Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is one of the most significant individuals who fought for equality and civil rights in America. As an activist, political leader, preacher and father, Dr. King changed the course of history for so many in the African American community. From Maine to Alaska, Florida to Hawaii, millions of people are progressing forward because of the trail blazed by this influential man who will forever be celebrated.
After his assassination on April 4, 1968, a campaign began to designate a day to honor Dr. King. Ronald Regan signed the holiday into law in 1983, and it was first observed in 1986. As of 2000 all 50 states officially celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday. Arizona was one of the last states to recognize the federal day in 1990 after much opposition from state representatives, including Sen. John McCain and former Governor Mecham.
Today, Phoenicians have a select few choices of celebrations to visit and honor Dr. King with other residents. This is a great opportunity to begin Black History discussions with kids and encourage them to learn more about those who have paved the way for them to be successful and opened the doors for them to become anything.
Some of these events include:
MLK Awards Breakfast
Sheraton Phoenix Downtown, 340 N. 3rd Street, Phoenix 85003, 7 am
Celebrate the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday at the 27th annual MLK Awards Breakfast, Stand Up for Justice, 7 to 9:30 a.m. Friday, Jan. 18, at the Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel, 340 N. Third St. Doors open at 6:30 a.m. The event recognizes one winner for the Calvin C. Goode Lifetime Achievement award and five individuals for the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Living the Dream Award who have made Phoenix a better place to live through a lifelong commitment to creating a compassionate and socially just society. Visit the City of Phoenix website for more information.
Chandler Multicultural Festival
11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Chandler Public Library Courtyard - 22 S. Delaware St.
Chandler’s 18th Annual Multicultural Festival highlights the cultural diversity of our community through music, dance, art, storytelling children’s area and more. Winners of the Creative Expression Competition will also be announced.
Chandler’s Annual Multicultural Festival is a FREE event that highlights the cultural diversity of our community through music, dance, art, storytelling children’s area and more. Visit the Multicultural Festival website for additional event information.
MLK Youth Celebration "A World of Diversity: One Dream"
Phoenix College, 1202 W. Thomas Road, Phoenix 85013, 9 am
Presented by Phoenix College NAACP/Black Student Union. Workshops and enrichment, youth networking, educational displays and entertainment. $5 donations / $7 after 12:30pm.
Chandler Center for the Arts – 250 N. Arizona Ave.
DRUMLine Live is an international tour based on the Historically Black College and University (HBCU) marching band tradition. With riveting rhythms, bold beats and ear-grabbing energy, the staged show will be a synchronized musical showcase of the HBCU experience. Equally at home performing the hottest hip hop, R&B, and classic Motown tunes, the group’s performances will range from colorful, choreographed routines to heavy doses of drum riffs and cadences with the rousing sound of the great brass tradition.
MLK Day of Service
Join ASU for their 28th anniversary celebration at of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday by honoring his legacy and giving back to our community. For more information or to register, visit: http://volunteer.asu.edu. Information: 480-965-9600.
Parade and Festival
11 AM to 5 PM
Downtown Mesa and the Mesa Arts Center
1 E. Main St., Mesa
Community celebration including marching bands, Mesa Police and Fire Departments, community members and leaders. For more information about all Mesa MLK events, please visit www.mesamlk.org.
9am MLK March beginning at Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church
1401 E. Jefferson Street, Phoenix 85034
10am MLK Festival at Margaret T. Hance Park, 3rd Street & Moreland
For more information about Phoenix events, visit azmlk.org.
MLK Student Rally (ASU-Tempe Campus)
11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. on North Stage Memorial Union, with a talk by the 2013 Student Servant-Leadership Award winner, as well as presentations and cultural performances by ASU students. Information: 480-965-6601.
For more information about all ASU MLK events, please visit www.asu.edu/mlk/.