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Honor Martin Luther King Jr., In-Person and Virtually

A few events remembering the civil rights leader are moving online, while volunteer events are happening around town.

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What to Know

  • Monday, Jan. 17 is Martin Luther King Jr. Day 2022
  • The 2022 Kingdom Day Parade was canceled, while the Long Beach Martin Luther King Jr. Parade and Celebration has been postponed
  • You can find volunteer opportunities around the region; Big Sunday will have an in-person outdoor clothing collection and community breakfast on Melrose Avenue (rain may impact in-person events; check ahead)

Remembering the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., for many people, is all about gathering with neighbors, finding a spot to enjoy a parade, joining a class focusing on the civil rights leader's inspiring story, or signing up to volunteer in the community.

Much like in 2021, a number of events honoring the memory of Dr. King have been canceled or postponed, with pandemic considerations in mind, while a few others will proceed, either online or in an outdoor setting.

The Kingdom Day Parade, which has been a centerpiece celebration in Southern California for decades, has been canceled.

You can see the 2021 celebration on the Kingdom Day Parade site, and learn more about this august annual observation, its moving themes ("Healing America" is the current meditation), and much more on this site.

Like the Kingdom Day Parade, the Martin Luther King Jr. Parade and Celebration in Long Beach has long been one of our region's most central commemorations of the day.

While it hasn't been fully canceled, the 2022 event, originally scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 15, has been postponed. Watch this site for more information about the rescheduled celebration.

The California African American Museum's King Day 2022 will be virtual on Jan. 17.

The two-hour event will include "a virtual community reading and discussion about King's 1967 speech, 'A Christmas Sermon on Peace,' and a performance by the Inner City Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles.

Many Day of Service events will take place on Jan. 17. You can sign up here and see what volunteer opportunities are located near you.

A number of local organizations take the day to improve the lives of others, help better the community in myriad ways, and pitch in on a host of projects, from cleaning trails to painting park facilities. (Note that rain on Jan. 17 may impact in-person events.)

Checking with your community center, church, senior center, or the give-back groups you support, all to see what they might need (from in-person help to donations), is a great idea.

Big Sunday will host an in-person MLK Day Block Party, clothing collection, and community breakfast on Monday, Jan. 17 at its Melrose Avenue headquarters.

Volunteers at the outdoor event will sort clothes and assemble clothing kits, while craft-making, music, and a spirit of togetherness will add joy and hope to the happening.

If you can't attend, you can donate new clothing or sponsor a clothing bag; find out how right here.

And if you're seeking a day of quiet, reflection, and time with nature, Martin Luther King Jr. Day is the first of the National Park Service's five fee-free days for 2022.

That means those national parks that charge admission, including Yosemite National Park and Pinnacles National Park, will waive those fees on Monday, Jan. 17.

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