Here is a sampling of 2023 events honoring the civil rights work of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in the Los Angeles area.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Tribute: A program on “Dr. King’s Impact on Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion,” 6:30 p.m. Keynote speaker: Kevin E. Hooks. Event also includes entertainment and essay contest winners. Doors open, 6 p.m. Presented by the City of Carson Community Services/Parks and Recreation Department. Carson Event Center, Main Hall, 801 E. Carson St. carsonca.gov. Flyer with details: bit.ly/3vRPosj
King Fest Family Festival: The 40th annual event includes two stages of entertainment, games, food booths and trucks, health screenings and vendors, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Market Street between Florence Avenue and Hillcrest Boulevard, Inglewood. 310-412-8750. www.cityofinglewood.org. See the flyer with details: www.facebook.com/cityofinglewood/
2023 UNCF Martin Luther King Jr. Breakfast: UNCF Los Angeles and the Los Angeles Inter-Alumni Council host the 37th annual event, 7:30-10 a.m. Keynote speaker: George T. French Jr., PhD, president of Clark Atlanta University. Tickets $60. Register on the website to attend. Proud Bird Events Center, 11022 Aviation Blvd., Los Angeles. 213-639-3800. uncf.org/events/2023-uncf-martin-luther-king-jr-breakfast-los-angeles
Leadership Long Beach Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service: The group presents “Take a Day On, Not a Day Off” with a kick-off pancake breakfast, 8 a.m. Martin Luther King Jr. Park, 1950 Lemon Ave., Long Beach. Sign up online for a project of your choice including “Silver Letters Project” and “Community Cares Project.” 562-997-9194. leadershiplb.org/mlk
Martin Luther King Jr. Day Unity Walk: The City of Santa Clarita and the Santa Clarita City Council co-present the second annual event that includes a program, 9 a.m., followed by a quarter-mile walk. Santa Clarita Mayor Jason Gibbs and guest speakers from the community will discuss King’s civil rights leadership and legacy. Meet at the flagpole at Central Park, 27150 Bouquet Canyon Road, Santa Clarita. 661-255-4965.
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration: The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Westside Coalition presents its 38th annual celebration with a program “When You Stand Up for Justice, You Can Never Fail,” with keynote speaker the Rev. Dr. Benjamin Chavis Jr., civil rights leader and president and CEO of the National Newspaper Publishers Association, 9 a.m. The program is followed by a Community Involvement Fair, 10:30 a.m. in the Quad area at the school. Masks wearing is required. Also, the program will be livestreamed. John Adams Middle School Performing Arts Center, 2425 16th St., Santa Monica. 818-207-3934. Event flyer: www.mlkjrwestside.org/2023-event-flyer. www.facebook.com/mlkwestsidecoalition or here www.mlkjrwestside.org
Big Sunday’s 11th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day New Clothing Drive and Community Breakfast: Variety of ways to help with the “day of service,” 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Register in advance for how you want to help (bigsunday.org/get-involved/mlkday2023/). Options include purchasing a clothing kit, $25, or choosing items from a “wish list.”. Event is outdoors. Participants ages 5 and older must be vaccinated and show proof. Event location, 24th St. Elementary School, 2055 W. 24th St., Los Angeles. 323-549-9944. Email: email@example.com. Information about the Big Sunday organization, bigsunday.org/about-us/what-is-big-sunday
King Day 2023: The California African American Museum holds a celebration, “MLK: A Legacy of Service,” 10 a.m.-5 p.m. The King Study Group listens to King’s 1967 speech “Time to Break the Silence,” 11 a.m., followed by a group discussion. Family Story Time with children’s books on the civil rights leader and read by Los Angeles Public Library librarians, 12:30-1 p.m. The Inner City Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles performs, 2-3 p.m. The event also includes craft activities and food trucks. Registration required to attend. Facebook for updates (bit.ly/3oq0tLa). The museum, in Exposition Park, 600 State Drive, Los Angeles. 213-744-2084. About the museum: caamuseum.org. Details and to register online: bit.ly/3IJrvuV
A Walk to Celebrate the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.: The Redondo Beach Police Department’s Community Engagement Board holds the march and a donation drive, 10:30 a.m. Donate a gallon-size ziplock bag with personal care items for a child or adult/teen (see the website for the specific items). Bags will be donated to the Redondo Beach Police Department’s Domestic Violence Advocacy Program. Meet at 10 a.m. at the Redondo Beach Pier (101 W. Torrance Blvd.; park at the pier and transportation back will be provided). The walk ends at the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. memorial at 401 Diamond St. Details and to RSVP: bit.ly/3CzI9cb
Kingdom Day Parade: The parade celebrates the work of civil rights leader the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., 11 a.m. The parade, with the theme “Making America the Last Best Hope of the World, is presented by the Congress of Racial Equality of California. Grand marshal: George C. Fatheree III, the real estate attorney who won the Bruce’s Beach caseRoute: Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard at St. Andrews Place, west on MLK Jr. to Crenshaw Boulevard, south on Crenshaw to Vernon Avenue. The parade will be televised on KABC-7 and live streamed on the parade website. 844-454-6432; 323-934-3683. www.kingdomdayparade.org
Martin Luther King Jr. Day: The San Gabriel Valley NAACP and the city of West Covina host the longest-running Martin Luther King Jr. birthday celebration in the area, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Jan. 16. This year marks the 24th anniversary of this gathering. The theme is “A Day of Service.” Free admission. West Covina Civic Center, courtyard, 1444 S. Garvey Ave., West Covina. For more information, 626-788-3489. https://www.sgvnaacp.net/
L.A. Works’ Martin Luther King Day of Service: Sign-up to participate in eco-friendly volunteer opportunities, listen to a panel discussion on environmental justice, “Getting to the Root: Uplifting Unheard Voices in the Climate Movement,” and enjoy a non-profit fair and food festival, noon-3:30 p.m. Minimum age: 15; with an adult, the minimum age is 5-years-old. Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, 3911 S. Figueroa St. (Exposition Park), Los Angeles. Sign-up here for climate justice activities: bit.ly/3WSfW8n. Also, there are other volunteer opportunities during the event; sign up from here: www.laworks.com/mlk. Updates: www.facebook.com/laworks
A King in the City of Angels: Christina Rice, senior librarian, photo collection, has a Los Angeles Public Library blog post from Jan. 15, 2021. See the photos here: www.lapl.org/collections-resources/blogs/lapl/king-city-angels. Also, the LAPL has a treasure trove of books on Martin Luther King Jr. for adults and children. Check here for the sampling: www.lapl.org/mlk