NEW ORLEANS — Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was born January 15, 1929 in Atlanta, Georgia.
He was a Baptist Minister, activist and Civil Rights Leader, whose mission was to bring awareness to racism, end racial discrimination and bring unity to all races across the country.
Dr. King's "I Have a Dream" speech in 1963, brought out about 250,000 people to listen to what is described as a call for equality and freedom.
“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed — we hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal,” Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. " I Have a Dream".
He fought for equality and racial justice up until his assassination on April 4, 1968.
To honor his memory, MLK Day is seen as a day of service where individuals and groups come together to better their community by engaging in community service activities. But many MLK Day events have been canceled or altered to follow COVID restrictions.
Here is a list of events to commemorate MLK Day:
- New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA)- Join us in person and online to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by immersing yourself in art and culture. NOMA will be offering FREE admission on Monday, January 18, from 10 am to 3 pm.
- Action New Orleans- Celebrate the memory of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by participating in the Mayor's Office MLK Day Neighborhood Cleanup. Get together with only the other members of your household. Grab a mask, gloves, and a trash bag. Take pictures before and after your cleanup and post them on social media, tagging @mayorcantrell and #MLKDayNOLA21.
- Ogden Museum of Southern Art and New Orleans Public Library- In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s life and legacy, Ogden Museum of Southern Art presents its annual FREE Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration on Monday, Jan. 18 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Join them at Ogden Museum or at home as we use art to imagine a world without racism!
- Alpha Kappa Alpha: The sorority's New Orleans area chapter will hold a virtual remembrance, including an appearance by former Mayor Marc Morial, now president and CEO of the National Urban League. The event will be streamed live Monday at 10 a.m. on the sorority's Facebook page. The sorority is also holding a children's book drive Monday from noon until 2 p.m. at PJ's Coffee at 5733 Read Blvd.
- City Year Day of Service: More than 300 Volunteers to Provide MLK Day of Service. With COVID restrictions, individual efforts will show a strong committed community. City Year has put together volunteer bags that include gloves, masks, a list of areas for cleanup, coupons for six different local restaurants, and social media instructions so people can share their successes.
- Contemporary Arts Center: In-person and virtual expressions to commemorate the struggle for civil rights will make up "Dreaming While Awake," hosted by the Contemporary Arts Center throughout the weekend.
- New Orleans City Council member Cyndi Nguyen: Cleanups throughout New Orleans East and the Lower 9th Ward are planned.
- City government will host an outdoor observation at Rev. Peter Atkins Park on Monday from noon to 4 p.m. Monday. Instead, the city is billing the event as a Fun Day that will include a modified outdoor program, an art display, live music, games, light refreshments and a poster and essay contest. Masks and social distancing guidelines will be in place.
- MLK Festival has been postponed.
- The typical march in south Kenner, a tradition for 36 years, was called off due to the pandemic. Instead, there will be a virtual event on City Hall's Facebook page.
- Monday’s holiday will be observed with a noon wreath-laying ceremony at the memorial to officer Earl Alfred at the Police Department at 2112 Sgt. Alfred Drive. Slidell's first Black police officer, Alfred was killed in the line of duty in 1975. An outdoor gathering will follow at Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church, 2445 Fourth St. from 1 to 2 p.m.