johns Hopkins' 42nd annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commemoration will be held from noon to 1:30 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 12, in the Chevy Chase Auditorium on the East Baltimore campus. The program will also be livestreamed.

Mae Jemison

Image caption: Mae Jemison

The keynote will be given by Mae Jemison, an engineer, physician, and former NASA astronaut. Jemison is the first African American woman to travel in space. In addition to sharing how that experience shaped her life, she will discuss her current professional and community work, including her mission as leader of the 100 Year Starship project and her efforts to make human space travel to a star possible within the next 100 years.

This year's theme, Where Do We Go from Here—Chaos or Community?, is based on King's final book by the same name, which focused on working toward a fairer society and a sense of community.

The celebration will also include recognition of the 2023 Martin Luther King Jr. Community Service Award honorees and the recipient of the Levi Watkins Jr. Ideals Award. Guests will also be treated to a performance by Unified Voices, a choir composed of Johns Hopkins employees and East Baltimore residents.

The Martin Luther King Jr. Commemoration, founded by pioneer in cardiac surgery and civil rights Levi Watkins Jr., has enlightened and inspired the Johns Hopkins community for four decades. Past speakers include Maya Angelou, Harry Belafonte Jr., Stevie Wonder, James Earl Jones, Bishop Desmond Tutu, Jesse Jackson, Danny Glover, Rosa Parks, and Coretta Scott King.

Advance registration for in-person attendance or online viewing is requested. Visit the 2024 Martin Luther King Commemoration webpage for more information.

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