Monroe is former coordinator of the African American Roundtable of the Center for Lesbian & Gay Studies in Religion & Ministry at Berkeley’s Pacific School of Religion. She is a Huffington Post blogger and a syndicated columnist whose work has appeared in such publications as The Advocate, New England’s Bay Windows and In Newsweekly newspapers, and The Witness. As a religion columnist, Monroe writes about the role religion plays in discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. She has spoken at dozens of universities and organizations, including Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Brandeis University, the American Academy of Religion, Brown University, Yale University, Vassar College, Johns Hopkins University, and the National Conference of Christians & Jews.

“As an activist and writer in the African American and LGBT communities, the Rev. Irene Monroe brings a unique perspective to the MLK celebration and symposium,” said Kevin Huie, director of UCI’s Cross-Cultural Center, which is planning the event. “By reporting on religion in the news and through her speaking engagements, she highlights how religious intolerance helps perpetuate other forms of oppression, such as racism, sexism, classism and anti-Semitism.”


Crystal Cove Auditorium, UCI Student Center (bldg. 113, grid E8 on campus map)

07:00 p.m.

Monday, Jan. 17
8-11:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.: On this Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, people across the country will honor King’s legacy of tolerance, peace and equality by volunteering, making the holiday a “day on” rather than a “day off.” UCI service projects include assembling food boxes for the hungry at the Orange County Food Bank in Garden Grove. Transportation will be provided for those who sign up in advance for one of the two shifts. Contact the Center for Service in Action at 949-824-3500 or

Wednesday, Jan. 19
11:45 a.m.: The annual Martin Luther King Jr. March & Rally will begin at the flagpoles outside Aldrich Hall and continue around Ring Mall. Students will have the opportunity to speak about King’s impact on their lives.

Thursday, Jan. 20
7-10 p.m.: There will be an open mike and drum circle to celebrate King’s legacy through performances inspired by his work. The event will take place in the Cross-Cultural Center’s Dr. Joseph L. White Conference Room.