Celebrating MLK Day in Charlotte

This year, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day falls on January 15, King’s actual birthday. Here’s a list of events happening around the Qcity to commemorate the special occasion.

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Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Parade (Saturday)
Jan. 13 on Tryon Street in Uptown Charlotte
A Charlotte tradition since 1981, the MLK Holiday Parade in Uptown Charlotte includes more than 100 community organizations, marching bands, floats and dance performers. The parade begins at 10 a.m. More info

MLK 2018 Call to Service Day (Saturday)
Jan. 13 @ Various Locations
Each year, Hands On Charlotte honors the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., by organizing service projects for hundreds of volunteers around the holiday that bears his name. This drop-in volunteer event will be held from noon until 2 p.m. featuring a variety of on-site service projects. More info

Martin Luther King Jr. Growing the Dream Awards Ceremony (Saturday)
Jan. 13 @ Johnson C. Smith University
This program recognizes Mecklenburg’s unsung heroes, including grassroots leaders who work behind-the-scenes for the betterment of our neighborhoods. The program begins at 12:30 p.m. More info

Bridging Musical Worlds (Sunday)
Jan. 14 @ Friendship Missionary Baptist Church
Students from the Department of Music will join the Charlotte Symphony and “A Sign of the Times” jazz ensemble to celebrate the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. in the 10th annual “Bridging Musical Worlds” program Sunday, Jan. 14, at Friendship Missionary Baptist Church Conference Center. The concert begins at 5 p.m. and is preceded by a community meal at 3:30 p.m. Tickets are $5 at the door. More info

McCrorey YMCA’s 24th Annual MLK Holiday Breakfast (Monday)
Jan. 15 @ Charlotte Convention Center, 8 a.m.
Over 1,000 people are expected to attend the YMCA’s Annual MLK Holiday Breakfast on Monday. The keynote speaker for this year’s breakfast is Pamela R. Lue-Hing, a Charlotte-based entrepreneur, professional speaker and author of “Pink slip to POWERHOUSE: 12 Steps to Next.” Lue-Hing has lived in Charlotte for 12 years and is active in a host of organizations, including the Young Black Leadership Alliance (YBLA). Doors open at 7:30 a.m. with the program starting at 8 a.m. Tickets are $45. More Info

A March for Justice: 50 Years Later (Monday)
Jan. 15 @ Charlotte Convention Center
The march will begin at approximately 9:15 a.m. as the YMCA MLK Holiday Breakfast concludes. Participants will walk in a procession from the Charlotte Convention Center to Marshall Park. More info

Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Wreath Laying (Monday)
Jan. 15 @ Marshall Park
The March for Justice will end at approximately 9:45 a.m. with this memorial wreath laying, held annually on King’s birthday to commemorate his life and legacy. More info

Food Lion Presents MLK Day Celebration (Monday)
Jan. 15 @ Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Art + Culture
The Harvey B. Gantt Center is opening its doors an hour early at 9 a.m. for a day of community programs including panel discussions, art-making workshops, an animated biography of Martin Luther King, Jr., guided tours, artistic performances, film screenings and more. The list of speakers and performers includes Harvey Gantt, James E. Ford, Quentin Talley, Judge Rickye McKoy-Mitchell, Toussaint Romain, Braxton Winston and others. Visit website for schedule of events. Admission is free. RSVP recommended. More Info

Art • Poetry • Music: Celebrating Charlotte’s African-American Community (Monday)
Jan. 15 @ Friendship Missionary Baptist Church
Art • Poetry • Music: Celebrating Charlotte’s African-American community and the Life and Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is a powerful, collaborative concert by Friendship Missionary Baptist Church, David Tang’s Firebird Arts Alliance’s Power of Song Project, Quentin Talley’s OnQ Productions and Opera Carolina. The program begins at 7 p.m. Admission is free. More info

Martin Luther King Jr. National Observance (Monday)
Jan. 15 @ Halton Theater @ CPCC Elizabeth
A celebration of Mecklenburg’s diversity featuring music, dance and poetry. Speakers examine Dr. King’s moral theological and philosophical underpinnings. The program includes recognition for the winners of the CMS Arts & Writing Contest. More info

UNC Charlotte Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration with Bakari Sellers (Tuesday)
Jan. 16 @ UNC Charlotte Cone University Center
Political commentator and activist Bakari Sellers will deliver the annual UNC Charlotte Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration presentation at 3:30 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 16, in the Cone University Center, McKnight Hall. This free, public presentation is part of a week of events entitled “From #Hashtag to Action: Actualizing the Dream.” More Info

An Evening with Dr. John M. Perkins (Wednesday)
Jan. 17 @ First Presbyterian Church of Charlotte
Join the Real Estate and Building Industry Coalition for an evening with one of America’s most respected civil rights and community-development leaders to learn how Charlotte can improve opportunity and address inequality in our inner city neighborhoods. This event will be moderated by Qcitymetro editor Glenn H. Burkins. Program begins at 6 p.m. This is a free event. More info

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