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15 things you can do to honor Martin L. King Jr. this weekend

Martin Luther King Jr. statue in St. Louis' Fountain Park (Jan. 11, 2017)
Linda Lockhart | St. Louis Public Radio
Martin Luther King Jr. statue in St. Louis' Fountain Park

Updated Jan. 13 at 1:11 p.m: Some events have been canceled or postponed, due to the weather. Check with specific groups for more information. — Martin Luther King Jr. was born at noon on Jan. 15, 1929, at his family’s home in Atlanta. He was the first son and second child born to the Rev. Martin Luther King, Sr. and Alberta Williams King.

Under his leadership, — from December 1955, until he was assassinated on April 4, 1968 — African-Americans achieved significant progress toward racial equality.

King's “I Have a Dream” speechNobel Peace Prize speech and “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” are studied by scholars and students worldwide.

He is the only non-president to have a national holiday dedicated in his honor, which is observed on the third Monday of January. King is also the only non-president memorialized on the Great Mall in the nation’s capitol. 

The civil rights leader is memorialized in hundreds of statues, parks, streets, squares, churches and other public facilities, including St. Louis.

There are a number of events scheduled this weekend in the St. Louis area to honor King. All events are open to the public and free, except as noted. In addition, city, state and federal government offices and most schools are closed on Monday, January 16. MetroBus and MetroLink will operate on the holiday schedule.

Here are 15 things you can do to honor Martin L. King Jr. this weekend:


Reframing Black Citizenship: Civil Rights Images, Frozen Ideals
7 a.m. - 7 p.m. | Farrell Auditorium, St. Louis Art Museum

Rebecca Wanzo will discuss the struggle for civil rights and the strategic use of visual representations to promote full citizenship rights for African-Americans. Advance tickets recommended and may be reserved in person at the Museum's Information Centers, through MetroTix or (314) 534-1111.


University City's Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration
12 p.m. | University City High School, 7401 Balson Avenue


Skinker DeBaliviere Martin Luther King Celebration
3 p.m. | Grace & Peace Fellowship Church, 5574 Delmar Boulevard

For more information call (314) 862-5122.

Webster Groves Community Celebration
4:30 p.m. | Webster Groves City Hall, 4 East Lockwood Avenue

March from Webster Groves City Hall, 4 E. Lockwood Ave. to Steger Sixth Grade Center, 701 N. Rock Hill Road, Rock Hill. At 5 p.m. there will be a dinner reception followed by a speech by the Rev. Terrell Carter, pastor of Webster Groves Baptist Church, and former St. Louis police officer.

Tribute to Martin Luther King Jr.
7 p.m. | Hazelwood Civic Center East, 8969 Dunn Road, Hazelwood

The celebration closes with a memorial candlelighting ceremony. Refreshments will be served afterward. For more information call the Community Enrichment Commission at (314) 731-0980.


Day of Service —Jefferson Elementary School
9 a.m. – 12 p.m. | 1301 Hogan Street

Help organize and improve the school building. For more information contact Kristen Taylor at kristen.taylor@slps.org  or (314) 632-6201.

The Struggle Continues: Nonviolence is the Way
9 a.m. – 3 p.m. | Old Courthouse, 11 North 4th Street

  • 10:00 a.m. — Civic Ceremony Michael McMillan, president and CEO, Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis, presiding; remarks from elected officials
  • 11:00 a.m.  March from Old Courthouse, 4th and Market streets, to Washington Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church, 3200 Washington Ave.
  • 12:30 p.m. — Interfaith ceremony

Day of Service — MLK Great River Road Cleanup
9 a.m. - 12 p.m. | Clifton Terrace Park, Godfrey, Illinois

Volunteers clean up at least a two- mile stretch of the Great River Road in memory of Martin Luther King Jr. Participants must wear closed-toe shoes and long pants; gloves, bags, morning snacks and drinks provided. Register by e-mailing Tanner Aljets, tanner.aljets@sierraclub.org  or call 618-520-9749.

Day of Service — O'Fallon, Missouri
10 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Make paper carnations and greeting cards to be distributed later at residential care facilities throughout O'Fallon. Pre-registration required to allow planning for projects and supplies. 

Day of Service — Jackie Joyner-Kersee Foundation
10 a.m. – 2 p.m. | 101 Jackie Joyner-Kersee Circle, East St. Louis

  • History Makers Walking Gallery: Students will make a puzzle display highlighting influential African Americans from East St. Louis (ages 11 & up)
  • Decorate hats for It's Your Birthday celebrations for students living in homeless shelters (ages 8-12)
  • Blessing Bags: Assemble 300 blessing bags to be distributed during the 2017 East St. Louis Homeless Census (all ages)

Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Celebration
10 a.m. – 12 p.m. | Blanche M. Touhill Performing Arts Center, University of Missouri-St. Louis

The theme is "King’s dream and legacy are for EVERYONE: How will we end fear, hatred, violence and silence?" Speakers include Justin Andrews, KMOV reporter, and Farai Chideya, author, reporter, educator.

Kirkwood musical celebration and recognition of Meacham Park scholars
1 p.m. | Keating Auditorium, Kirkwood High School, 801 W. Essex Avenue

Tickets are $6 and free for students.

Office of Diversity Programs at Washington University’s School of Medicine
4 p.m. | Eric P. Newman Education Center, 320 S. Euclid Ave

Speakers include Robert D. Bullard, professor and Barbara Jordan-Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs, Texas Southern University. To RSVP contact the Office of Diversity Programs at (314) 362-6854 or medschooldiversity@wusm.wustl.edu.

Ecumenical service, Wellspring Church
6:30 p.m. | 33 S. Florissant Road, Ferguson

The speaker will be Will Willimon, retired bishop, former dean of chapel and professor at Duke Divinity School. 

Martin Luther King Jr. Commemoration
7 p.m. | Graham Chapel, Washington University

The speaker will be The Rev. Traci D. Blackmon, executive minister of Justice and Witness Ministries for the United Church of Christ and pastor of Christ the King United Church. A reception will follow at the Danforth University Center. Free parking is available in Danforth University Center garage.

For more Day of Service opportunities, check here.

Follow Linda Lockhart on Twitter: Llockhart92

Outreach specialist Linda Lockhart has been telling stories for most of her life. A graduate of the University of Missouri's School of Journalism, she has worked at several newspapers around the Midwest, including the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, as a reporter, copy editor, make-up editor, night city editor, wire editor, Metro Section editor and editorial writer. She served the St. Louis Beacon as analyst for the Public Insight Network, a product of Minnesota Public Radio and American Public Media that helps connect journalists with news sources. She continues using the PIN to help inform the news content of St. Louis Public Radio. She is a St. Louis native and lives in Kirkwood.