Dr. Martin Luther King Day (January 17) may be the official day of remembrance, but local organizations are celebrating King’s life and achievements all week. Here are some of the highlights:
Attend a free MLK celebration at Seattle Center co-sponsored by CD Forum, featuring the Human Harmony Children’s Choir, a welcome address by Mayor McGinn, and a dramatic reading of Dr. King’s speech “Beyond Vietnam.” The afternoon ends with a tribute to jazz musician Billie Holiday. Free, 1-3pm, Center House, 305 Harrison St, Seattle Center.
Neumos’s annual Expansions MLK Dance Party embraces the spirit of unity with four hosts—DJ Riz, Masa, Kid Hops, and SunTzu Sound—plus live Afro-Latin percussion by Jayson Powell. $8, 8pm, Neumos, 925 E Pike St.
Garfield High will be the morning’s cultural hub: The annual MLK March and Rally event opens with community improvement workshops from 9:30–11am, then a rally at 11, and a march at noon from Garfield High to the Federal Building on Second Avenue. Free refreshments will be provided immediately following the march, back at Garfield’s cafeteria.
MLK Day is also the National Day of Service—a chance to spend your time off from work or school giving back to the community. This year, more than 50 schools, parks, nonprofits, and childcare centers will host volunteer groups to paint, prepare meals, and assemble care packages for shelters, among other activities. From 10am to 2, don your rain gear and gardening gloves and prepare to remove invasive species from Cheasty Greenspace at Mountainview in the giving spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
The University of Puget Sound hosts an evening of discussion and song with keynote speakers Marilyn Strickland (the mayor of Tacoma) and Norm Rice, Seattle’s first African American mayor. Additional speeches, videos of 25 years of MLK celebrations, and gospel music by Navele Davis and Friends will follow. Schneebeck Concert Hall, 7pm; free.
Attend a lecture by the celebrated filmmaker Spike Lee who makes a point to tackle civil rights and social inequality in the majority of his movies. Notable films include Malcolm X in 1992 and, just last year, If God Is Willing and Da Creek Don’t Rise—a documentary on the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Q & A to follow. Meany Hall, 8pm; $15–$25.