Civic Knowledge Project

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The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Initiative

Dear Friends of the Civic Knowledge Project--Please do check out this wonderful story about our great CKP friend and supporter, Timuel D. Black, who was featured on the UChicago homepage: A Lifetime Championing Civil Rights. All of us at the CKP take great pride in having helped build this relationship between UChicago and Prof. Black, with whom we began working over a decade ago. At that time, we scarcely dared to hope that UChicago would accord him such recognition, which was already long overdue. But it is truly wonderful to see that in recent years he has begun to be rightly honored in this way. He is the living memory of the South Side of Chicago.

If you are interested in volunteering or interning with the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Initiative, please contact Bart Schultz, the Executive Director of the Civic Knowledge Project, at If you have used the Pathfinder system, please indicate which job description you are interested in.

The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Initiative

Timuel Black

The Civic Knowledge Project has for many years been deeply devoted to studying and celebrating the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Working closely with Chicago’s South Side legend, the great civil rights activist and oral historian Timuel D. Black, who worked directly with Dr. King and helped organize the March on Washington, the CKP has initiated and supported a wide range of projects designed to research the roots of Dr. King’s philosophy of nonviolence and his role in the civil rights movement, and to call attention to the ongoing relevance of his life and work, with a special emphasis on his connections to the City of Chicago. “Civic Knowledge,” in Chicago, ought to accord a special and prominent place to the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who brought his movement here in 1966.

Wright Tour

In keeping with this priority, the CKP is bringing together in a new way various elements of its former Poverty, Promise, and Possibility initiative and a number of projects expressly concerned with the historical and contemporary significance of the work of Dr. King. Moving into the 2017-18 academic year, the new Initiative will work with a wide range of community partners--including the RainbowPUSH Coalition and Liberty Baptist Church--as well as various UChicago partners--including the Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture, the Office of Civic Engagement, the Alumni Association and Rockefeller Chapel--to commemorate the work of Dr. King on the occasion of the 50th Anniversary of his tragic assassination. This new Initiative will involve a wide range of educational programs and activist opportunities designed to showcase and critically assess the ongoing importance of King's philosophy of nonviolence. It will launch with an on campus Open House/Public Forum on Nov. 4th., at which members of the UChicago community will learn how they can get involved. The work of this Initiative is very much a continuation of the thinking that led Dr. King to devote himself to a Poor People’s Campaign, and to expand his vision of social justice. And it complements the various research projects and educational programs that the CKP is supporting in collaboration with Prof. Black and other leading community figures working to advance the legacy of Dr. King.

Please do get involved with our efforts! Please contact CKP Director Bart Schultz, at or 773-834-3929, if you would like to participate in any or all of the following activities:

The Prof. Timuel D. Black Bridges of Memory Distinguished Guest Lecture and Jazz Concert