Ways to celebrate MLK Day in the Twin Cities Ways to celebrate MLK Day in the Twin Cities
Although the pandemic has prevented many from celebrating Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday in person this year, many events will still take place virtually.
Saturday, Jan. 16
The VocalEssence ensemble, comprised of a diverse set of high school students, Singers Of This Age, will perform a 30-minute virtual concert at 2 p.m. called “Believe.” Tickets are available through the VocalEssence On Demand 2020-21 Subscription for $49 per household, or through a single stream of $15 per household. Unemployed people, essential workers and those who have been diagnosed with COVID-19, as well as their caregivers, are eligible for free subscriptions. Online: https://www.vocalessence.org/event/family-believe/
Sunday, Jan. 17
The University of Minnesota is hosting its 40th annual concert honoring Martin Luther King Jr. as a tribute to civil rights leader and U.S. Rep. John Lewis, who was close friends with King. At 3 p.m., the free event will feature musical performances from students and others from the greater Twin Cities community. Online: https://diversity.umn.edu/events/martin-luther-king-jr-tribute
Monday, Jan. 18
This year’s annual UNCF MLK Breakfast will take place virtually, with the login starting at 8:30 a.m. and the breakfast lasting from 9 a.m. to 10:20 a.m. with Martin Luther King Jr.’s daughter, Dr. Bernice A. King, as a headliner. Individual tickets to view the live event are $25. Online: https://www.mlkbreakfast.com/
A free virtual/hybrid Bloomington Martin Luther King Jr. Day Scavenger Hunt will take place from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Using a mobile app, families and individuals will be sent locations to hunt for clues and solve puzzles around Bloomington in an effort to learn about the history of civil rights in the city and continue King’s legacy by engaging in social justice. There will be a treat for all participants, and a prize for the winner. Participants can register for the Eventbrite link before Jan. 18: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/bloomington-martin-luther-king-jr-day-scavenger-hunt-registration-132726972949
The 23rd annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. celebration hosted by the Powderhorn Park Neighborhood Association will take place from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Facebook Live. A two-hour free artist showcase, the event will feature visual and performing artists as well as storytellers who honor King’s life and legacy.
At 10:30 a.m., the 35th annual State of Minnesota Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration will take place on Facebook Live, hosted by Gov. Tim Walz and the Minnesota Department of Human Rights. Featuring award-winning director, writer and producer Matthew A. Cherry — known for his popular book and short film “Hair Love” — the event will have ASL interpretation as well as captioning in English, Spanish, Somali and Hmong.
From 4:30 to 5:30 p.m., the Minnesota Historical Society is hosting a panel of three local leaders exploring how Black Minnesotans have responded and combat the normalization of injustice and inequality as part of their new Black History, Black Voices initiative. The event will be moderated by author, activist and University of St. Thomas professor Dr. Yohuru Williams, a distinguished scholar of civil rights and Black Power movements. The event will be streamed on Facebook and YouTube.
Tuesday, Jan. 19
Hamline University will livestream a Martin Luther King Jr. commemoration at 4 p.m. Planned by students and staff from the Hedgeman Center for Student Diversity Initiatives and Programs, the event will feature music from a community youth choir and remarks from Hamline President Fayneese Miller as well as lecturers and students, including the president of the Black Student Collective, Jazmine Ngwu. Online: https://portal.stretchinternet.com/hamlineadmin/
From 4:30 to 5:30 p.m., the Minnesota Historical Society is hosting a panel about how Historically Black Colleges and Universities produce Black American leaders like Martin Luther King Jr. and Kamala Harris. Live streamed on Facebook and YouTube, the program will address the importance of these colleges and how local leaders such as Roy Wilkins and Marvel Cook advocated for them in the north.
Thursday, Jan. 21
Minneapolis College is hosting an event on the legacy and impact of Martin Luther King Jr. from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., followed by a town-hall meeting on social justice and racial healing from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. facilitated by Minneapolis College President Sharon Pierce and Minnesota Department of Human Rights Commissioner Rebecca Lucero. Online: https://minneapolis.edu/mlk#
From 4:30 to 5:30 p.m., the Minnesota Historical Society is hosting a program about the late civil rights leader U.S. Rep. John Lewis, who fought alongside Martin Luther King Jr. Moderated by author, activist and University of St. Thomas professor Dr. Yohuru Williams, panelists include Sondra Samuels, the president and CEO of Northside Achievement Zone, and Gaye Adams Massey, the CEO of YWCA St. Paul. It will be streamed on Facebook and YouTube.