Building History: Continuing the Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. — with Magic Johnson

Event description

  • Diversity and inclusion
  • Free
  • Open to the public


Building History: Continuing the Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Featuring Earvin “Magic” Johnson and the Groundbreaking of the Commemorative Display at Durham Hall


* Free – In person capacity has been reached.  We are excited for guests to join the livestream of the evening program with Magic Johnson. Only pre-registered guests will be admitted to the in-person event. *

Livestream information!

For friends and family who missed the opportunity to register for the in-person event, please share that the evening event will be livestreamed at the link below. Pre-program information will begin airing at 6:30 pm. The program will begin at 6:50 pm. 

Watch live stream here:

On June 3, 1964, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. stirred an audience of 8,000 in Tempe, Arizona, encouraging people to embrace the hard work of universal kinship and empathy. Prominent local leaders, including ASU Alumni Lincoln Ragsdale, Sr. and George Brooks, Sr., had invited him to deliver his message of hope. ASU President Homer Durham welcomed the opportunity to provide a venue large enough to hold the eager crowd, despite pressure to deny the request. On that day, King urged Congress to pass a far-reaching bill, the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964 which cleared a path for the vibrant, diverse communities we enjoy today. Sixty years later, we continue to build on that legacy.

We are excited to celebrate this anniversary date through a series of special events.

ASU Tempe Campus
Durham Hall
Groundbreaking of Commemorative Display: 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Join us to commemorate this historic occasion which has been encapsulated in a display at Durham Hall on ASU’s Tempe campus. Interact with the collective of archivists, public historians, and students who researched and designed the display. Be inspired by Benjamin Thomas, Pastor of the Historic Tanner Chapel in Phoenix, the church that hosted king in Phoenix. Listen to Pastor Warren Stewart describe the victorious effort to enshrine the MLK state holiday in Arizona.

The groundbreaking event at Durham Hall will be an open house style event. The speaking portion of this event will take place from 4:45 to about 5:15. Please anticipate some time spent standing and walking to the second event.

Dr. King’s favorite desserts, pecan pie and sweet potato pie, will be served.


Rev. Dr. Benjamin N. Thomas, Sr.
Historic Tanner Chapel AME Church

Dr. Warren H. Stewart, Sr.
Senior Pastor
First Institutional Baptist Church

Wear comfortable shoes so you can easily join us for the next festivity.

ASU Tempe Campus
Evening Program: 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Be inspired by NBA Legend Magic Johnson as he reflects on the legacy of the Civil Rights movement in his life as an athlete, entrepreneur, philanthropist, and health care advocate. Learn about the renaming of Ragsdale–MLK Park from Tempe Mayor and ASU Alumnus Corey Woods. 

Light refreshments will be served.


Corey Woods
Mayor, Tempe

Earvin “Magic” Johnson 

Having left the basketball court for the boardroom, Earvin “Magic” Johnson has successfully parlayed his skills and tenacity from the court into the business world as Chairman and CEO of Magic Johnson Enterprises (MJE). MJE provides high-quality products and services that focus primarily on ethnically diverse and underserved urban communities.

With a commanding presence in popular culture, Johnson recently made history in 2023 when he became co-owner of the National Football League’s Washington Commanders. He also co-owns MLB’s Los Angeles Dodgers, the Los Angeles Sparks of the WNBA, Major League Soccer’s Los Angeles Football Club, and eSports franchise Team Liquid. He continues to support community initiatives and expand his influence through many of his businesses including EquiTrust Life Insurance Company, SodexoMAGIC, a food service and facilities management company, and JLC Infrastructure, that invests in billion-dollar infrastructure improvements across the United States.

With his unique positioning as a businessman spanning multiple industries and generations, he aims to help companies expand and foster a positive impact domestically and globally.


Audience Questions

Magic Johnson will be able to take a limited number of audience questions. If you have registered for the in-person Evening Program or the livestream, look for a follow-up email where you will receive instructions on how to submit your question. Questions from both virtual and in-person attendees are welcome.


Event Hosted By

Kenja Hassan, Ph.D.
Assistant Vice President
Office of Government and Community Engagement
Arizona State University


These events have been made possible thanks to SodexoMAGIC, Sodexo Campus, Amazon, the ASU Alumni Association, the ASU Office of University Events and Protocol, and the ASU Black African Students Coalition.  

The commemorative display was funded by Desert Financial.  

Thank you to our supporters!


Wear comfortable shoes. 

Additional information

Event contact

Dr. Kenja Hassan

Monday, June 3, 2024


4:00 pm8:30 pm (MST)


Student Pavilion


Free: In-person capacity for this event has been reached.