Martin Luther King Jr. Day takes place Monday, January 16th. Fortunately, many annual in-person events are back to honor King’s legacy and give back to our community.
MLK Jr. Day of Service with the Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy – Join the Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy for MLK Jr. day of service at White Point Nature Preserve on Monday, Jan. 16 from 9 a.m. to noon. Help care for the White Point Native Plant Demonstration Garden by removing invasive weeds, water native plants and groom trails. pvplc.volunteerhub.com
11th Annual MLK Day Clothing Drive & Community Breakfast – Join Big Sunday on Jan. 16 at 24th St. Elementary for an all-ages block party and put together winter clothing kits for folks in need. Other activities include arts and crafts projects to benefit local nonprofits, entertainment from the Blue Breeze Band, the popular community breakfast and, new this year, the Big Sunday MLK Day Marketplace, spotlighting minority-owned businesses. bigsunday.org
L.A. Works MLK Day of Service – Join L.A. Works on Jan. 16 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum for a family-friendly day of volunteering. Learn about native plants and climate change and experience a recreated March on Washington in Minecraft. laworks.com
King Day 2023 – The California African American Museum hosts its annual King Day on Jan. 16 to honor Martin Luther King Jr. with a full day of festivities. This year’s theme is “MLK: A Legacy of Service.” The free event features a performance by the Inner City Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles, family-friendly activities, food trucks and more. caamuseum.org
Kingdom Day Parade – The 38th annual Kingdom Day Parade returns to Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. on Jan. 16. The parade, which will also be televised live at 11 a.m., will have floats, performances and presentations from Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd and S. Western Ave. to Crenshaw Blvd., and then south to Vernon Ave. This year’s theme is “America, The Last Best Hope of the World.” kingdomdayparade.org
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Unity Walk – The City of Santa Clarita hosts its second annual unity walk to honor Dr. King’s core values of faith, education, nonviolence, love, leadership, community and hope. The program will feature guest speakers celebrating Dr. King, followed by a quarter-mile community walk through Central Park. santa-clarita.com
Ongoing Celebrations at USC – USC will host a variety of events from now through late February to celebrate King’s legacy and Black culture and achievements. A few highlights:
“MLK in Los Angeles” – Jan. 3-March 5 – Exhibit chronicles Kings visits to South L.A. and USC. fisher.usc.edu
Performing Arts Summit – 1 p.m.-9 p.m. Jan. 13 – Celebrates today’s generation of artists with workshops, students performances, a panel and networking dinner. linktr.ee/usgpac
MLK/FBI A Screening and Conversation with Sam Pollard – 7 p.m. Jan. 17 – Deemed as “timely as an alarm clock” by The New York Times, the award-winning 2020 documentary will be followed by a discussion featuring its acclaimed director, Sam Pollard, and USC Annenberg professor Miki Turner. visionsandvoices.usc.edu
Gibney Company (a Visions and Voices signature event) – 7:30 p.m. Jan. 20 – The progressive dance company from New York City presents a dynamic evening of connection, exhilaration and inspiration to ignite a cultural renaissance that has ripple effects far beyond the studio and stage. visionsandvoices.usc.edu
2023: Producing to Power in the 21st Century – 7 p.m. Feb. 1 – Award-winning filmmaker Melissa Haizlip and USC Annenbereg professor Robeson Taj Frazier will discuss “SOUL!” Ellis Haizlip’s pioneering TV show that celebrated Blackness through music and talk at the height of the civil rights movement.
An Evening with Nikole Hannah-Jones – 6 p.m. Feb. 21 – The inaugural event of the Charlotta Bass Media Trailblazer Speaker Series at USC will feature Nikole Hannah-Jones, creator of “The 1619 Project” and one of TIME Magazine’s “100 Most Influential People,” in conversation with Allissa V. Richardson, associate professor of journalism and communication at USC Annenberg and founding director of the USC Charlotta Bass Journalism & Justice Lab.
Cedars-Sinai’s Martin Luther King Jr. Food Drive – Jan. 9-20 – In honor of the civil rights leader’s legacy of serving those in need, Cedars-Sinai will host a food drive by partnering with Open Arms Pantry. Donation bins will be placed at several locations across Cedars-Sinai. Details on bin locations and requested types of food donations will be forthcoming. Consider donating nutrient rich food, grains, soups, oats, juice, etc.