Local communities plan MLK Day observances

Hundreds of people gathered in Dayton on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day 2019 to march in celebration of the civil rights leader. Marchers started near The Charles Drew Health Center on West Third Street and ended at the Dayton Convention Center.

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Hundreds of people gathered in Dayton on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day 2019 to march in celebration of the civil rights leader. Marchers started near The Charles Drew Health Center on West Third Street and ended at the Dayton Convention Center.

The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday will be observed on Jan. 17. The anniversary of the slain civil rights leader’s 93rd birthday is Jan. 15. Here is a roundup of area events scheduled to honor King.

Jan 16-22

Martin’s Dream: A free, virtual program

A special Martin Luther King Jr. presentation through the Dayton Metro Library is for all ages. “Martin’s Dream: Virtual Theatre Production” explores the historical figure’s life from his childhood to the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. It is presented by The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati. Creator Deondra Kamau Means also performs as King.

“Martin’s Dream” will be available for viewing any time throughout the week of Sunday, Jan. 16 – Saturday, Jan. 22 and can be watched on a computer, tablet, or smartphone and just requires internet access. To watch the virtual performance, visit The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati website at thechildrenstheatre.com/martins-dream-pick-a-path/ and use the access code: TCTHT220116. It will only be available the week of MLK Day.

For more information about this program, visit DaytonMetroLibrary.org/Programs or call the Ask Me Line at 937-463-2665.

Jan. 17

DPL holds MLK Day of Service to benefit homeless students

Dayton Public Schools is holding a drive-thru donation drive from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday, Jan. 17, at David H. Ponitz Career Tech Center, 741 Washington St.

Community members are invited to donate hygiene items.

The district will be collecting new/unopened masks, hand sanitizer, toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant, combs, hairbrushes, lotion, wash cloths, feminine hygiene products and backpacks. Those who wish to donate can drive into the parking area in front of the school to give their donations to a volunteer.

The program benefits students from the McKinney-Vento Program, which ensures that all homeless children have equal access to education.

MLK Memorial March

MLK Dayton Inc. presents the annual MLK Memorial March on Monday, Jan. 17. Participants should assemble at 9:30 a.m. at 1323 W. Third St., Dayton (near Drew Health Center). The march will end at the campus of Sinclair College and will be followed by a short program outside. Free.

Masks should be worn during the march. Social distancing is also encouraged, along with following the guidelines of the CDC COVID-19 guidelines.

“MLK Dayton Inc., is a multi-racial, multi-ethnic organization. Its mission is to inspire citizens to act on the vision of social justice created by the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the clergyman, activist and prominent leader of the Civil Rights Movement who received the Nobel Peace prize for his efforts to end racial discrimination,” according to the organization’s mission statement.

For more information, visit https://www.mlkdaytoninc.org/.

3rd Annual MLK Unity Walk & Day of Service

The Huber Heights Culture and Diversity Citizen Action Commission are sponsoring the third annual Martin Luther King Unity Walk & Day of Service on Monday. The walk begins at 10 a.m. at North Heights Plaza, 8280 Old Troy Pike. Participants should arrive by 9:30 a.m. The walk ends at New Season Ministry, 5711 Shull Road, Huber Heights, where a commemorative program will be held at 11 a.m. Masks are required and social distancing guidelines will be followed.

The service day includes a food drive. Participants are asked to bring a non-perishable food item to donate.

For more information, visit www.hhoh.org.

Dayton NAACP’s 2nd annual virtual MLK Jr. Day celebration

The Dayton Unit of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People will host its second annual virtual Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration.

The event is from 5 to 7 p.m. via Zoom for the participants and will be broadcast life on the Dayton NAACP Facebook page.

Actor Curtiss Cook, a Dayton native, will deliver the keynote address for the event that has the theme “Shining Lights on Voting Rights.”

There also will be a host of speakers, including Dayton Mayor Jeffrey Mims Jr., Montgomery County Commission President Carolyn Rice, State Rep. Willis Blackshear Jr., U.S. Rep Mike Turner, R-Dayton, U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Niles, and U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Mansfield.

WSU MLK Day celebration

Wright State University’s Annual MLK Day celebration is scheduled for 7 - 9 p.m. Monday. It will feature the Rev. Renard Allen, pastor of Dayton’s St. Luke Missionary Baptist Church. He will deliver the keynote address virtually. WSU student leaders DeShawn Mumford, president of the Black Student Union, and Jonathan Ciero, president of the Student Government Association, will offer personal reflections of King’s legacy.

For more information, contact Quatez Scott, Bolinga Black Cultural Resources Center, at quatez.scott@wright.edu or 937-775-5645.

Cancellation/Postponement

Centerville-Washington Diversity Council MLK Breakfast postponed

The 2022 MLK breakfast hosted by the Centerville-Washington Diversity Council has been postponed due to the spread of COVID-19.

Details will be provided later as organizers rework the event for later this year. Check the group’s Facebook page or website cwtdiversity.org for the latest updates.

Springfield cancels MLK luncheon

The city of Springfield announced its annual Martin Luther King Jr. Luncheon is canceled due to the rise in COVID-19 cases in Springfield and Clark County.

The city said that the Community Development Department staff and the MLK luncheon committee members are planning and organizing alternate ways to celebrate local peacemakers, businesses and nonprofits that embody the spirit of Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream.

Information on alternate efforts will be posted to the city’s Facebook page, the city said.