9 Ways to Celebrate MLK Day in Milwaukee

Here are some ways to honor this historic day.

1. Milwaukee Public Library Martin Luther King JR Day Virtual Celebration

MONDAY AT NOON | VIRTUAL

Log on to this virtual event to hear Charly Palmer share his story about growing up in Milwaukee to becoming a renowned artist; Terrence J. Roberts, who was one of the Little Rock Nine turned CEO of his own management company; Daphanie Barbee-Wooten J.D. who is the daughter of Civil Rights pioneer Lloyd Barbee, graduated from Riverside high school and earned her Juris Doctor from the University of Washington. You can interact and win the #MLKMPL2021 challenge by posting an original photo, video, song, painting, drawing, dance, monologue, film, or creative piece. Post your work with the hashtag and submit the link in the drop box on the Milwaukee Public Library website. This is a family-friendly competition, so keep it PG. You can also get creative with a King Day Kit by downloading the PDF or picking up a template to color and design your own poster. You can post it on social media with the hashtag #MLKMPL20201 and submit the link in the same drop box. You can join on the Milwaukee Public Library Facebook, YouTube channel or register in advance for a link.

2. Marcus Performing Arts Center Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Program

SUNDAY AT 1 P.M. | VIRTUAL

A tradition lasting longer than three decades, the Marcus Performing Arts Center is presenting a virtual celebration to recognize the work of Dr. King and youth in the community who have interpreted his words through speeches, art, and writing competitions. Multi-cultural organizations will be performing to demonstrate their profound work, such as the Latino Arts Strings, Milwaukee Flyers Tumbling Team, O.N.F.Y.A.H, MPS’ Milwaukee High School of the Arts Jazz Ensemble, Majestic Community Choir and others. This event is open to the public and the link will be available on the Marcus Performing Arts Center website the day of the event.

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3. YMCA Dr. Martin Luther King, JR. Celebration

MONDAY-FRIDAY FROM 9-10 A.M. |VIRTUAL

This is the 24th annual celebration including the Northwestern Mutual youth development spoken word awards, GE Healthcare Living Awards, and the Froedert & Medical College of Wisconsin Social Responsibility Awards. The “main event” registration link includes an invitation to attend and participate in “Deliberate Dialogue Discussions.” This is a series of international conversations on social determinants of health. You must register for this event on the YMCA website.

4. NAACP Ozaukee County Inaugural MLK Day Celebration & Installation of New Officers

MONDAY AT 5 P.M. | VIRTUAL

The NAACP is holding a Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration where Lt. Governor Mandela Barns will give a speech honoring Dr. King, new officers of the Ozaukee Branch will be named including Janette Braverman who will be the new president. Performances by SistaStrings and a spoken word by Cedric Hoard will be included. This event is open to the public, but you must pre-register to get the link.

5. A Virtual Celebration Recognizing Dr. King’s Vision of a Beloved Community

MONDAY AT 1 P.M. | VIRTUAL

An event endorsed by the Martin Luther King Justice Coalition, this virtual event will include “the Great Gatherings for Black Lives Matter,” “The Great Frontline Heroes of the COVID-19 Pandemic” and the words of Dr. King by local actors and musicians. You must register to receive the link and it is free to the public.

6. WPR MLK Tribute & Celebration

MONDAY AT NOON | ALL WISCONSIN PUBLIC RADIO STATIONS

If you are driving or multi-tasking, the radio is for you. Wisconsin Public Radio is holding a MLK tribute and celebration. The theme, “Together as one” encompasses features from author Michelle Alexander, rebroadcast performances by Chicago’s CMAC Mass Choir and the Latino Strings. The winners of the MLK Heritage Award will be announced. The official MLK 2021 State Proclamation will be given by Gov. Tony Evers during the celebration.

7. MLK Day Phonebank for Riverwest Pantry

MONDAY FROM 10 A.M.-7 P.M. | VIRTUAL

The Riverwest pantry is looking for volunteers to take an hour out of their day to help raise money for their phone bank. They are asking participants to call their friends for donations, call their families and give donations themselves. If you are looking for a day of service, the Riverwest Pantry is looking for those willing to give back.

8. First Stage Virtual Storytelling

MONDAY FROM 10-10:30 A.M. | VIRTUAL

First Stage is putting on a virtual storytelling event. They will have an interactive reading of The Snowy Day by Ezra Jak Keats and read by Kim Hardtke and Samantha Montgomery. It is a livestream event on YouTube and will be available after the event has ended. The event was created for those ages three to seven, but anyone can join. This is an event for the whole family.

9. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center: King Day Celebration

WEDNESDAY AT NOON | 1531 W. VLIET ST

The Milwaukee County Parks system and King Advisory, inc. is putting on a celebration of the life and legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. There will be music, spoken word, dance performances, and a guest speaker Rev. Joseph Ellwanger, civil rights advocate who marched with Dr. King. The event will be held at the MLK Community Center in King Park.

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