Many feel the holiday should solely look to the past.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day events were scheduled across Washtenaw County, especially at Eastern Michigan University and the University of Michigan. This year's celebration may have a different feel from those previous.
This year's MLK Day events were expected to be more of a call to action, rather than just another celebration of King's life. This is a result of the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri and other events that are bringing attention to civil rights issues. EMU Student Body President, Desmond Miller, says MLK Day can't just be focused on the past. Miller says the holiday should be about saying "Okay, it's great [King] did that, how can we do the same thing this year to make changes."
Nelson Mandela's grandson, Ndaba Mandela spoke at UM's Ross School of Business. Director of Diversity and Inclusion, T. Sha' Duncan Smith said Mandela would share how individuals need to unite as global citizens to make positive change.