Skip to main content

15 Ways for Families to Honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Join a rally, learn about Dr. King or volunteer around Seattle, the Eastside and South Sound

Published on: January 15, 2019

MLK grahpic

Among many inspiring and pointed speeches and quotes from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., here's one to ponder. "Life’s most persistent and urgent question is 'What are you doing for others?'"

Honor his legacy of justice, non-violence and service with your kids in the coming days by participating in an MLK Day event around the Sound, from the annual rally at Seattle’s Garfield High School to the Northwest African American Museum’s celebration. Or give back to your community by volunteering in the spirit of service at one of several family-friendly opportunities. All events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted.

Here are top events through Monday, Jan. 21, 2019:

Thursday, Jan. 17:

Hear John Carlos, the track athlete famous for raising his fist at the 1968 Olympics, reflect on building the "beloved community" envisioned by Dr. King. Register for a seat at the free program at Bellevue City Hall (Bellevue, 12:30 p.m.).

Friday, Jan. 18:

Seattle's 46th annual community celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. features keynote speaker Michael Eric Dyson talking about Dr. King as a man of "tremendous moral magnitude." This event at Mount Zion Baptist Church also features the inspiring gospel music of DaNell Daymon and Greater Works (Seattle, noon; doors at 11 a.m.).

Saturday, Jan. 19:

The City of Lakewood hosts its annual free community celebration honoring the life and work of Dr. King which includes performances by local students and honors local civil rights activists JoEthel Smith and the late Claudia Thomas. Note the new venue this year: Harrison Preparatory School (Lakewood, 10 a.m.).

Celebrate local young people working to make a difference and join a youth-led community march to honor Dr. King. Gather at Rainier Community Center for the march, plus speakers and interactive workshops (Seattle, 10:30 a.m.).

Join a day of service event in honor of Dr. King, doing restoration work in local parks and green spaces. Find opportunities at Solstice Park in Seattle (10 a.m.–2 p.m.); Priest Point Park in Olympia (10 a.m.–1 p.m.) or Rhone-Poulenc Salt Marsh in Tacoma (10 a.m.–1 p.m.)

Sunday, Jan. 20:

A free workshop by Kids4Peace invites youth in grades 6–12 to learn about taking action against bigotry and discrimination; preregister (Seattle, 2–6 p.m.).

Monday, Jan. 21:

Join a free celebratory program of arts and performance on Monday morning at Edmonds Center for the Arts. Performers include Northside Step Team, Kaleidoscope Dance and a local oratory contest winner (Edmonds, 10 a.m.).

Rally and march for Dr. King, equality and justice; rally at Garfield High School at 11 a.m., march at 12:30 p.m. and rally again downtown at 1:30 p.m.; more events online (Seattle, 11 a.m.).

Seattle's Northwest African American Museum hosts an all-day celebration of Dr. King and the civil rights movement with films, Dr. King's speeches and art activities (Seattle, 11 a.m.–5 p.m.; admission by donation).

Visit the Washington State History Museum for free all day Monday in honor of Dr. King, and don't miss a 2 p.m. "Ruby Bridges" performance that's family-friendly and full of song and dance (Tacoma, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.)

Join with the greater Tacoma community to celebrate Dr. King's birthday and honor local leaders continuing his vision for community under the theme "we're better together" (Tacoma, 11 a.m.; outreach fair 10 a.m.).

Lift Every Voice Legacy invites the community to a tribute to Dr. King that includes song, spoken word and dance devoted to inspiring the "beloved community" he envisioned. Tickets $10 per adult and $5 per student advance (Edmonds, 7:30–9 p.m.).

Help spruce up parks and community spaces around Tacoma during Martin Luther King Day of Caring volunteer events; preregister for one of four locations (Tacoma, 9 or 10 a.m. start times).

Join a special edition of the Mountains to Sound Greenway's volunteer tree-potting party to honor the life and work of Dr. King. This event welcomes all ages (under 14 with an adult) and helps keep our wild areas beautiful; be sure to preregister (Issaquah, 10 a.m.).

Join a day of service event in honor of Dr. King, doing restoration work in local parks and green spaces. Find opportunities at Kubota Garden in Seattle (10 a.m.–2 p.m.) and Eastgate Park in Bellevue (10 a.m.–2 p.m.)

Sign up for your weekly dose of parent fuel and Puget Sound family adventures.

Share this article with your friends!

Leave a Comment