Ball State University’s Multicultural Center has announced the schedule of events for its annual Unity Week, which kicks off on Monday, Jan. 15—the official observance of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday this year.

“Unity Week aims to challenge perspectives on matters of diversity, inclusivity, and solidarity in an evolving social climate,” said Gabrielle Lloyd, ‘18, director of the Multicultural Center. “We want to offer students, faculty, staff, and community members an opportunity to learn, reflect, and engage in open dialogue about their experiences.”

The week begins with the Dr. MLK Jr. Breakfast, hosted by Ball State and the Collective Coalition of Concerned Clergy. The breakfast—open to everyone, at no cost—will be held at Ball State’s L.A. Pittenger Student Center. Doors open at 8:30 a.m. Breakfast is available at 9 a.m.

The featured keynote speaker at the breakfast is Dr. John Anderson, MA ‘16 EDD ‘21, director of the Ryan Family Navigators Program, and 2023-2024 faculty fellow for the Office of Inclusive Excellence at Ball State. The theme of the event is “Unity: In Times Like These.”

As a trained sociologist, Dr. Anderson consults with organizations, government officials, and individuals on matters of culture and social strategy. His work on Ball State‘s campus as a faculty member in the Department of Sociology has been recognized with several teaching and mentoring awards. His most recent work as the inaugural director for the Michelle and Jim Ryan Family Scholars and Navigators program in Teachers College earned him the Dean’s Citation Award for Outstanding Leadership.

Mentoring undergraduate students has given Dr. Anderson the opportunity to train students in advanced social research methods and travel with students to present their research at the National Council for Black Studies academic conference.

Another highlight of Unity Week 2024 will be featured speaker Benjamin Tapper, chief diversity and equity officer for the City of Indianapolis. Mr. Tapper will speak at 7 p.m. on Jan. 17 at Pruis Hall on Ball State’s campus. There is no cost to attend Mr. Tapper’s speech, which is open to everyone.

Mr. Tapper is a renowned DEI professional, facilitator, and speaker who is dedicated to facilitating crucial conversations on belonging, inclusion, and justice. He guides businesses and nonprofits through impactful discussions on racial equity, fostering authentic connections and self-awareness.

The full schedule of Unity Week 2024 events is as follows:

Monday, Jan. 15:

  • Dr. MLK Jr. Breakfast featuring keynote speaker Dr. John Anderson, Student Center Cardinal Hall, 9 a.m./doors open at 8:30 a.m. (event will be livestreamed at

Tuesday, Jan. 16:

  • Disability Presentation, L.A. Pittenger Student Center Forum Room, 2 p.m.
  • Speaker, Benjamin Tapper, Pruis Hall, 7 p.m. (Event will be livestreamed at

Wednesday, Jan. 17:

  • Spectrum Queer Monologues, Pruis Hall, 7 p.m.

Thursday, Jan. 18:

  • Ball State University Housing and Residence Life Service Event, Residence Halls, 1-4 p.m.
  • Asian Student Union Sushi Night, Multicultural Center, 5 p.m.
  • Student Center Programs Open Mic Night, Noyer Complex, 8 p.m.

Friday, Jan. 19:

  • Latinx Student Union Latinxpalooza, L.A. Pittenger Student Center Ballroom, 6 p.m.
  • Unity Week Movie—"Back to Natural, Pruis Hall, 9 p.m.

Saturday, Jan. 20:

  • Beneficence Leadership Conference, L.A. Pittenger Student Center, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
  • All Are Welcome at Late Night, L.A. Pittenger Student Center, 8 p.m.-midnight

Sunday, Jan. 21:

  • Black Student Association Unity Pageant, Pruis Hall, 7 p.m.

Unity Week 2024 is co-sponsored by Ball State University’s Asian Student Union; Black Student Association; the Office the Disability Services; Collective Coalition of Concerned Clergy, a community-based organization in Muncie; plus Ball State’s Housing and Residence Life; Latinx Student Union; Office of the President; Office of Student Life; Spectrum; Student Center Programs; and University Libraries.

For more information about Unity Week events, contact the Multicultural Center, 765.285.1344, or