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VCU Health and VCU to host celebration and walk to honor Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The commemoration highlights VCU Health’s commitment to promote diversity, equity and inclusive practices in patient care and our workplace.

Stone monument of Martin Luther King Jr. King is standing with arms crossed. There is a blue sky and clouds behind the statue. Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was one of the most prominent leaders of the civil rights movement in the United States.

By Adam Austin

The VCU Health Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (ODEI) will host a unique event later this month to honor civil rights pioneer Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The Martin Luther King Jr. Community Walk and Celebration is happening on Saturday, Jan. 20 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. The event is being coordinated by a collaborative effort of OEDI and several groups across VCU Health and Virginia Commonwealth University, including the VCU School of Medicine.

The commemoration of King’s pioneering work aims to highlight the commitment VCU Health is making to promote a culture of diversity, equity and inclusion through supportive patient care, education, research and our work environment.

“A key part of Dr. King’s legacy is about listening and learning,” said Marcelle Davis, DSL, vice president of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at VCU Health. “Our 2024 Celebration and Community Walk captures these components and gives us the platform to show the integration of diversity equity and inclusion with arts, health care, education and community engagement. Our diversity makes us stronger and together we strive to live our values out loud.”

Graphic for the event. It has a the portrait of Martin Luther King Jr. along with the words "VCU Health 2024 Martin Luther King Jr. Community Walk." There is also information about the date and time of the event on the image.

The event is happening Jan. 20 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. (VCU Enterprise Marketing and Communications)

The celebration and walk will begin at the front of Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU’s Children’s Pavilion on Broad Street. Participants will then walk less than a quarter of a mile away to the Hermes A. Kontos Medical Sciences Building auditorium on E. Marshall Street.

Once in the auditorium, attendees will celebrate Dr. King with music from a VCU choir and several speakers, with the keynote from Rev. Marilyn J.D. Barnes, director of Spiritual Care at VCU Health and chair of the VCU College of Health Professions’ Department of Patient Counseling.

VCU Health team members, VCU faculty, staff, students and community members are invited to participate in this celebration. The event will feature a guided walk through some of the relevant historic sites of MCV Campus. The first five hundred participants will receive a commemorative VCU Health scarf to help keep them warm during the walk.