Past Celebrations

  • Rita Dove

    The University of Virginia recognized Commonwealth Professor of English and former U.S. poet laureate Rita Dove in 2013 at the Paramount Theater.

  • Donna Brazile speaking in 2011.

    Donna Brazile

    Democratic political strategist, university professor, author, and columnist Donna Brazile gave the 2011 keynote address.

  • Virginia State University Gospel Chorale performing.

    2014 Gospel Concert

    The Virginia State University Gospel Chorale performs during the 2014 gospel concert.

  • Ta-Nehisi Coats Profile

    Ta-Nehisi Coates

    Atlantic correspondent and 2015 keynote speaker Ta-Nehisi Coates addressed a full house in Culbreth Theater on the topic of "Legacy and Justice: Civil Rights in the Modern Era."

  • Julian Bond and Phyllis Leffler in conversation on stage.

    Honoring Julian Bond

    Julian Bond and Phyllis Leffler discuss how to "speak truth to power" during an evening at the Paramount Theater honoring Mr. Bond's service at U.Va.

  • Michael Eric Dyson Profile

    Michael Eric Dyson

    Michael Eric Dyson, one of the nation’s most influential and renowned public intellectuals, gave the 2014 Community MLK Celebration keynote address on January 23, 2014.

Past Keynote Speakers:


2011 - Donna Brazile

2012 - Harry Belafonte and Julian Bond

2013 - Robert M. Franklin

2014 - Michael Eric Dyson

2015 - Ta-Nehisi Coates

2017 - Anita Hill

2018 - Joy Reid