MLK Day is a Federal holiday that celebrates the birthday of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Although Dr. King’s actual birthdate is January 15th, it is observed each year on the third Monday of January and is one of only four United States holidays commemorating an individual person.
Celebrations of all types are held throughout the country. The Austin Area Heritage Council spearheads many of the events locally.
MLK Day of Service
On Saturday, January 16, the Austin Area Heritage Council, in partnership with United Way Hands on Central Texas, invite you to honor Dr. King’s memory and take part in community improvement projects throughout Austin. Volunteers are needed to feed the hungry, rehabilitate housing, tutor the illiterate, mentor youngsters, and help out with many other projects around Austin.
Volunteer check-in and breakfast begin at 8:30am in the Huston-Tillotson University Union Building at 900 Chicon Street. Featured keynote speaker, Dr. Richard Reddick, graduate of Johnston High School, the University of Texas at Austin, and Harvard, now professor at UT-Austin, begins his speech “Reflecting on the Dream” at 9:00am. Community improvement will take place from 10:30am – 3:00pm.
MLK Keynote Event
This year’s Austin Area Heritage Council keynote event at the Long Center on Sunday, January 17, features speaker Michael Eric Dyson, an American Book Award recipient, two-time NAACP Image Award winner, and, currently, a University Professor of Sociology at Georgetown University, has been named one of the 150 most powerful African Americans by Ebony magazine and a “superstar professor” by the Washington Post. Entertainment will be provided by the Fisk Jubilee Singers. Tickets are now on sale for $15, $20, and $30 through the Long Center and at Mitchie’s Fine Black Art.
MLK March & Community Festival
The 16th annual Community March, put on by the Heritage Council, observes Dr. King’s legacy by celebrating diversity and multi-culturalism in Austin. The march begins at 9 a.m. with a short ceremony at the MLK Statue at the University of Texas campus. Participants will then proceed to march to the Capitol for a brief program, followed by a march to the historic Huston-Tillotson University, where several activities, including a cultural festival will occur. Local vendors and musical artists will take part in the festival until 2:00pm. More information can be found at www.mlkcelebration.com.
Free Parking is available at the following locations:
· State’s Visitors Garage (Corner of 12th & San Jacinto St. – downtown Austin)
· Disch-Falk Field (1300 E. MLK Blvd.)
· Kealing Middle School (1607 Pennsylvania Ave.)
· Holy Cross Catholic Church (1610 E. 11th)
· Blackshear Elementary (1712 E. 11th)
· Greater Mount Zion Baptist Church (1801 Pennsylvania Ave.)
· Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church (1206 E. 9th)
· Mt. Olive Baptist Church (1800 E. 11th)
Capital Metro bus routes and schedules can be found on the Capital Metro Web site at www.capmetro.org.
Below is a list of other local events not sponsored by the Austin Area Heritage Council. For more information on any of these events, please contact the organization(s) listed.
Saturday, January 16
The LBJ Library celebrates the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
The First Baptist Church of Austin, David Chapel, St. James Episcopal Church and the LBJ Library and Museum Admission present an inspiring evening with Reverend Otis Moss Jr., a civil rights leader who worked with Dr. King and has served as an advisor to President Obama. The influential leader will speak at 7:00 p.m. at David Chapel Missionary Baptist Church on 2211 East MLK, Jr. Blvd. Admission is free, but space is limited. Visit www.lbjlib.utexas.edu for more details.
Sunday, January 17
Pastors at the University Presbyterian Church honor Dr. King’s life and works in a sermon and ceremony at 11 a.m. Free. 2203 San Antonio St. (512) 476-5321. www.upcaustin.org.
Applied Materials Youth Legacy Awards
Austin-area high school students receive scholarships at 4 p.m. at St. Edward’s University, Ragsdale Center, Mabee Ballroom, 3001 S. Congress Ave. (512) 498-4655. www.mlkcelebration.com.
Monday, January 18
Round Rock Festivities
Stony Point High School will host a scholarship fundraising breakfast from 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. in its cafeteria. Tickets: $10 to $15. (512) 244-3642.
Day of Youth Service
Adult and high school students meet at Georgetown Community Center and go to work sites including Caring Place and Habitat for Humanity. The event runs from 9 a.m. to noon. (512) 864-3008 or (512) 864-7799.
Blood of the Martyrs Blood Drive
A Central Texas Blood and Tissue Center van will take blood donations on the Huston-Tillotson College campus at Eighth St. and Chalmers Ave. from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Donors must be at least 17 and bring ID. (512) 388-1320.
MLK Photo and Video Exhibit
The Alpha Kappa Zeta chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority presents the annual exhibit from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The exhibit features pictorial and video displays of King’s life. Free. Zeta Cultural Corner, 1171 San Bernart St. (512) 472-8749 or (512) 771-3609.
Southwestern University Celebration
The university will hold events throughout the week, beginning at 11:15 a.m. with a pre-march service at Lois Perkins Chapel. The day continues with the Georgetown Square March and a community dinner with speaker Sharon Sanders Webster at 6 p.m. (512) 863-1342. www.southwestern.edu/mlk.
Thursday, January 20
Texas State University Celebration
A candle light march followed by a keynote program begins at 6 p.m. at the LBJ Student Center Teaching Theater. The keynote program, featuring Dr. Laurie Fluker, Associated Dean of the College of Fine Arts & Communication, begins at 7 p.m. in the Evans Auditorium and features Ruthie Foster and Hazel Morris. Free. (512) 245-2278. www.msa.txstate.edu.Compiled by Katie Warner, email@example.com.