MLK in Raleigh + MLK Day events

MLK statue dedication in Raleigh

Dedication of Raleigh’s MLK Jr. statue | Photo by The Triangle Martin Luther King Jr. Committee

Table of Contents

Martin Luther King Jr. Day is on Monday — we’re remembering his presence in the City of Oaks and highlighting what you can do to honor his life and legacy.

How is Dr. King connected to NC + the Triangle?

  • King’s first visit to Raleigh was in April 1960 to support the Students Nonviolent Coordinating Committee at Shaw University.
  • The NC Dept. of Natural and Cultural Resources found evidence that Dr. King delivered an early version of the famous “I Have A Dream” speech at a school gymnasium in Rocky Mount (~55 mins from Raleigh) on Nov. 27, 1962.
  • King spoke to an integrated audience of ~5,000 at Reynolds Coliseum in Raleigh on July 31, 1966. Read about his visit here.

Does the city have a dedication to Dr. King?

  • Yes — Raleigh is home to the first public park in the US solely devoted to Dr. King and the civil rights movement. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Gardens is located at 1215 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd. DYK: The park houses a life-size sculpture of Dr. King + more civil rights public art.

What can I do to celebrate on Monday?

  • MLK Jr. Interfaith Prayer Breakfast | Mon., Jan 17 | 7-9 a.m. | Virtual | Free | Join keynote speaker Bishop Vashti Murphy McKenzie to celebrate MLK Jr. + the civil rights movement in Raleigh.
  • MLK Memorial March | Mon., Jan 17 | 11 a.m. | State Capitol Building, Edenton Street Side | Free | Masks are recommended by event organizers
  • MLK Jr. Noon Observance | Mon., Jan 17 | 12 p.m. | Virtual | Free | Tune in to the MLK Committee’s YouTube page for the “Beloved Community Here and Now” panel discussion.
  • Evening Musical Celebration | Mon., Jan. 17 | 5:30 p.m. | Virtual | Listen to John Clark, Melissa Wade, and Jerry Smith close out the day with a celebration of MLK through music.
  • King Day: A Celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Birthday | Mon., Jan 17 | 12-3 p.m. | John Chavis Memorial Park | Celebrate MLK with arts and crafts for children, an outdoor civil rights scavenger hunt + local food trucks.
  • MLK Dreamfest Day of Service | Mon., Jan 17 | 1-3 p.m. | Good Hope Farm, 1580 Morrisville Carpenter Rd., Cary | Free | Volunteer in an effort to increase food security in the region.
  • Northern Orange Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration | Mon., Jan 17 | 9 a.m. | Efland Cheeks Elementary School, 4401 Fuller Rd., Efland | Free | Enjoy the car parade themed “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere” + listen to the keynote speaker and review of youth service projects.
  • United Way of Greater Triangle Day of Service | Mon., Jan 17 | 10 a.m.-1 p.m. | Diaper Bank of NC, 1311 E. Club Blvd, Durham | Stop by throughout the day to donate essential goods to the Diaper Bank of NC, Equity Before Birth, and MAAME.
  • Reserve a space at Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Gardens + tour the public art highlighting Raleigh’s importance in the Civil Rights Movement.

Know of any other events or interesting facts surrounding MLK in the Triangle? Share them with us.

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