By Valley’s Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Committee
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is Monday, Jan. 17. On this day we recognize not only one of the greatest figures in our nation’s history, but also members of our own community. No reform, no progress and certainly no joy has come from attempting to get through difficulties alone. We look up to the change Martin Luther King Jr. led with his unifying spirit and bringing together community, because with community remarkable things happen.
Let us make a commitment to do more than posting a quote or celebrating through music and poetry. Instead, let us continue to have brave conversations, put our words into actions, and unify to make change. Especially during uncertain and trying times, if each of us accepts our role in caring for our community like family, we will advance equality and dismantle disparities.
Although we cannot all gather in the same room, we have a list of virtual/hybrid events you can attend to honor Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.
- Jan. 16 – In celebration of the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Bainbridge Island Museum of Art presents a Zoom Webinar for the community, following by an in-person march and rally in Winslow. Event details.
- Jan. 17 – The Northwest African American Museum is hosting a hybrid King Day. Expect a virtual afternoon program, featuring poet Nikki Giovanni coupled with an in-person, off site pop-up that includes a Knowledge is Power Book Giveaway for kids. Event details.
- Jan. 3-18 – Reflect on the words of Dr. Martin Luther King at Lake Sammamish State Park, where families will find some of King’s most inspiring quotes along the path between Tibbets and Sunset Beach. Event details.
- Jan. 18-19 – Black History 101 Mobile Museum exhibit on Jan. 18 at North Seattle College and on Jan. 19 at University of Washington, Tacoma, includes artifacts from the transatlantic slave trade through the Black Power and Black Arts movements to show how hip hop has drawn inspiration from the past to create a distinct cultural contribution that has a global impact on popular culture.
- Jan. 19 – Advancing Racial Equity: A Conversation with Clint Smith is an evening of virtual conversation about advancing racial equity in our community. Clint Smith is an educator, poet and New York Times bestselling author of the narrative nonfiction book, How the Word is Passed: A Reckoning With the History of Slavery Across America. Smith will be in conversation with local experts specializing in African American history in our region. Tickets are available online.
- Seattle MLK Coalition is putting together virtual workshops, volunteering opportunities and youth Events. Event calendar.
Martin Luther King Jr. Civil Rights Memorial Park is designed around a black granite “mountain.” The dramatic, 30-foot sculpture was inspired by the civil rights leader’s “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” speech, made the day before he was assassinated in 1968. The park is located at 2200 MLK Way S, Seattle. In Fall 2018, the park name was modified to include the words “Civil Rights” to honor the work of community leaders and organizations in Seattle who work on issues of social justice, and to celebrate the contributions of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and other civil rights leaders.
BlackPast.org is an online reference center that might be considered the “Google” of African American history. The site contains with a wealth of materials on African American history, including an online encyclopedia of over 4,000 entries, including the complete transcript of more than 300 speeches by African Americans and others of African ancestry and so much more.