Monday, January 21st is Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Since 1986, every third Monday in January is dedicated to Martin Luther King Jr. and his work. In 1994, Congress named MLK Jr. Day as a national day of service in honor of his objectives. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, "Life's most persistent and urgent question is: 'What are you doing for others?" Although you may get the day off of school or work, MLK Day can be seen as "a day on, not a day off."
If you are looking for a way to be part of the soultion and do for others, or want to observe the great man with a parade or concert, please see our list below of events in the Los Angeles area and in the Bay Area.
Los Angeles Area:
Lancaster: Martin Luther King Jr. Service Day on Jan. 19
The year 2013 marks the sixth anniversary of Lancaster's annual Day of Service event in honor of Dr. King.
Santa Monica: Soka Gakkai International Auditorium Presentation on Jan. 19
Hosted by the Santa Monica College, the 2013 Martin Luther King, Jr. birthday celebration is free of charge to attend. It is billed as a "multiethnic interfaith program" that features readings, presentations, music and community news.
525 Wilshire Boulevard in Santa Monica
Long Beach: Peace & Unity Parade Celebration on Jan. 19
Marching from the corner of Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue and Anaheim Street, the parade's destination is Martin Luther King, Jr. Park on Lemon Avenue. At the park, vendors will have set up a fair with booths for food, entertainment, crafts, and drinks. This community celebration runs from 12:30pm to 5pm.
1950 Lemon Avenue in Long Beach
Los Angeles: Cake for King on Jan. 21
The California African American Museum hosts a bona fide 84th birthday celebration for Dr. King. Visit to enjoy a piece of birthday cake, watch documentary films, participate in a community art project, and get to know more about the era of Dr. King with the help of expert storytelling. The galleries are closed for this day but open for the celebration.
California African American Museum at 600 State Drive, Exposition Park in Los Angeles
Los Angeles: The 2013 Martin Luther King Jr. Kingdom Day Parade on Jan .21
Martin Luther King Blvd. & Western Ave.
2013 MLK March and Parade on Jan 21
Celebrate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with an MLK Day festival, march, and parade that centers around Yerba Buena Gardens. Attend a full day festival with live music, speeches, a reading festival, as well as a march and parade from Caltrain to Yerba Buena Gardens to commemorate the Selma to Montgomery march.
The 2013 MLK March and Parade kicks off at 11am at San Francisco’s Caltrain Station and journeys on to Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and Gardens. The 1.5 mile march crosses over Lefty O’Doul Bridge and stops at Willie Mays Plaza at AT&T Park to commemorate the Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, marches -- a symbol of violence and victory in the civil rights era.
At the conclusion of the March, an interfaith commemoration will bring together the region’s faith leaders to commemorate the vision of Dr. King and to lead participants in a spiritual reflection of Dr. King’s message.
OMCA Family: Celebrate MLK Day on Jan. 20
Honor the memory and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Winners from the Oakland Unified School District’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Oratorical Festival will present their award-winning poetry. Create your own one-of-a-kind dream bottle to hold your dreams, hopes, and wishes. All ages are welcomed. No reservations required. Free.
Oakland Museum of California (OMCA), 1000 Oak St.
BART's 2013 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Program on Jan. 15
The public is invited to celebrate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with BART employees. The theme of this year's program is “Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington”. The invited keynote speaker is Dr. Terence Candell. Music and spoken word performances by youth as well as BART employees. Refreshments served following the program. The Kaiser Center is a short walk from the 19th Street BART Station. Free.
Kaiser Center Building, Second Floor Auditorium, 300 Lakeside Dr.
Third Thursdays: Speeches of a Dream on Jan. 17
Join us as we celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. through art, music, and poetry. Advance registration required; activity code 94513.301. Free.
Malonga Casquelourd Center for the Arts, 1428 Alice St.
“In the Name of Love” 11th Annual Musical Tribute honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on Jan. 19
Oakland’s only non-denominational musical tribute to Dr. King features Grammy winner Jennifer Holliday, Tuck & Patti, Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir, the 250-voice Oakland Children’s Community Choir, Nikki Thomas, KBLX MC Dana King, and CBS (Presenter of the Oakland Citizen Humanitarian Award). The pre-concert Oakland Community Exhibition at 6pm will feature over 30 non-profits working to make a difference. Concert begins at 7pm. In the Name of Love is a stunning tribute to one of the greatest humanitarians of our time.
Paramount Theatre, 2025 Broadway
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service on Jan. 21
Volunteers will help restore the shoreline along Damon Marsh Trail with the removal of invasive species and the planting of native plants. Volunteers will also have the opportunity to remove debris from the shoreline at this East Bay Regional Park District park. Please register in advance.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Regional Shoreline, Oakport Athletic Field, 5737 Oakport St.
January 21, Various Times
10th Annual Bay Area Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service on Jan. 21
Celebrate the life of Dr. King while working together to bring a positive change to the lives of the underprivileged. The annual Martin Luther King Day Communities of Peace Program gives an opportunity to remember how Dr. King moved our nation to a higher plateau when he led the civil rights movement. His legacy is found not only in civil rights, however, but also in civic responsibility and uniting people of all backgrounds to act on community concerns.
Service locations for 2013 include The Gardens at Lake, 666 Bellevue Ave., 9am-1pm.; Madison Middle School/Sobrante Elementary School, 400 Capistrano Dr., 9am-1pm; Fruitvale Community School/Lazear Elementary School, 824 29th Ave., 9am-1pm; and Annual MLK Day of Service Tree Planting, 27th and Market sts., 10am-2pm. Additional sites to be added.
January 21, 10am-Noon
15th Annual “Make the Dream Real” on Jan. 21
This event is designed to inspire and bring people together around the common focus of service to others. The keynote speaker will be Dr. Wade Nobles, professor emeritus in the Department of Africana Studies, the School of Ethnic Studies at San Francisco State University and the founder and Executive Director of the Institute for the Advanced Study of Black Family, Life and Culture, Inc. Oakland’s beloved Aimee Allison, Co-Executive Director of RootsAction, will return as the master of ceremonies. Special guests and performers include Indigenous Sacred Prayer by Xochipilli, Kehinde & Taiwo Kujichagulia-Seitu, Destiney Knuckles, Oakland Interfaith Youth Gospel Choir, Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary School Choir, Jazzier Pierre, Tyrese Johnson, Ballet Folklorico De Frank Zapata and Winnie Wong and China’s Spirit Music Ensemble. Three Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Awards will be given to deserving community members who are doing exemplary service work. Presented by Attitudinal Healing Connection, Inc. Free.
McClymonds High School, 2607 Myrtle St.
January 21, 10am-2pm
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Rally on Jan. 21
The Rally works to keep Dr. King’s dream alive through peace, justice, non-violence, and education. The keynote speaker will be Assemblymember Nancy Skinner who will be joined by youth speakers from the Martin Luther King, Jr. Freedom Center. The late retired Oakland Councilmember Carter Gilmore will be honored. Join local elected officials and dignitaries. Free.
ILWU LOCAL #6 Hall, 99 Hegenberger Rd.