Editor’s Note: Find the 2020 MLK Calendar here.
Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, (Monday, Jan. 21), officially approved as a federal holiday in 1983, is observed as a day of reflection and service to the community.
Below find events in the Twin Cities and beyond to celebrate Dr. King’s enduring legacy as a champion of social and racial justice, equity and equality.
Saturday, January 19
12-3 pm, MLK Weekend + “The 1968 Exhibit” Closing Family Activities, Minnesota History Center, 345 West Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul
Honor Dr. King’s legacy by reflecting on 1968 with art activities, service projects, and performances throughout the weekend. Plus, stop in to see “The 1968 Exhibit” before it closes on Jan. 21. Info: bit.ly/1968MLKClosing
1:30-5:00 pm, Together We Sing Festival, Minnesota History Center, 345 West Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul
Join VocalEssence and guest artists to raise your voice and give back. In partnership with the Minnesota Historical Society, sing songs of protest and progress, move your feet to the rhythm of justice, try your hand at spoken word performance, and volunteer for a cause. Free, but registration required. Info: bit.ly/2EwGojK
5-9 pm, HWMR Presents: BE the Change Pop Up, Fourpost at Mall of America, 204 South Ave., Bloomington
HWMR invites community members to celebrate Dr. King’s life, legacy, and dream through collective economics and shared values at this MLK Weekend pop up shop. Free. Runs through Jan. 20. Info: bit.ly/HWMRMLK
Sunday, January 20
3-4:30 pm, 38th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Tribute Concert, “Reclaiming the Dream,” University’s Ted Mann Concert Hall, U of M West Bank campus, 2128 4th St., S., Minneapolis
This multi-disciplinary event combines the words of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with musical performances. The program, curated by U of M alumnus G. Phillip Shoultz, III of VocalEssence, includes VocalEssence Singers Of this Age; Ginger Commodore; Jacob Dodd; Brian Grandison; Madalyn McCurdy, granddaughter of Reginald Buckner; U of M student brass ensemble; Minneapolis Council Vice President Andrea Jenkins and many more.
The concert is free and open to the public; no advance tickets or reservations are required. Info: z.umn.edu/mlktribute2019
4 pm, MLK Interfaith Service, Peace Church, 1111 North 11th Ave., East Duluth
With this year’s theme, “The Current Crisis in Race Relations,” this interfaith service, part of the Duluth-Twin Ports MLK Tribute sponsored by the NAACP Duluth Branch, offers community members an opportunity to reflect on Dr. King’s legacy through the lens of current race relations. Info: duluthnaacp.org/mlk
7 pm, Sheroes and Heroes in Celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., St. Joan of Arc Catholic Community, 4537 3rd Ave. S., Minneapolis
Mychael Rambo, Tomasina Petrus, Congolese musician Siama, Chinese pipa master Gao Hong, and the Naadha Rasa Center of Music, are just a few of the local and international artists featured at this year’s concert.
Created by Bruce Henry, the show honors the brave women, men and children who fight for justice, equality and freedom around the world.
$10-$25. Info: bit.ly/SaintJoanMLK
Monday, January 21
7 am, 29th Annual UNCF MLK Holiday Breakfast Fundraiser: Doing for Others — A Call to Social Action, Minneapolis, Armory, 500 S, 6th St., Minneapolis
This annual breakfast fundraiser benefits the Minneapolis Chapter United Negro College Fund (UNCF) to help provide low-income local students with four-year scholarships.
CNN Tonight’s Don Lemon, an Emmy Award-winning news anchor and journalist, keynotes this year’s event, with entertainment provided by Twin Cities’ own Sounds of Blackness.
This breakfast will be broadcast live at 8 am on Twin Cities Public Television and streamed online at TPT.org. You can also watch the broadcast at one of the community breakfast locations listed below. All Twin Cities-area breakfasts request a $5 donation (children 12 and under are free) and start at 7 am except where noted. $25 for general admission. Info: mlkbreakfast.com
2019 Community Breakfast Viewing Sites:
- Mount Zion Temple, 1300 Summit Ave., St. Paul, MN 55105
- White Bear Unitarian Universalist, 328 Maple St., Mahtomedi, MN 55115
- Brooklyn United Methodist Church, 7200 Brooklyn Blvd., Brooklyn Center, MN 55429
- Judson Memorial Baptist Church, 4101 Harriet Ave., Minneapolis, MN 55409
- Redwing Senior High School, 2451 Eagle Ridge Dr., Red Wing, MN 55066
- St. Peter’s United Church of Christ, 111 E Orleans St., Stillwater MN 55082
- Macalester College, Kagin Commons, 1600 Grand Ave., St. Paul, MN 55105
- Saint Bridget Catholic Church, 211 E Division St., River Falls, WI 54022
- University of Minnesota – Duluth Campus, 1120 Kirby Dr., Duluth, MN 55812
- First United Methodist Church, 230 E. Skyline Pkwy., Duluth, MN 55811
7 am, Community Breakfast, Coppertop Church, 238 East Skyline Pkwy, Duluth
This free breakfast offers an opportunity to bring the community together to honor Dr. King’s life and to work towards fulfilling his vision. The food will be served by the African American Men’s Group, provided and sponsored by The Duluth Grill.
This event is in conjunction with the Twin Ports’ MLK celebrations, sponsored by the NAACP Duluth Chapter. Info: bit.ly/TwinPortsBreakfast
8-9 am, Martin Luther King Jr – Human Rights Breakfast, Chaska Event Center, 3210 Chaska Boulevard, Chaska
Join the Chaska Human Rights Commission, the City of Chaska and the SouthWest Metro Chamber of Commerce at this second annual breakfast. Reflect on the work of Dr. King, enjoy remarks from community leaders, and watch the presentation of the 2018 City of Chaska Human Rights Award.
The event is free and open to the public. Free will offerings will be accepted. Info: bit.ly/ChaskaMLK2019
8-10 am, 6th Annual MLK Jr. Day of Service: Stronger Together Dream Together, River’s Edge Convention Center, 10 Fourth Ave. S, St. Cloud
Wil Haygood, a best-selling author, and prize-winning journalist will provide a keynote address that focuses on America through the lens of history, politics, sports, race and the lives of change-making African Americans.
Community members are invited to engage in conversations and interactions that explore ways to push for positive social change. The event is free and open to the public; however, registration is required. Registration closes on Jan. 18. Seating is limited. Info: bit.ly/StCloudBreakfast
9 am-12 pm, 2019 Governor’s Council MLK Day Celebration, 345 Washington Street, St. Paul
As in previous years, this year’s event opens with a youth rally at 9 am. Performers at the rally include Strong Movement, Chadwick “Niles” Phillips, Ray Covington, MN Orchestra and more.
The festivities continue with a celebration of “Women of Color in STEM” featuring a keynote address by Dr. Mae Jemison, the first woman of color to travel in space, and 3M CEO Mike Roman.
9:30 am-11:30 am, Who Is MLK?, Nativity Lutheran Church, 3312 Silver Lake Rd NE, St. Anthony
People young and young at heart are welcome to the 3rd Annual MLK Celebration & Children’s March. Gather in unity at this free, community-organized event to express yourself through art, conversation, and music, and help build a better community for all.
The event is a collaboration between Saint Anthony Village Residents, Nativity Lutheran Church, Family Services Collaborative, Saint Anthony Village High School’s Dare2BeReal Club, Thrivent Financial Services, SAVEC, Ryan Stopera of FreeTruth Media, a local activist/artist of the Twin Cities. Free. Info: bit.ly/WhoIsMLK
9:30 am, Beloved Community: Learning from Our Neighbors, 2481 Como Ave., St. Paul
Honor the life and work of Dr. King by listening to and learning from neighbors. After visiting ministry sites to listen to leaders around the Twin Cities, participants will return to Luther’s campus for a chapel service led by Don Samuels, with a community meal to follow. Free and open to the public. Info: bit.ly/MLKSeminary or call 651-641-3416.
10-11 am, 2019 Twin Ports MLK Youth March, Washington Center, 310 North 1st Ave., West, Duluth
Take to the streets in solidarity against systemic racism and oppression. The march will kick off at the Washington Center, on the corner of 4th St. and Lake Ave. and proceed through downtown Duluth to the DECC where the MLK Rally will commence.
Free food and hot beverages will be served. Attendees who arrive on time will get a free MLK button. Info: bit.ly/MLKTributeMarch
11 am-2 pm, MPRB Powderhorn Park MLK Celebration, Powderhorn Recreation Center, 3400 South 15th Ave., Minneapolis
Celebrate the history of Dr. King with free performances and
11 am-2 pm, The Minneapolis Professional Diversity Career Fair, U.S. Bank Stadium, West Plaza Lobby, 401 Chicago Ave., Minneapolis
Dust off your resume and make your case in front of decision-makers at this free diversity job career fair. Info: bit.ly/MLKDiversityFair2019.
12-1:30 pm, 2019 Twin Ports MLK Rally, Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center (DECC), 350 Harbor Dr., Duluth
Me’Lea Connelly of Village Financial Cooperative will keynote this year’s rally, while Tolu Ekisola serves as the emcee. Performers include ARE Poets, Major Attraktion Dance Group and Dee VanDassor & Joyce who will sing the Negro National Anthem “Lift Every Voice and Sing.”
The Drum Major for Peace Awards will be announced and presented, and the new NAACP Executive Officers will be installed. Info: bit.ly/TwinPortsMLKRally
1-4 pm, Augsburg University Martin Luther King, Jr Convocation featuring Terrance Kwame-Ross, Hoversten Chapel, Foss Center, 22nd Ave. S. & Riverside, Minneapolis
Dr. Terrance Kwame-Ross is a local and nationally recognized educator and pedagogue whose research and study of culture, language, knowledge, and learning, in and out of school, expand over 25 years across 38 United States, and 15 countries worldwide. This event is free and open to the public. Info: augsburg.edu/convo/mlk
3-4:30 pm, MPRB Central MLK Celebration, Central Gym 3400 4th Ave. S. Minneapolis
Come and celebrate the life and movement of Dr. King with recitals, choirs, music, dance, a guest speaker, and an old-fashioned soul food dinner. Info: bit.ly/MLKMplsParks
6-8 pm, Rondo: Beyond the Pavement – Special MLK Day Screening, SteppingStone Theatre, 55 Victoria St., St. Paul
Community members are invited to view this Rondo youth-produced film that chronicles elders’ stories about the once-thriving Rondo community and the devastating impact of the construction of I-94. Discussion and refreshments will follow.
The film is produced by St. Paul Almanac and In Black Ink, in partnership with St. Paul Neighborhood Network (SPNN) and High School for Recording Arts (HSRA).
There’s a $5 suggested donation at the door, but no one will be turned away. Info: bit.ly/Rondoscreening
6:30-7:30 pm, MPRB MLK Celebration, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Recreation Center, 4055 Nicollet Ave., South Minneapolis
This free annual celebration includes a keynote presentation by Paul Robinson, senior community leadership manager of the Amherst Wilder Foundation, live entertainment by Chasity Brown and an appearance by Minneapolis City Council Vice President Andrea Jenkins, the 2019 Living the Dream Award honoree.
Attendees are encouraged to bring a non-perishable food item to donate. Refreshments will be available following the program. Info: bit.ly/MLKMplsParks
7-10 pm, A Change Is Gonna Come – Wee Willie Walker Remembers MLK, Crooners Main Stage, 6161 Highway 65 N.E., Minneapolis
Savor Dr. King’s legacy with the soulful sounds of R&B crooner Wee Willie Walker. Tickets are $10-$12. Info: bit.ly/WalkerMLK
Tuesday, January 22
6 pm, Common Chords: Community Meal and Sing-Along, Sanctuary Covenant Church, 710 W Broadway Ave., Minneapolis
As part of the MN Orchestra’s Common Chords residency week in North Minneapolis, Minnesota Orchestra Music Director Osmo Vänskä, the Minnesota Orchestra, and Sanctuary Covenant Church invite the Northside community to join in a family-friendly sing-along at 7 pm, preceded by a community meal catered by Breaking Bread Café at 6 pm.
Tickets are free, but advanced registration is required. Info: bit.ly/MLKSingAlong
Thursday, January 24
9 am-12 pm, Dismantling Racism with Dr. Ruben Rivera, Mercy Vineyard Church, 752 Harding St. N.E., Minneapolis
A biblically-based event aimed at helping churches recognize racial bias and reorient hearts through faith and each other. $35. Register: bit.ly/MLKRubenRivera
Friday, January 25
2-8 pm, Minneapolis College MLK Celebration, 1501 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis
This annual event kicks off with non-perishable care package making from 2-5 pm, followed by a Beloved Communities panel discussion from 6-7 pm led by Leslie Redmond, president of NAACP Minneapolis Chapter and Dr. Josie Johnson, human rights and social justice activist.
Lissa Jones, host of KMOJ’s Urban Agenda serves as emcee for 6 pm dinner program that precedes a keynote address by
Saturday, January 26
7 pm, Common Chords: Music Together: Finale Concert, North High School, 1500 James Ave. N., Minneapolis
This is the culminating event of the Orchestra’s Common Chords residency week in the North Minneapolis community. The concert features musical collaborations with The Steeles, MacPhail Northside Youth Orchestra, Orchestra trumpeter Charles Lazarus and Patricio DeLara from Juxtaposition Arts, who will create new artwork live during the performance.
Join the performers for a free post-concert reception with food provided by Sammy’s Avenue Eatery and Cookie Cart.
Tickets are $30. Northside residents can see the show free using the code NORTHMPLS. Seats are limited. Info: bit.ly/MNCommonChords
7 pm, Wade in the Water: An Evening of Freedom Songs, Normandale Lutheran Church, 6100 Normandale Rd, Edina
Join the Theodicy Jazz Collective for an evening of music and conversation hosted by The Center for Arts and Spirituality. The event will focus on the historical roots of jazz, blues and freedom songs and their connection to spirituality. A reception will follow the concert. Free and open to the public.
Saturday, February 2
10 am, Race & Rights in Antebellum America, Minnesota Historical Center, 345 Kellogg Blvd. W, St. Paul
Dr. Martha S. Jones, author of Birthright Citizens: Race and Rights in Antebellum America examines the long fight that African Americans activists faced to gain U.S. citizenship. Free. Info: mnhs.org
Friday, February 8
7:30 pm, We Shall Overcome — A Celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Featuring Damien Sneed, 345 Washington Street, St. Paul
Inspired by the words and action of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., producer and musical director Damien Sneed’s We Shall Overcome showcases repertoire from across the African American music traditions with interwoven spoken word from Dr. King’s recorded speeches.
Join a 30-minute pre-show discussion to learn about the evening’s performance genre(s) and topics through lecture, dialogue, or demonstration of an art form. $27-32. Info: bit.ly/MLKOvercome or call 651-224-4222.
Did we miss an event that should be added to our calendar? Email info to email@example.com.