A collage of maroon blocks with the words "Aaronetta Hamilton Pierce" and "Martin Luther King Jr. and My Steps Toward His Dream" (left) and a portrait of Aaronetta Hamilton Pierce (right)
Trinity Celebrates Dream Week 2024
University to honor Martin Luther King Jr. with a lecture and march

Trinity University welcomes Aaronetta Hamilton Pierce, an African-American arts advocate and civic leader, as the speaker for the 2024 Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Lecture. Pierce will deliver the lecture, “Martin Luther King Jr. and My Steps Toward His Dream,” in which she will revisit King's story, its impact on her life and work, and the origins of San Antonio’s nationally recognized celebration of Dr. King.

The lecture, sponsored by the Trinity University’s Office of Student Inclusion and Belonging (SIB) in collaboration with the San Antonio MLK Jr. Commission, will be held in person in Stieren Theater on Thursday, January 18, at 7 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

Pierce has spent over forty years as an advocate for the art and the cultural inclusiveness of African Americans. She works on committees and boards, writes essays, and makes speeches in order to make a strong case for extolling the genius that is the African-American legacy. She has served on numerous art boards, including the San Antonio Museum of Art, San Antonio Performing Arts Association, the Witte Museum, and the Las Casas Foundation.

In 1986, Pierce was appointed by then-San Antonio Mayor Henry Cisneros as the founding chair of the San Antonio Martin Luther King Jr. City/County Commission. She also chaired a Blue Ribbon Committee for Mayor Cisneros to determine the role of city government in the arts, which resulted in the city's creation of the Department of Arts and Culture. For the past five years, Pierce has been committed to the inclusion of the story of slavery in the revamping of the Alamo in San Antonio. Connected with this, she was appointed a tri-chair by Mayor Ron Nirenberg ’99 to the Alamo Citizens Advisory Committee. She has also been named to the Alamo Planning Committee and the Woolworth Civil Rights Committee.

Known for her efforts in fighting poverty, improving education opportunities, and promoting the visual and performing arts, Pierce was the first Black woman appointed to a six-year term as a commissioner for the Texas Commission on the Arts. In 2005, she chaired the Texas Medal of Arts Award in Austin, Texas, and chaired the awards ceremony again in 2007. She has served on the executive board of the United Way of San Antonio, the Development Board of the University of Texas at San Antonio, the Board of Visitors of Southwestern University, and the Board of the San Antonio Spurs Foundation. For four years, she chaired the Visiting Committee for Black Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. Pierce was inducted into the Texas Women's Hall of Fame in 1993.

Prospective attendees can stay tuned to the latest information on this lecture at events.trinity.edu, while media can contact pr@trinity.edu for more information.

Trinity students, faculty, and staff march in the MLK March 2023. They hold a banner that says Welcome to Trinity University with the University's logo, and they hold up posters with letters to spell Inspire.

Trinity’s Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Lecture is part of San Antonio’s Dream Week, a week of events for honoring and celebrating the civil rights leader. The University also invites students and members of the Trinity community to join in San Antonio’s MLK March on Monday, January 15.

Check in for the march at the Trinity Bell Athletic Center from 7:30-7:45 a.m. SIB will provide T-shirts and snacks, and the buses will depart at 8 a.m. and return from St. Philip’s College between 1-2 p.m. Students can RSVP for the march through GivePulse by Sunday, January 14, by 11:59 p.m.

For 150 years, Trinity University has transformed challenge into boundless opportunity. Join the force in motion at www.trinity.edu.

You might be interested in