Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day to Be Honored via Virtual Events

The California African American Museum and Big Sunday will both offer online festivities, including ways to remember, reflect, and give back.

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What to Know

  • CAAM's MLK Day Celebration is on Jan. 18 from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
  • Big Sunday's Block Party & Clothing Collection happens on Jan. 18 from 11 a.m. to noon
  • A Day of Service, hosted by L.A. Works, will encourage volunteers to serve their communities virtually or in-person, where possible

One of the most meaningful elements of Martin Luther King Jr. Day is the community heart part, the chance to join with neighbors from nearby, further on, and across Southern California in remembering the civil rights leader.

In past years, that community spirit has been seen at parades, festivals, volunteer days, art events, and a host of happenings that commemorated Dr. King in a host of moving, look-back ways.

So there's a true task of recreating that join-together joy during the pandemic, from afar, when in-person festivities are on hold.

And while we won't be gathering together in parks, concert halls, and museums on Monday, Jan. 18, we will be remembering the message and mission of Martin Luther King Jr. via a number of online or stay-close-to-home observances.

The California African American Museum is hosting MLK Day Celebration 2021 on Monday, Jan. 18. The "virtual festival" will shine a spotlight on "... MLK’s dedication to labor and workers' rights, and these movements’ continued importance today."

The event, which will bring a bounty of music, stories, and discussion talks to our screens from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., is free to join.

Big Sunday, the mondo, Melrose-based volunteer organization, always hosts a robust and well-attended Martin Luther King Jr. Day happening.

Keeping that tradition going in 2021? A Virtual MLK Day Block Party & Clothing Collection.

The hour-long event will include tunes, the chance to dance in your home space, and the "Something in Common" photo project. Interested in donating clothes to the drive or helping out in another way?

Find good information on this page.

L.A. Works has also put the focus on volunteering and giving back on the third Monday in January, and that will continue in 2021.

Continue in an updated way, of course.

Joining a virtual workshop, one that features "... expert speakers, volunteer events, and advocacy actions focusing on the impact of race on food insecurity, homelessness, and the criminal justice system," is just one choice.

And if the Santa Monica Symphony's annual MLK Holiday Concert has been a must-see tradition for you in past years, here's something full of hope: The company will still offer their stirring program in 2021, this time by livestream.

It's free to see, but be sure to register ahead of time for the Saturday, Jan. 16 presentation (it's at 2 o'clock). Pianist Bethany Campbell is the featured performer.

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