A detail of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial statue in Washington, D.C. (Courtesy National Parks Service)

Martin Luther King Jr. Day will be observed Jan. 17 and local organizations will honor the civil rights leader’s legacy with programs, volunteer events, and an annual 5K run.

The King Center
The King Center in Sweet Auburn will host a series of events beginning Jan. 10 and concluding with the annual commemorative service at Ebenezer Baptist Church. There will be a number of virtual events including summits on teaching nonviolence to youth, a global community summit, youth book reading, service projects, and the Beloved Community Awards. Gymnast Simone Biles will be presented with the Yolanda D. King Higher Ground Award during the ceremony. For a full schedule of events, visit the kingcenter.org.

MLK Days of Service
Hands On Atlanta is organizing 75 community service projects from Jan. 13-17 as part of its observance of MLK Day. The nonprofit will partner with The King Center, National Center for Civil and Human Rights, Morehouse College, The Atlanta History Center, and Points of Light. Some of those events including clothing drive, a human rights film festival, wheelchair restoration project, creating food-producing garden, a virtual Sunday Supper with a discussion on race and equity, and much more. Visit handsonatlanta.org for more details.

MLK Day 5K Drum Run
The annual 5K race will be held Jan. 17 starting at 9 a.m. at First Baptist Church of Doraville, 5935 New Peachtree Road, across the street from the Doraville MARTA station. This 5K walk/run will take place entirely on New Peachtree Road. The FLAT & FAST out & back USATF certified racecourse and Peachtree Road Race qualifier will have a 3.1-mile drumline all along the course. To register, visit mlkday5k.com.

National Center for Civil and Human Rights
The Center will honor King’s life and legacy this holiday weekend with virtual and in person events on Dr. King’s birthday (Jan. 15) and on MLK Day (Jan. 17). Featured events include interactive storytelling, visual artist talkbacks, and  activities throughout The Center’s galleries.  Hours and tickets are available at: civilandhumanrights.org/visit/.

Atlanta History Center
There’s already a waitlist for the Buckhead museum’s MLK Day in-person observance on Jan. 16 and 17 due to COVID-19 protocols. Events include a variety of virtual and in-person educational activities, including simulations, crafts, and story time, as well as offerings for adults including author talks. Find out more and join the waitlist, visit this link.

Sandy Springs
The city of Sandy Springs has switched its annual tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to a virtual video presentation. The city had planned a family-friendly event at City Springs featuring interactive art projects and a film to celebrate the teachings of Dr. King. But due to rising COVID-19 cases, Sandy Springs officials said it will now offer a video tribute on Jan. 17 at this link.

Brookhaven
Brookhaven will host its sixth annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day dinner celebration on Jan. 17. The event will be held in the parking lot of the Brookhaven MARTA station at 1268 Apple Valley Road and will begin at 5:30 p.m. Guests will be able to eat in their cars during the event, which will include different speakers and performers. The keynote speaker will be Pat Martin, one of the Lynwood Park Trailblazers who helped integrate DeKalb County schools in 1968. 


Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.