Several events took place across the city on Monday, Jan. 18 in celebration of Martin Luther King Day. From virtual commemorations to community service projects, King’s legacy was felt throughout the day.
Rev. Al Sharpton and the Washington, D.C. bureau of the National Action Network hosted its annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Awards virtually. Award recipients included Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the U.S. National Institutes of Health, voting rights activist Stacey Abrams and others. Later in the day, elected officials and civil rights leaders gathered at the House of Justice in Harlem for their Annual Martin Luther King Day Public Policy Forum.
One Hundred Black Men of New York (OHBM) hosted a special Martin Luther King Jr. Day Virtual Youth Conference for its Junior One Hundred program. In honor of the civil rights icon, the event brought together 75 young men ages 14 to 24 to meet and gain valuable insights on career development, service and manhood through discussions with distinguished Black leaders and service project design and development activities.
Community members led by Interfaith Justice Queens invited New Yorkers to participate in “Let Justice Flow Like Waters” on Monday at Court Square Courthouse in Long Island City, Queens. This interfaith vigil for peace and unity honored Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and provided resources for community service opportunities.
The People’s Organization for Progress in Newark led a march through downtown Newark on Saturday, Jan. 16 and participated in their weekly Justice Monday rally on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The events highlighted King’s encounters with police brutality and much of the violence that civil rights protesters faced in the South came at the hands of the police. The recent police killing of Carl Dorsey by an undercover Newark police officer was also spotlighted.
The Rev. Dr. Charles Boyer, founder and director of Salvation and Social Justice and pastor of Bethel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church in Woodbury, N.J., preached for the annual Multifaith Service honoring the legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King on Monday. The virtual service will also include faith leaders and music from a wide range of faith traditions.
State Sen. James Sanders Jr. and prominent national union leaders reflected on the legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his work to advance the labor movement in virtual events on Monday. The event entitled “MLK & the Labor Movement,” featured Randi Weingarten, president of the AFT, Stuart Appelbaum, president of the RWDSU, Dr. Michael Honey, a historian and author, Shaun D. Francois, president of Local 372, and Donald Nesbit, executive vice president of Local 372.
500 Black Men held their 11th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Community Breakfast at the Claremont Neighborhood Center in the Bronx on Monday. Members of 500 Black Men also participated in a 72-hour service project.
Dozens of tenants with Met Council Housing spent King Day sharing information with their neighbors about the recently-won statewide eviction moratorium. The action was a continuation of an ongoing campaign to end evictions, #CancelRent and house the homeless during the COVID-19 pandemic. Information was distributed in various locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn, The Bronx and Queens.
The Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. Eta Omega Omega Chapter in the Bronx hosted its annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service with a “Virtual Housewarming” raising funds for the residents of Maya’s Place, a homeless shelter for young women in the Bronx until Jan. 18. Donations were used to purchase sheets, blankets, towels, washcloths, undergarments and socks.