Resources

Martin Luther King Jr. Day Events

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."  - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 


Honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with these virtual events and celebrations happening in Seattle and around the country. From virtual poetry readings to rallies, we hope this list of selected events inspires you to celebrate and practice the teachings of Dr. King.  

LOCAL

  • January 12-18, times vary: The Seattle MLK Coalition is hosting their annual rally and march on January 18 at 11 a.m. They're also providing a number of free virtual workshops on white supremacy, racism, anti-racism, and more through January 16.
  • January 15 at 12 p.m. PT: Kent School District MLK Day Rally. Join The Fifth Avenue Theater and the Kent School district for their annual MLK Day rally. This streamed event features musical performances, community speakers, and student reflections on the life, work, and legacy of Dr. King.
  • January 15-20, times vary: 2021 RSJI Summit & MLK Jr. Unity Day. Hosted by the Seattle Office for Civil Rights, this multi-day virtual summit provides an opportunity for Racial Social Justice (RSJ) folks in City government and RSJ folks in the Seattle community to come together to help move our city forward towards being a truly inclusive multicultural an anti-racist institution through seminars and workshops. All sessions are open to the public and free to attend unless otherwise stated.  
  • January 17 at 6 p.m. PT: KEXP's 21st annual Expansions MLK Unity Party will feature dance and music from 6 p.m. to midnight PT. Streaming worldwide.
  • January 18 at 12 p.m. PT: Becoming Brave: A tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Lift Every Voice Legacy in partnership with Communities of Color Coalition is presenting a virtual broadcast, featuring music, spoken word, and dance. This event is free to attend, but donations are appreciated.
  • January 18 from 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. PT: Northwest African American Museum King Day Celebration is going virtual this year! Focused on the theme “Stick with Love," this annual event features community leaders reading civil rights books to children and family-based trivia, as well as a keynote from the Professor & Chair of African American Studies at Princeton University, Dr. Eddie Glaude, Jr. NAAM is also running a "Books and Balls" drive-thru giveaway on January 18 from 11-4 p.m. PT at the Amy Yee Tennis Center with the Seattle Sounders Rave Foundation. They'll be giving away Seattle Sounders soccer balls and 2,500 African American children's books.
  • January 19 at 6 p.m. PT.: Seattle University MLK Event. Seattle University celebrates the life and legacy of the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by reflecting on the lessons he imparted, the dreams he shared, and how we can continue to respond to his call to act in great love with their annual MLK event. This year, Dr. Angela Davis, feminist and writer, will be their keynote speaker. This virtual event is free, but registration is required.

NATIONAL

Performance

  • January 15 at 8 p.m. ET: Poetry Unplugged, an MLK Celebration. The August Wilson African American Cultural Center is presenting a virtual evening of spoken work and music inspired by the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Featured poets include Nikke Giovanni, Jessica Care Moore, and many more. Tickets are $10.  
  • January 18 at 4 p.m. PT: The Drum Major Instinct. Theater of War Productions is presenting a virtual dramatic reading of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s powerful sermon, The Drum Major Instinct, with the goal of generating powerful dialogue about social justice. Tickets are free, but registration is required. 
  • Now through February 28, times vary: Sit-In at Alliance Theater Company. Adapted from playwright and Civil Rights Activist, Pearl Cleage’s New York Times bestseller Sit-In is a 30-minute animated short about three friends who learn about the sit-ins of the Civil Rights era and powerfully apply those lessons to issues they—and we—all face today. Streaming now for $10. 

Presentation 

  • January 18 at 11 a.m. ET: Brooklyn Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Join audience members from around the world for New York City’s largest virtual celebration of Dr. King’s legacy, featuring world-renowned activists, public figures, and civic leaders alongside musicians, and other performers. Tickets are free, but registration is required.
  • January 18 at 2 p.m. PT: Why We Can’t Wait Reading Challenge. Our friends at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival have teamed up with Southern Oregon MLK to challenge their community to read Why We Can’t Wait by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., with the goal of encouraging continuing education around the issues Dr. King identified, finding ways to overcome those issues, and why the time is now. There will also be a Facebook Live event and panel on January 18.

Festival

  • January 14-18, times vary: The Cinematters: NY Social Justice Film Festival is presenting impactful films that engage the community toward a more democratic, inclusive, and just society through January 18. Through film, conversations, and more they aim to keep the spirit of Dr. King’s legacy alive by promoting social action that leads to positive change in society and beyond. Individual tickets and passes are available through their website. 

Additional Resources