2022 Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration of Human Rights Week: Full events list

You’re invited to join your colleagues in our annual celebration of diversity and inclusion that occurs throughout the week of the Martin Luther King Jr. national holiday, beginning Monday, Jan. 17, 2022.

List of Events:*

*This list will be updated as more details are finalized. Please check back for updates. 

Wednesday, Jan. 12

  • Celebrate Human Rights Week early with “Racial Perspectives on the Institution of Medicine” from Director and Chair of Emergency Medicine Jenice Baker, MD, from Chestnut Hill Hospital in Philadelphia. Watch the presentation.


CultureVision Scavenger Hunt (Tuesday through Friday)

  • Visit CultureVision each day during Human Rights Week and search for the answers to the Scavenger Hunt questions. Those who answer all questions correctly will have a chance to be entered into a drawing for Bread Garden treats.
  • Use the following links to answer the questions:
  • Connect with CultureVision while you’re off campus, using Username: UIOWA and password: medicine1. CultureVision can also be accessed via The Point (under Top Links), The Loop (under Tools on the Employee Info page), clinical desktops, and at uiowa.edu/diversity (look for the CultureVision icon on the bottom left of the page).

Monday, Jan. 17

  • Join the UI Day of Service: Each year, a Day of Service takes place during which we come together to serve our community alongside local non-profits. This year, the service opportunities will consist of five parts. Community members can assemble a literacy kit, donate to a week-long food and basic needs drive, create an emergency care kit, donate at the Hy-Vee donation drive event, or initiate youth-centered acts of service.

Tuesday, Jan. 18

  • Participate via Zoom in Nursing Grand Rounds “Identifying and Responding to Microaggressions” from noon to 1 p.m. with Valerie Garr, MA, diversity coordinator for the University of Iowa College of Nursing.


  • Learn from Matt Anderson, PhD, who studies indigenous medicine at Ohio State University, during his presentation “An Unusual Mating System Generates Diversity in Candida albicans” from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. Anderson’s presentation will be available on Zoom and in-person within Watzke Auditorium on the 2nd floor of Bowen Science Building. Watch via Zoom.

International Cuisine: India

    • UI Hospitals & Clinics, Fountain Dining Room (Elevator C, Level 1)
    • 10:45 a.m. to 2 p.m.
    • Enjoy chicken tikka masala (chicken marinated in a spicy curry) with basmati rice and naan bread.

Wednesday, Jan. 19

  • Register for the MLK Human Rights Week Distinguished Lecture: Feranmi Okanlami, MD, MS, director of student accessibility and accommodation services at the University of Michigan, will deliver the Martin Luther King Jr. Distinguished Lecture as part of our 2022 celebration: Disabusing Disabilities.” Register online for the virtual lecture which will be held from noon to 1 p.m.
  • Join a 9 a.m. seminar led by Matt Anderson, PhD, on indigenous-led science in the Beisner auditorium within the Bowen science building with an in-person, coffee break discussion to follow in the Bowen atrium from 10:15 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. The seminar will also be presented on Zoom.

International Cuisine: Argentina

    • UI Hospitals & Clinics, Fountain Dining Room (Elevator C, Level 1)
    • 10:45 a.m. to 2 p.m.
    • Try some empanadas with roasted eggplant, mushrooms, and peppers with a chimichurri sauce. Red pepper soup with green onions served with rolls will also be available.

Thursday, Jan. 20

  • Join the discussion for the Internal Medicine Grand Rounds via Zoom from noon to 1 p.m.
  • A lecture on “Creating Inclusive and Affirmative Spaces and Services for Gender-Expansive, Transgender, and Intersex/DSD (GETI) Individuals” from Ina Amarillo, PhD, from the Washington University School of Medicine. Watch via Zoom.
  • Watch a presentation on Zoom regarding race versus ancestry in the medicine given by Jason Barker, MD. The seminar begins at 1 p.m.
  • Update (1/14/22): Watch and discuss a screening of the film “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” with the Association of Multicultural Scientists/Microbiology & Immunology. The film will now be shown from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. via Zoom only.

International Cuisine: Malaysia

    • UI Hospitals & Clinics, Atrium Dining Room, 7th Floor Roy Carver Pavilion (Elevators D and E, Level 7)
    • 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
    • Enjoy nasi lemak (a spicy, fragrant rice dish served with egg and anchovies) plus pisang goreng which literally means “naked fried banana” in English as well as fried okra.

Friday, Jan. 21

  • From noon to 1 p.m. there will be a lecture on “Human Trafficking & Healthcare” from student speaker Kimberly Chang, MD, MPH. Watch it via Zoom.


  • Attend a patient initiated harassment training via Zoom from the Department of Pediatrics.
  • Join a virtual discussion panel and community outreach event from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. about tutoring kids from the Department of Microbiology & Immunology. Participate via Zoom.
  • Enjoy a virtual presentation from UI Associate Professor of Jazz Damani Phillips, PhD.

International Cuisine: Ireland

    • UI Hospitals & Clinics, Atrium Dining Room, 7th Floor Roy Carver Pavilion (Elevators D and E, Level 7)
    • 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
    • Featuring Shephard’s Pie, soda bread, and glazed root vegetables.

Saturday, Jan. 22 & Sunday Jan. 23

  • Help out with the Carver College of Medicine DEI Volunteer Day! There are three opportunities through the weekend to help the nonprofit Houses into Homes. Find more details on how to volunteer here.

Tuesday, Jan. 25

  • At 7 a.m., watch Grand Rounds via Zoom for a virtual presentation titled “Genetics of High-Risk/Triple Negative Breast Cancer and African Ancestry” given by Lisa Newman, MD, MPH, an expert in breast cancer research.

Wednesday, Jan. 26

  • Join a virtual presentation via Zoom on “‘What to Say’: Responding to Patient-Initiated Harassment” with Olayinka Abimbola, MD, and Sarah Averill, MD.

Learn more about how the University of Iowa will celebrate Human Rights week.

Celebration of Human Rights

Recognition of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthdate has been a tradition at the University of Iowa since 1969, and the national holiday has been observed through human rights programs since its inception in 1986. In 1990, the university initiated the Human Rights convocation program. Afternoon classes were canceled to encourage student, faculty, and staff participation in programs that encourage dialogue about diversity and reinforce the principle that the university is a forum for the free exchange of ideas. The convocation has been an opportunity for serious thinking by all of us about issues of social justice, human rights, and world peace.

An official university holiday was designated in 1995 to provide an opportunity to engage the community in a discussion of the human values that the King holiday epitomizes. These initial events have grown into a campus-wide celebration that engages faculty, staff, students, and community members to give lectures, discussions, and cultural arts presentations.

Check back for more details on what UI Health Care and the UI are doing in 2022 to honor Martin Luther King Jr.