7 ways to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day 2024 in metro Phoenix | Phoenix New Times


7 ways to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day 2024 in metro Phoenix

Parades, lectures and music are on the agenda to honor the late Dr. King.
See the work of photographer Dan Budnik in "Honoring Martin Luther King," an exhibition in Gilbert.
See the work of photographer Dan Budnik in "Honoring Martin Luther King," an exhibition in Gilbert. Dan Budnik
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In honor of the civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr, his birthday will be celebrated as a federal holiday on Monday. King was assassinated at the age of 39 by James Earl Ray in 1968 in Memphis, Tenn. King, who was also a Baptist minister, led marches, gave speeches and promoted nonviolent protests to equalize American civil rights, especially for people of color.

Reverand King’s dedication helped pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The Phoenix Metro area will celebrate the life and work of the iconic civil rights leader in different events throughout the region. Here are some that may be of interest.

'The Legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.'

Sunday, Jan. 14
Pinnacle Presbyterian Church, 25150 N. Pima Road, Scottsdale
The Pinnacle Concert Series continues with a free performance in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Attendees can listen to the music from King's era and beyond, and join in singing his favorite hymns. Pinnacle musicians will collaborate with special guests to deliver a powerful concert with transformative music and inspiring readings. The concert begins at 3 p.m. Donations are appreciated.

Arizona Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Committee

Monday, Jan. 15
Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church, 1401 E. Jefferson St.
One of the largest MLK Day events in the Valley begins at 8:15 a.m. at Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church, when an interfaith commemorative program will be held. At 9, participants will walk from the church to Margaret T. Hance Park, 1201 N. Third St., where a festival will take place from 10 a.m to 4 p.m. with a health fair, vendors, live entertainment and food.

The evening before, at 6 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 14, Pilgrim Rest will host a candlelight church service in honor of King and civil rights.

Mesa-East Valley Martin Luther King Jr. Parade and Festival

Monday, Jan. 15
Downtown Mesa
The Valley’s only MLK Day parade will begin at 11 a.m. on Jan. 15 at the intersection of MLK Way and Center Street. Marching bands, dance troupes, the Buffalo Soldiers, schools, local organizations, community leaders, neighboring towns, elected officials and other will participate in the event, which is presented by Amazon. From noon to 4 p.m., a free community festival will take place at The Plaza at Mesa City Center, 56 E. Main St., Mesa. The festival will offer food and drink for sale, vendors, entertainment and a kids’ zone with activities, games and crafts. Nearby museums the Arizona Museum of Natural History and the i.d.e.a. Museum will offer half-price admission that day. Visit the event website for full details

MLK March on West

Wednesday, Jan. 17
ASU West, Kiva Courtyard, 4701 W. Thunderbird Road, Glendale
The 33rd annual MLK March on West at Arizona State University’s West Campus is for members of the ASU community as well as the general public. Attendees will hear educational presentations about the history of the civil rights movement, a musical program and an inspirational rendition of the “I Have a Dream” speech by ASU faculty member Charles St. Clair. The free event takes place from 9 a.m. to noon.

‘Two Models of Patriotism: Frederick Douglass and Martin Luther King Jr.’

Wednesday, Jan. 17
ASU Main Campus, Carson Ballroom, Old Main, 400 E. Tyler Mall, Tempe
ASU’s School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership holds an annual lecture in honor of MLK Day. This year, Dr. Lucas Morel of Washington and Lee University will contrast the civil rights activism and political thought of Martin Luther King, Jr., and Frederick Douglass, highlighting important agreements and disagreements between them in order to glean lessons for 21st-century America. The lecture runs 5 to 7 p.m., and there’s no cost to attend, but RSVPs are required.

‘Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: Going Beyond “I Have a Dream”’

Tuesday, Jan. 23
Tempe History Museum, 809 E. Southern Ave., Tempe

In the next installment of the city of Tempe’s Community Chats, attendees will learn about some of the most pivotal years in the life of Martin Luther King, Jr., 1965 to 1968, including his stand against the war in Vietnam. There is no cost to attend, and the event starts at 6 p.m. in the museum’s community room.

'Honoring Martin Luther King'

Through Feb. 10
Gilbert Historical Museum, 10 S. Gilbert Road, Gilbert
Celebrate the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. far beyond Jan 15 by taking a trip to the Gilbert Historical Museum to see an exhibition featuring a selection of photographs by Dan Budnik and Susan Berger. In "Honoring Martin Luther King," Budnik’s photos document King’s time during the Selma-Montgomery march on Washington, D.C. Berger’s photo series was taken from her book “Life and Soul – American Streets Honoring Martin Luther King,” a pictorial documentation of cities across America with streets named in honor of the beloved civil rights activist. The exhibition is presented by the Art Intersection gallery and is showing at the museum. The exhibition will be on display through Feb. 10. Cost is $6 adults, $5 seniors 60 and up, and $3 for children ages 5 to 12.
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