Editor’s note: This article has been updated to add more events to honor the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.
On Jan. 15, 1929, Martin Luther King Jr. was born. King was one of the most prominent figures in the Civil Rights Movement, and his legacy continues to this day. Since his death, King’s birthday has been celebrated on the third Monday of January.
In honor of his birthday, which is being recognized on Monday, Jan. 20, organizations throughout Milwaukee are celebrating King’s life and legacy. Below are some of the celebrations taking place this weekend and on Monday.
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1. Memorial prayer service for MLK: Saturday, Jan. 18
All Saints Catholic Church, 4051 N. 25th, is hosting its 29th annual memorial prayer service in honor of King from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 18. The prayer service will include a presentation by Michael Adams, director of employee development for Milwaukee JobsWork.
2. 36th annual MLK birthday celebration: Sunday, Jan. 19
The Marcus Center, 929 N. Water St., is hosting its annual celebration from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 19. Each year, students from Milwaukee Public Schools are challenged to write an essay regarding King’s message. This year’s theme is “Your Life Has Significance.” The event is free and open to the public.
3. Mercado Magic MLK celebration: Sunday, Jan. 19
Center Street Wellness, 2701 N. Martin Luther King Dr., is hosting a makers market in partnership with Botanica Galactica. The event will take place from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 19. The market will celebrate the life of King. There will be local vendors, food drinks, cultural celebrations and more.
4. Milwaukee Public Library MLK celebration: Monday, Jan. 20
The Milwaukee Public Library will celebrate King’s birthday at the Martin Luther King Branch, 310 W. Locust St., from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Jan. 20. There will be a performance by Ton Ko Thi, a discussion with 414 Life, a photo display and more. For a full list of events click here.
5. MLK celebration breakfast at the YMCA: Monday, Jan. 20
The YMCA is celebrating King’s life and legacy with its 23rd annual celebration breakfast. The breakfast will be held at the Potawatomi Hotel & Casino Event Center, 1721 W. Canal St., from 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. Monday, Jan. 20. The breakfast will also acknowledge community members and organizations dedicated to serving others. Registration is required. Tickets cost $50 for an individual for $40 for nonprofits.
6. King Day at the MLK Community Center: Monday, Jan. 20
The Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center, 1531 W. Vliet St., will be celebrating King Day from noon to 2 p.m. Monday, Jan. 20. There will be music, dance performances, and the Rev. Joseph Elwanger will share a few words.
7. Talk with Cedric Burrows on MLK Day: Monday, Jan. 20
The Haggerty Museum of Art, 1234 W. Tory Hill St., will be displaying Joel Sternfeld’s photograph “The National Civil Rights Museum, Formerly the Lorrain Motel, 450 Mulberry St., Memphis TN, August 1993” as part of Milwaukee Museum Week. In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Dr. Cedric Burrows will be discussing the photo in regard to King’s legacy. The talk will take place from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 20.
8. Medical College of Wisconsin MLK event: Monday, Jan. 20
The Medical College of Wisconsin, 8701 Watertown Plank Rd., will be celebrating King’s life. This year’s theme is “See yourself in MLK’s legacy of service: Health of our community.” The event will take place from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 20. There will be stories of service from students, conversation on health in the community and more. To reserve your seat, email Toni Gray at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bonus: King Day justice program and march: Monday, Jan. 20
The St. Francis of Assisi Church, 1927 N. Vel Phillips Ave., and the Martin Luther King Justice Coalition are celebrating the 19th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday, Jan. 20. The program begins at 1 p.m. at the church. At 2:30 p.m., there will be a three-block march to King’s statue on Martin Luther King Drive, just north of Walnut Street. Residents can participate in an open microphone and reflect on King’s work and his impact on our lives.
Bonus: Candacy Taylor at America’s Black Holocaust Museum: Monday, Jan. 20
Candacy Taylor, the author of “Overground Railroad: The Green Book and the Roots of Black Travel in America,” will be at America’s Black Holocaust Museum, 401 W. North Ave., from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 20. Taylor will be discussing her book, which looks at the historical and residual impact of the “Green Book,” a travel guide for black motorists. Registration is free. Attendees also have the option of purchasing the book when they register. To register, click here.
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