Civil rights pioneer Joyce Ladner delivers MLK Day keynote

Portrait of Joyce Ladner
Joyce Ladner

Jan. 22, 2024
Contact: Courtney Perrett, 573-882-6217,  


The University of Missouri is pleased to welcome Joyce Ladner as the 2024 keynote speaker for the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day of celebration.

The event is open to the public, but there is limited in-person seating. Livestream will be available.


Joyce Ladner, Ph.D.

Joyce Ladner was a professor of sociology, provost and interim president at Howard University from 1994 to 1995. Upon retiring from academia, she was appointed to a federal commission by President Bill Clinton.

A prolific civil rights leader, Ladner helped organize the March on Washington in the summer of 1963. She was on the stage when the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech and remembers fondly the mentorship of fellow civil rights pioneers Fannie Lou Hamer and Ella Baker.

Ladner was recently portrayed in the 2023 movie “Rustin” as a member of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. Read more about Ladner’s life.


Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2024

Reception and Artist Showcase at 5:45 p.m.

Keynote from 7-8:30 p.m.


Reynolds Alumni Center

University of Missouri

700 Conley Avenue


Media interested in attending the event should contact Courtney Perrett at 573-882-6217 or Our recent story on Ladner can be found here.

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