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Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Events for Seattle-Area Families

Honor Dr. King at a celebration, march or volunteer event around Seattle, the Eastside and South Sound

Nancy Chaney

Published on: January 14, 2020

Credit: Skeeze/Pixabay

Among many inspiring and pointed 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 around the region through Monday, Jan. 20, 2020:

Wednesday–Monday, Jan. 15–20, noon–12:30 p.m.:
Seattle Art Museum invites the community for free daily Art and Social Justice Tours, facilitated by SAM staff and partners. Tours will highlight museum works that spark conversations on themes of race and social justice.

Thursday, Jan. 16, noon–1 p.m.:
Town Hall Seattle hosts a community celebration honoring King County's namesake with a discussion about themes of Dr. King's speech that included the quote, “Yes, we are on the move and no wave of racism can stop us. We are on the move now.” Doors open at 11 a.m.

Thursday, Jan. 16, 12:30–2 p.m.:
Join a free community program at Bellevue City Hall honoring Dr. King. Youth author and activist, Azure Savage, will serve as the keynote speaker, discussing the experiences of people of color in Seattle schools and beyond.

Friday, Jan. 17, noon–1:30 p.m.:
Seattle's Mount Zion Baptist Church welcomes the community for its 47th annual celebration of the life and legacy of Dr.  Martin Luther King, Jr., featuring keynote speaker Tricia Rose and the award-winning gospel music of DaNell Daymon. Doors open at 11 a.m.

Saturday, Jan. 18, 9 a.m.–5 p.m.:
Support and celebrate local young people working to make a difference and join a youth-led community march honoring Dr. King. Gather at Seattle's Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Park and march to the Rainier Community Center. Stick around for speakers and workshops.

Sunday, Jan. 19, 3–4:30 p.m.:
Get a first-hand look at the connection between modern-day social injustice and the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s with a free performance of "Get On the Bus" at Tacoma's Pantages Theatre. Preregister for free tickets.

Monday, Jan. 20, 9 or 10 a.m. start time:
Help spruce up parks and community spaces around Tacoma during Martin Luther King Day of Caring volunteer events; preregister to volunteer at one of three Tacoma locations.

Monday, Jan. 20, 10–11:30 a.m.:
Join a free celebratory program of arts and performance on the morning of MLK Day. Performers at this Edmonds Center for the Arts event include Northside Step Team, Kaleidoscope Dance and many others. Plus check out the interactive art displays.

Monday, Jan. 20, 10 a.m.–2 p.m.:
Join an Earthcorps 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.) or Wilburton Hill Park in Bellevue (10 a.m.–2 p.m.) Preregister.

Monday, Jan. 20, 10 a.m.–2 p.m.:
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 Issaquah event welcomes all ages (under 14 with an adult) and helps keep our wild areas beautiful. Preregister.

Monday, Jan. 20, 10 a.m.–2 p.m.:
Help plant native trees and plants at a day of service event in honor of Dr. King, doing restoration work in Seattle's West Duwamish Greenbelt. In thanks for your work, enjoy live music, family activities and pizza. Preregister.

Monday, Jan. 20, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.:
Visit the Washington State History Museum in Tacoma, free to all Monday in honor of Dr. King. Visit the powerful “Men of Change: Power. Triumph. Truth.” exhibit and catch free performances of “Get on the Bus” at 1:30 and 3:30 p.m.

Monday, Jan. 20, 11 a.m. start time:
Join Seattle's annual rally and march for Dr. King and for 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.; additional events online.

Monday, Jan. 20, 11 a.m.–1 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 “Vision 2020, Beyond the Dream.” Doors open for outreach fair at 10 a.m.

Monday, Jan. 20, 11 a.m.–3 p.m.:
The city of Bellevue hosts its annual MLK Day Celebration and Health Fair, this year at Factoria. Stop by for guest speakers, live music and over 20 health-related resources and providers.

Monday, Jan. 20, 11 a.m.–5 p.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. Admission by donation.

Monday, Jan. 20, 7:30–9 p.m.:
Join the Lift Every Voice Legacy at Edmonds Center for the Arts for a tribute to Dr. King in song, spoken word and dance and devoted to inspiring the “beloved community” he envisioned. Tickets $12 per adult and $5 per student in advance; $15 at the door.

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