Our Mission is to Serve the People of Utah and Involve All Sectors—Public and Private—in a Conscious Effort to Promote Diversity, Equity and Human Rights.


About the Martin Luther King Jr. Human Rights Commission

Governor Norm Bangerter signed an executive order on July 1, 1991 establishing the Martin Luther King Jr. Human Rights (MLK) Commission. Governor Gary R. Herbert reissued the executive order on August 28, 2013. For the entire governor's executive order, visit the Utah Office of Administrative Rules or download the PDF.

The commission promotes Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day by:

  • Encouraging appropriate ceremonies and activities commemorating the federal and state holiday which occurs on the third Monday of January each year.
  • Providing advice and assistance to governments and private organizations on the observance of the holiday.
  • Coordinating efforts with individuals of diverse backgrounds and with private organizations on the observance of the holiday.
  • Partnering with public education to assist schools in promoting appropriate events to honor human rights and the holiday.

King Conversation Series

The commission is committed to providing King Conversation Series to communities in Utah, which reflect on Dr. King’s legacy of service and its meaning in today’s world. Past topics included Juneteenth, LGBT equality, and women and girls in education among others.

As a commission, the hope is these conversations provide an opportunity for people to come together for thoughtful discussion and dialogue, even if they don’t share each other’s values or experiences. The ultimate goal is that each conversation will celebrate and explore service and civil rights as a jumping-off point to explore the personal and social importance of public service and civic engagement.

Explore Events

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Many Voices, One Utah: Utah Martin Luther King Jr. License Plate Art Contest

In honoring Dr. King’s legacy, the commission is hosting an art contest for 7th-12th grade students to determine the official state decal of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. license plate. With an accompanying slogan of “Many Voices, One Utah,” the selected artwork will promote diversity, equity and human rights. The winner will receive an official decal and be formally recognized in January 2021 in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The deadline for art submissions is Thursday, December 31st at 11:59 p.m.

Learn More About the Contest

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Who We Are


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Emma E. Houston, Chair

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Simba Maponga, Vice Chair

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Perry Bankhead

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Luna Banuri

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Neelam Chand

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Aanjel Clayton

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Caitlin McDonald

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Bart Powaukee

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Gabi Sanchez-Jones

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Bridget Shears

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Taylor Hartman

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Eddy Thompson

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Sarah Vaughn