Martin Luther King, Jr. Day events; Seattle Colleges Community Celebration Jan. 15; Seattle Parks and Recreation Teen Program events Jan. 16; MLK Celebration with Workshops, Rally and March Jan. 18; Open House at Northwest African American Museum, Jan. 18.
Seattle commemorates the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday with a Seattle Colleges community celebration on Friday, Jan. 15, a youth-organized march Saturday, Jan. 16, and a rally, march and open house at Northwest African American Museum on Monday, Jan. 18.
King, a leader of the civil-rights movement from the 1955 Montgomery, Ala., bus boycott challenging racial segregation through his assassination in 1968 in Memphis, Tenn., was awarded the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize for combating racial inequality through nonviolence. He is regarded as one of the greatest orators in American history for his 1963 March on Washington “I Have a Dream” speech.
In 1983, President Reagan signed a bill creating Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a federal holiday observed on the third Monday of January each year, near the date of King’s birthday.
Seattle Colleges Celebration of MLK
Time: Noon, doors open 11 a.m., Friday, Jan. 15
Location: Mount Zion Baptist Church, 1634 19th Ave., Seattle
More info: 206-934-3233 or seattlecolleges.edu/mlk
Teen Program Dr. MLK Jr. March
Time: March, 11 a.m.; programs 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 16
Time: 8 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 17.
Location: Columbia City Theater, 4916 Rainier Ave. S., Seattle.
MLK Celebration Rally & March
Time: Workshops, 9:30 to 10:50 a.m. Monday, Jan. 18; rally, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.; march to Federal Building, downtown Seattle, 12:30 p.m.; rally at Federal Building, approximately 1:45 p.m. Monday
Location: Garfield High School, 400 23rd Ave., Seattle
More info: 206-786-2763 or mlkseattle.org
NAAM MLK Day Open House
Time: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Jan. 18.
Location: Northwest African American Museum, 2300 S. Massachusetts St., Seattle.
More info: 206-518-6000 or naamnw.org
Local events through the weekend include Seattle Colleges’ 43rd annual Community Celebration Friday, with speakers, gospel music and reception with discussions on the theme of “Are We There Yet?,” continuing to define and reach for Dr. King’s ideals in our community. Saturday, Seattle Parks and Recreation Teen Program hosts a march from Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Park to Rainier Community Center for events including speeches, workshops on voter education, a community panel, live music and food.
KEXP’s 16th annual Expansions MLK Unity Party with music, dancing and local organizations, hosted by its founders, DJs Riz Rollins, Masa and Kid Hops, uses music to unite people; “It’s a dance party in the spirit of MLK where everyone is welcome,” says Kid Hops. The event, for ages 21 and older only, usually sells out.
The largest regional MLK holiday celebration, Monday’s 34th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Rally and March, expects thousands for its workshops, rally with speakers, poetry and music and march to the Federal building in downtown Seattle with the theme “We Have the Power to Make Change.”
Also on Monday, an open house at Northwest African American Museum (NAAM) celebrates King’s legacy with civil-rights films including the “I Have a Dream” speech, arts and crafts, and stories of activists carrying on the task of advocating for peace and social justice. Ongoing museum exhibits include the permanent Journey Gallery celebrating the history of African Americans in the Pacific Northwest, and temporary exhibits including “The Harmon & Harriet Kelley Collection of African American Art: Works on Paper” and “The Atomic Frontier: Black Life in Hanford, WA,” the story of African Americans working on the Manhattan project in Eastern Washington in the 1940s.
All events welcome everyone and are free (donations requested at NAAM).