Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebrations Planned for West, Northern Michigan

Julie Bitely

| 3 min read

MLK Day Events in Michigan
There are many ways to celebrate, honor, and remember the legacy of civil rights icon, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who would have been 86 this year.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is sponsoring events in Detroit and a sold-out corporate breakfast planned in Grand Rapids that will benefit the Grand Rapids Urban League.
The Urban League’s vice president and chief operating officer, Brenda Moore, said it’s imperative to keep Martin Luther King Jr.’s memory and message alive because “it is important to live in a society that values all individuals and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, or age.”
“Race relations need constant work in America today,” she said. “Racism is a despicable creation that can and must be eliminated in a progressive society.”
Look for an event near you and plan to reflect on the life and message of a man who dared to “have a dream.”
Grand Rapids A Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration will take place at Grand Rapids Community College on Jan. 19. “Empowering Our Youth” will be presented by keynote speaker Sybrina Fulton, mother of Trayvon Martin, in the GRCC Gerald R. Ford Fieldhouse at 6:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.
West Michigan Students with a valid ID can watch the movie “Selma” for free on Monday, Jan. 19. Free student tickets are available exclusively at the box office of all first run Celebration Cinema locations for all show times on Monday. Students must present a valid ID to take advantage of the offer. Visit for show times.
Holland The City of Holland will be hosting the first Martin Luther King, Jr., Day event at City Hall at noon and 6 p.m. in council chambers. Bernard Kleina, a civil rights activist and urban photographer will be the guest speaker. The event is free to the public. Learn more about the event and register here.
Kalamazoo Take part in a community-wide day of service on Monday through a joint collaboration between the City of Kalamazoo, Volunteer Kalamazoo, and the Western Michigan University Office of Diversity & Inclusion alongside Kalamazoo College and Northside Ministerial Alliance. Learn more here.
Big Rapids Ferris State University’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration runs Jan. 19 through Jan. 22 and features many events, including documentaries, discussions, and historical displays .
Lansing Michigan State University will mark its 2015 Martin Luther King, Jr., Day celebration by commemorating the one-year anniversary of a major campus and community initiative – Project 60/50, which used the 60th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education and the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to engage the MSU campus and greater community in a broad range of civil and human rights conversations. Events are scheduled from Jan. 17 through Jan. 19, including a march, special exhibits, film screenings, and a slam poetry open mic night. Learn more here.
Allendale Grand Valley State University’s annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commemoration Week takes place Jan. 19-24, with planned activities such as lectures and film series. Sybrina Fulton, mother of Trayvon Martin, is scheduled to speak on Jan. 19 and Marc Lamont Hill, an author, activist and journalist will give a presentation on Jan. 21. Full details are available here.
Traverse City Embrace the Dream brings together many institutions throughout the Grand Traverse region to provide free or low-cost programming for the public to experience, including films, exhibitions, lectures, music, and art programs. Learn more here.
Marquette A March for Equality will be held on the campus of Northern Michigan University on Jan. 19 at 12:30 p.m. The march kicks off Martin Luther King Jr. Week, which runs through Jan. 23. A full event schedule can be found here.
How are you planning to honor the memory of Martin Luther King, Jr.? Let us know in the comments.
Photo credit: InSapphoWeTrust

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