It was 26 years ago that Martin Luther King, Jr. Day was first recognized nationally as a federal holiday. Since the initial recognition of this once controversial holiday, the nation has made several strides towards the equality that King strived for. And with the unveiling of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial as the first memorial to an African-American in Washington D.C. last year, the nation is still paying tribute to King.
By getting a day off in memory of an icon, children, adults and the elderly alike are all given a chance to celebrate all that King accomplished during his lifetime. If you decide to pay homage to the Atlanta native this year, here are several activities that you can attend with family, friends or just on your own.
Kingian Nonviolence Collegiate Leadership Orientation (January 11)
The Kingian Nonviolence Collegiate Leadership Orientation is organized by the Martin Luther King , Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change and is geared specifically towards college students in the metropolitan area. The event is meant to reach out to students in order to share King’s message of nonviolent social change to equip those that want a social change in today’s society. The “Kingian” orientation is open to the public, free of charge and requires participants to pre-register online. The form can be found by going to http://www.thekingcenter.org/kingian-nonviolence-collegiate-leadership-orientation/.
The King Center – 9 a.m. to 4p.m.
A King Celebration Concert 20th Anniversary (January 12)
For those interested in the arts, this event would most likely be the most appealing to you. World-renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma will be performing in Atlanta as part of an annual orchestral tribute to King, which has been performed at Morehouse College for the past 20 years. However, for the first time, the concert will be at Atlanta Symphony Hall. Tickets can be purchased at http://www.atlantasymphony.org.
Woodruff Arts Center, Atlanta Symphony Hall – 8p.m.
Job Readiness Symposium (January 13)
The Job Readiness Symposium gives students that haven’t had much luck finding a job to network with businesses and organizations around Atlanta through various workshops throughout the day. This event is also under the umbrella of the MLK Center for Nonviolent Social Change and is intended to help get participants ready for potential interviews through workshops focused on financial literacy, job readiness training and business and workplace behaviors. All of the workshops in the symposium are free and open to the public.
The King Historic District – M.L. King, Jr. Gymnasium – 11a.m. to 4p.m.
King Week at Emory (January 15 – 24)
Emory University holds an annual series of events in honor of King that all take place throughout a single week. Events during the week allow for people to participate in volunteer work, attend discussions and attend religious services with the university. The majority of events are open to the public, but in order to take part in the community service activities, individuals are asked to register online beforehand. A full list of the events listed as part of King Week at Emory can be seen by going to the website http://www.emory.edu/MLK/.
17th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service (January 16)
Hands on Atlanta and the MLK Center for Nonviolent Social Change collaborated this year for the day of service. This event has a variety of volunteer opportunities with local elementary schools and organizations around Atlanta. And to top it all off, volunteers that helped people in lower income settings as part of Hands on Atlanta’s Civic Leadership Program will be recognized as part of their first inauguration. A full list of the events and times that are a part of the day of service can be seen on the Hands on Atlanta website http://www.handsonatlanta.org.
Published January 10, 2012 in The Signal: “MLK DAY 2012”