students in lounge

2023 Community MLK Celebration Lecturer

Karen Walrond (pictured above)
Karen Walrond is a best-selling author, leadership and activism coach, and Certified Dare to Lead™ Facilitator. She holds a BS in civil engineering from Texas A&M University, a JD from the University of Houston Law Center, and is an active member of the State Bar of Texas. Her speaking engagements are infused with her passion for empowering others toward self-determination and leadership. She inspires people to joyfully advocate for justice, peace, and liberation.

Past Lecturers for the Women's Center's Community MLK Celebration Event

2017     Russel Jones, Professor of Psychology at Virginia Tech and co-editor of Behavior Therapy and Black Populations: Psychosocial Issues and Empirical Findings

2018     Loretta Ross, co-founder of the SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective

2019     Brittney Cooper, author and assistant professor in the Departments of Women and Gender Studies and Africana Studies at Rutgers

2020     Morgan Jerkins, author of This Will Be My Undoing - Living at the Intersection of Black, Female, and Feminist in (White) America

2021     Austin Channing Brown, author of I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness 

2022     Mikki Kendall, author of Hood Feminism: Notes from the Women That a Movement Forgot


About the Community MLK Celebration 

The annual Community MLK Celebration aims to commemorate the life and legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with a series of events in January that bring people together from across the University and the local community. Each year as a part of our Director’s Initiative on Diversity and Equity, the Women's Center host a public talk for the Community MLK Celebration featuring an author or other leader whose work inspires students and our wider community to further their work for equity and wellbeing for all. 

We encourage you to learn more about the Community MLK Celebration and other events offered through it by visiting: