links, photos and remembrances from the April 4, 2018 commemoration events will be added as they become available.

Visit our April 4, 2018 photo album on Flickr

April 4, 2018 will mark the 50th anniversary of a deeply moving moment in Indianapolis history.

Join us in a commemoration that advances that commitment to peace.

On the 50th anniversary of Robert Kennedy’s extraordinary speech, we hope that you will plan to join us for an event that not only commemorates the tragic loss our country suffered that day, but also the legacy of peace and pursuit of equity that our community has been committed to. This commemoration will be the anchor for an ongoing legacy for this park and the city of Indianapolis to be known as “the place” where the values of both Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert Kennedy come alive. We have partnered with community members, leaders and stakeholders who have pledged to support this legacy. Please read below for information about these impactful events that have been created to inspire reflection, conversation, and action.

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Commemorative programs calendar

1968–2017: MARKING 50 YEARS since the loss of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy’s historic Indianapolis speech

FEBRUARY 27, 2018 / 3:00-8:30 PM
517 W. 30TH STREET 

This lecture by Rev. Dr. Frank A. Thomas is free and open to the public. "How to Preach a Dangerous Sermon," will be available for $20, with a book signing following the lecture. Presented by the PhD Program in African American Preaching and Sacred Rhetoric at Christian Theological Seminary, New Era Church, and KKMI.

3:00 Welcome
4:15 Facilitated Panel Discussion & Community Forum
5:45 Fellowship Dinner (RSVP required)
7:00 Worship Service with Rev. Dr. Kevin Cosby

March 13, 2018 / 5 PM
Jabberwocky at Indy Fringe basile theatre
719 East St. Clair Street 

Jabberwocky is a themed storytelling night. Hear the voices of a trio of people who witnessed Robert Kennedy’s speech in 1968 and hear the impact that historic moment had on their lives. Reflect with these witnesses on progress and struggles for racial and civil equality over the last 50 years. FREE EVENT. Doors open at 5:00 pm. Event begins at 5:30 pm. 

Presented by IndyFringe and Storytelling Arts of Indiana

March 22, 24-25 & 29-31, 2018
Dear Bobby at indy fringe basile theatre
719 East St. Clair Street

Two teen girls—one black, one Jewish—anticipate the arrival of Bobby Kennedy to Indianapolis for very different reasons. This was a moment in history when everyone had to decide whether to stand separately, or, in the words of Bobby Kennedy, “make an effort, as Martin Luther King did, to understand.” The world premiere of Dear Bobby, written by Angela Jackson-Brown, directed by Deborah Asante of the Asante Children’s Theatre,, musical direction by Mark Duerson, will run as part of ONYXFest, IndyFringe's annual festival celebrating African American playwrights. 

Dear Bobby is supported by a Heritage Support Grant provided by the Indiana Historical Society and made possible by Lilly Endowment Inc.

Thursday Mar 22nd, 7:00PM

Saturday Mar 24th, 5:00PM

Sunday Mar 25th, 5:00PM

Thursday Mar 29th, 7:00PM

Friday Mar 30th, 7:30PM

Saturday Mar 31st, 5:00PM

April 3, 2018 / 5:30 PM reception; 7 PM screening; 8 PM panel
a Ripple of Hope
Eugene and Marilyn Glick
Indiana History Center
450 West Ohio Street 

This acclaimed documentary by filmmaker Don Boggs sheds light on the fateful night of April 4, 1968 in Indianapolis. If you’ve seen this definitive take on this historic moment, now is the perfect time to revisit the powerful true story. If you’ve never seen it, now you can. Enjoy a pre-film reception and the film,  A Ripple of Hope (2008, 55 mins.) — followed by a panel discussion.

Presented by Kennedy King Memorial Initiative, Anderson University, Heartland Film, and Indiana Historical Society


April 4, 2018 at 10:30 AM
Still We Reach: Community Reflection & Conversation
with John Lewis & Kerry Kennedy

updated indoor location:
center for inquiry school 27
545 E. 19th Street
Indianapolis, IN 46202

Congressman, author and civil rights pioneer John Lewis joins with Kerry Kennedy, president of Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights and daughter of RFK, and other national and local dignitaries, for reflections on the lasting influence of these two men. 

The entire April 4 10:30 a.m. event, Still We Reach: Community Reflection & Conversation with John Lewis and Kerry Kennedy, can be streamed to any computer or mobile device thanks to our partners at WTHR.

This live stream will also be presented in the atrium of Central Library in downtown Indianapolis.

April 4, 2018 at 5:00 PM
Still We Reach: KKMI 50th Commemoration Ceremony
Landmark for Peace Memorial
1702 N Broadway Street                      

Join national and local dignitaries for the official commemoration event, featuring songs, remarks, and remembrances by civic leaders, religious leaders, artists, and more.

Thank you to Indianapolis spoken word artist, Tony Styxx, for performing his piece, Bring the Water In, at the 5:00pm ceremony.

Commemoration weather, parking, and bus service info

Despite recent heavy rains and storms, the two 50th Anniversary Commemorative events will go on as planned, with slight adjustments, for April 4 at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Park. The 10:30 am event will be outdoors. Weather has prevented us from providing the tent that was planned, so please dress for weather during the 90-minute event. Those who cannot attend can watch the morning event at Central Library or LIVE STREAM from any mobile device.

Last minute change for 5:00 pm event: This has been moved INDOORS to Center for Inquiry School 27 immediately west of the park, at 545 E. 19th Street. Thank you, CFI!


In recognition of the 50th Anniversary commemorative events, IndyGo will offer free rides on April 4, and transit routes to and from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Park at 17th and Broadway will have boosted service.

In addition, biking is encouraged and additional bike racks will be available. 


Heavy traffic is expected near the memorial site on April 4, 2018, the heaviest between 9 a.m.–Noon and 4:30–6:30 p.m. 

Recommended parking options:
Health & Hospital Corp: 1660 N. College Ave.
Grace Apostolic Church: 649 E. 22nd St. (lot across the street from main building)
Mt. Helm Missionary Baptist Church: 1602 N College Ave (eastern side of lot)
McGuire Scenic: 1833 N New Jersey St
Footlite: 1840 N New Jersey St
Kroger: 16th & Central

IUPUI Civil Discourse Symposium and Diversity Speaker’s Series

The IUPUI Office of Intercultural Literacy, Capacity and Engagement and its partners are pleased to offer the IUPUI Civil Discourse Symposium and Diversity Speaker’s Series, featuring Kimberlé Crenshaw, and to support campus- and city-wide events related to the 50th Anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination and Robert Kennedy’s speech in Indianapolis.  

Tuesday, April 3, Noon – 2:00 p.m. 
READER’S THEATER: April 4, 1968: Before We Forgot How to Dream
IUPUI Campus Center Atrium

Stop by and observe this dramatic reading written by James Still, IRT Playwright-in-Residence, this play provides an intimate look at an Indiana family’s collision with history when Bobby Kennedy delivered his powerful speech in Indianapolis on the night of Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination. IUPUI students will read portions of this play to provide students and others perspective and engender interest in events on April 4 and 5.  

Co-directors: Jan DeWester, Senior Lecturer in Communication Studies, and Courtney Mohler, Assistant Professor, Theatre Program, Butler University.

Wednesday, April 4, 3:00 – 6:30 p.m.
Shuttle to 50th Anniversary Commemoration at Landmark for Peace Memorial

Be a part of the 50th anniversary commemoration of Robert F. Kennedy’s historic speech in Indianapolis on the evening of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination. Join the community celebration at the Landmark for Peace memorial in downtown’s MLK Park. Sign up for a free shuttle to and from the memorial (1702 N. Broadway St.) Visit our Facebook Event

Thursday, April 5, 9:00 – 10:00 a.m.

IUPUI Campus Center, Room CE 307 

50 Years after Reverend Martin Luther King Jr.’s Assassination: How is America of Today Different from What We Thought it Would Be 50 Years Ago?

Speaker: Dr. Kevin D. Brown, Richard S. Melvin Professor of Law, IU Maurer School of Law
Presented by: IUPUI Equal Opportunity Council and IUPUI Office of Equal Opportunity

Thursday, April 5, Noon – 1:15 p.m.
K(NO)W VOICE, K(NO)W POWER: Reflections on Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy
IUPUI Campus Center, Room 305

Reflecting on Kennedy’s speech, this interactive activity will explore the power of words and conversation to persuade and build empathy.

Presented by: IUPUI Office of Intercultural Literacy, Capacity and Engagement, and the Departments of Communication Studies, English, and American Studies

Thursday, April 5, 6:00 p.m.
Madame Walker Theater Center, 617 Indiana Ave.

Speaker: Kimberlé Crenshaw, Distinguished Professor of Law, UCLA School of Law 

Register here

Sponsored by: IUPUI Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion


50th Anniversary Honorary Co-Chairs

Hon. Joseph Hogsett
Mayor, City of Indianapolis

Hon. Eric Holcomb
Governor, State of Indiana

Kerry Kennedy
President, RFK Human Rights

James Morris
Vice Chairman, Pacers Sports and Entertainment

William Shrewsberry
President/CEO, Shrewsberry & Associates

Diane Simon
Founder, Global Green USA

Hon. Billie Breaux
Senator, Indiana General Assembly (ret.)
Marion County Auditor (ret.)

50th Anniversary Honorary Committee

Hon. Jean Breaux
Indiana Senate 34th District, State of Indiana

Rep. Susan Brooks
U.S. House of Representatives, 5th Congressional District of Indiana

Rev. Thomas Brown
Retired Senior Pastor, Ebenezer Baptist Church

Michael Browning
President, Browning

Rep. Andre Carson
U.S. House of Representatives, 7th Congressional District of Indiana

Hon. Joe Donnelly
U.S. Senate

Michael Huber
President, Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce

John Herbst
President & CEO, Indiana Historical Society

Rev. Jeffrey Johnson
Pastor, Eastern Star Church

Derek King
Professor, Martin University

Hon. Maggie Lewis
President, Indianapolis Marion County City-County Council

Hon. Teresa Lubbers
Commissioner for Higher Education, Indiana Commission for Higher Education

Hon. Michael McQuillen
Minority Leader, Indianapolis Marion County City-County Council

Mark Miles
CEO, Hulman & Company

Hon. Vop Osili
Councilman, Indianapolis City County Council

Brian Payne
President and CEO, Central Indiana Community Foundation

Sonja Robinson
Director of Minority Inclusion, NCAA

Rob Smith
President, Eli Lilly Foundation

Jeff Smulyan
President, Emmis Communications

John Thompson
President and CEO, First Electric Supply

Joe Whitsett
Principal, TWG Development

Hon. Todd Young
U.S. Senate