On Monday, Jan. 16, 2023, Detroit and the nation will honor the world’s greatest Civil Rights leaders, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., on nationally observed MLK Day. In metro Detroit local organizations, museums and places of faith offer ample ways to celebrate MLK Day with family and friends at events that honor King and all he accomplished for us.
160th Anniversary of the Detroit Freedom March at the Detroit Historical Museum
In June 1963 about 125,000 people marched with Dr. King down Woodward Avenue in Detroit as he delivered an early version of his famed “I Have a Dream” speech. The Detroit Historical Society is inviting kids to march through the museum’s galleries to memorialize that day. Detroit attorney Elliott Hall will speak about the impact of that march and show footage of the speech. Register for the free event here.
Join the Detroit Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Committee for the 20th Annual March and Rally. The theme this year is “Six Decades of Mass Movements: The Struggle Continues.” The event will feature speakers and artists who’ve been active in the movements.
3Dr. Martin Luther King: Birthday Celebration at the Fox Theatre
Join Rev. Jesse L. Jackson Sr. as he hosts “MLK Celebration” with Kem, Blake Corum, and Shamaym “Mama Shu” Harris with a live performance by Howard Hewett at this public event on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
4Martin Luther King Jr. Day at the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation
Celebrate King’s life with free admission to the museum, historical presentations, artifacts and hands-on fun. Registration is required.
Wayne State University’s annual tribute to King featured a panel discussion on Jan. 12, followed by the formal program on Jan. 13. The panel discussion explored how an economy that is diverse, equitable, and inclusive gives everyone access to resources and opportunities to thrive. The keynote speaker at the formal program was Randy D. Williams, founder and president of the largest Black-owned watch company, Talley & Twine. He spoke about the message of connecting social justice to the economic freedom King embraced. For more information, visit communityoutreach.wayne.edu.
On Jan. 20 the University of Detroit Mercy will present a panel discussion featuring: Darnetta Banks, a neighborhood engagement manager for Brilliant Detroit and the president of Prairie Street Block Club; Sister Helen Marie Burns, RSM, a University of Detroit Mercy Board of Trustees member; Michael Carter, a University of Detroit Mercy Board of Trustees member and managing partner of Pinnacle Construction Partners; San Pitera, the dean of University of Detroit Mercy’s School of Architecture and Development; Kyndal Wofford, president of the Black Student Union; and Zach Cotton, vice president of the the Black Student Union. On Jan. 25 University of Detroit Mercy’s Black Student Union will host a fashion show that showcases clothing made by Detroit designers. There are even more events scheduled in February to celebrate Black History Month, too. For more information, visit udmercy.edu.
Families can enjoy an MLK event that features educational workshops and programming, lectures, film and a prayer breakfast.