Civil rights leader Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave his famous "I Have a Dream" speech in 1963, almost six decades ago. We still have much work to do — and it’s more urgent than ever — for our country to honor, value and protect Black lives.
Learn more about Dr. King’s legacy of social justice work, non-violence and service with your kids by participating in Seattle-area ceremonies and events, which are mostly virtual again this year. If you decide to participate in the in-person rally and march, or other in-person events, you must wear a mask. All events are free and open to the public; some require advance registration as noted.
Top MLK Day events through Monday, Jan. 17, 2022 and beyond:
Daily through Jan. 23, dawn to dusk:
Take an inspirational walk through Lake Sammamish State Park in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. A designated pathway displays his entire “I Have a Dream” speech, from Tibbetts Beach to the Sunset Beach Bathhouse. (A Discover Pass is required to park at Lake Sammamish State Park.)
Thursday, Jan. 13, noon–1 p.m.:
King County is hosting a virtual MLK Jr. community celebration, honoring its namesake with a discussion around the theme and accompanying quote, “The time is always right to do what’s right”, and “Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.” – James Baldwin.
Sunday, Jan. 16, 2–4 p.m.:
Seattle’s MLK Coalition hosts its young leaders event virtually again this year to the theme of "Reclaiming the Narrative." Tune in to view youth performances and hear from local teens about their ideas and activism.
Monday, Jan. 17, 7 p.m.–8 p.m.:
All are welcome to join this year’s rally for Dr. King presented by Kent School District and The 5th Avenue Theatre — again, virtually. This uplifting event will feature youth performances, speakers and music.
Monday, Jan. 17:
Seattle’s Mount Zion Baptist Church and Seattle Colleges welcome the community for their 49th annual celebration of the life and legacy of Dr. King, which features the voices of DaNell Damon and Greater Works, an overview of Seattle Colleges’ Project Baldwin, and keynote speaker T. Elon Dancy, Ph.D., Helen S. Faison Endowed Chair and Director of the Center for Urban Education in the School of Education at the University of Pittsburgh. This year the celebration will be a video production released on the morning of Monday, Jan. 17.
Monday, Jan. 17, times vary:
In the spirit of MLK’s service to community, sign up for a COVID-safe volunteer opportunity and give back to the community by using Monday as a day on instead of off. Kids are welcome and masks are required; check for more details and preregister in advance at the website.
Monday, Jan. 17, 10–11:30 a.m.:
Join the City of Bellevue for a virtual celebration and health fair honoring Dr. King. Hear from notable speakers, explore health prevention resources, enjoy live entertainment and learn about local Black-owned businesses. Pre-register for this free event at the website above to receive the event link.
Monday, Jan. 17, 11 a.m.–2 p.m.:
Lend your voice to the Seattle MLK Coalition’s annual rally and march for justice and equality. The rally takes place at the Garfield High School parking lot starting at 11 a.m.; the march begins at 12:30 p.m. Masks and social distancing are required; please stay home if you have symptoms or have been exposed to someone with COVID. Check out online workshops as well, taking place Jan. 11–15.
Monday, Jan. 17, 8:30 a.m.–1 p.m.
Also in the Garfield High School parking lot, the Northwest African American Museum invites families to a free popup event featuring a vaccination and booster clinic, a Knowledge is Power book giveaway, a Hygiene for Humanity supply drive, music of the movement and more. The first 100 people to get a vaccine or booster will receive two free tickets to a Sounders game! No registration required. Masks are required.
Monday, Jan. 17, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.:
Tune in to the Washington State History Museum’s virtual MLK Day celebration to enjoy a mix of free online programs and activities, including a virtual art-making activity inspired by Dr. King’s visit with artist Valencia Carroll.
Monday, Jan. 17, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.:
Stop by the Northwest African American Museum’s website to enjoy a keynote presentation featuring poet, educator and best-selling author Nikki Giovanni, showing at 2 p.m. and again at 7 p.m. Also, enjoy a one-hour civil rights story time for children at 3:30 p.m. (directly after the 2 p.m. broadcast), and again at 6 p.m. (directly before the 7 p.m. rebroadcast). Free registration opening soon at NAAM’s website.
Monday, Jan. 17, 8–9 p.m.:
Convene online with the greater Tacoma community to celebrate Dr. King’s birthday by highlighting MLK’s impact on the present and future of our communities under the theme “Hope & Healing.”
Tuesday, Jan. 18, 6:30–8:30 p.m.:
All are invited to tune in for the University of Puget Sound’s annual MLK Celebration. Pre-register to join online for a program highlighting the life and work of local legend Nettie J. Asberry, featuring speakers from the Washington State Historical Society, The Nettie J. Homesite Project, and the Tacoma City Association of Colored Women’s Clubs.