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Celebrating the legacy of Dr. King

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Monday marks the annual holiday named in honor of Dr. King and the principles of social justice, community service and compassion he embodied. In the words of his wife Coretta Scott King, it’s a day meant to remind us all what civic duty could and should mean.

The Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday celebrates the life and legacy of a man who brought hope and healing to America. We commemorate as well the timeless values he taught us through his example — the values of courage, truth, justice, compassion, dignity, humility and service that so radiantly defined Dr. King’s character and empowered his leadership. On this holiday, we commemorate the universal, unconditional love, forgiveness and nonviolence that empowered his revolutionary spirit.


To help with the commemoration and celebration, many organizations and venues throughout the city are offering special events and programming geared toward the King holiday. Here’s a quick rundown of a few recommendations with links to our full calendar and more detailed information for each:

Walker Theater Center
The day begins with a free breakfast next door at the Indianapolis Urban League, followed by the annual Freedom Walk. There will also be a screening of the Emmy-award winning film, “Come Walk in My Shoes,” the story of civil rights proponent Congressman John Lewis.

University of Indianapolis
Minnijean Brown Trickey, who helped to desegregate America’s public schools as a member of the famous “Little Rock Nine,” is the featured speaker for the 2011 Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration at the University of Indianapolis. Trickey's address is "Return to Little Rock: A Seminal Moment in American Education and Civil Rights."

Indiana History Center
Free admission, behind-the-scene tours of the History Center, programs featuring IHS staff and You Are There historic interpreters. The center will also host the Martin Luther King Community Center's Living the Legacy Awards. Performances of music, poetry, and dance will take place throughout the day.

Earth House Collective
Spend time doing good at Earth House. Volunteers are needed to help with improvements and winter maintenance projects. Email erinpolley@gmail.com if you can help out. In the evening, Earth House will screen the film "Traces of Trade: A Story of from the Deep North." A documentary following filmmaker Katrina Browne discovery that her New England ancestors were the largest slave-trading family in U.S. history. Stay for a live performance from iLL Holiday and Luke Austin Daugherty.

Children's Museum of Indianapolis
Special exhibits and hands-on activities; performances from the Griot Drum Ensemble and the Broad Ripple High School Dance Ensemble. Free admission 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

White River State Park
Visitors to White River State Park attractions will receive free admission and parking with the donation of a canned good (one can per person per attraction) for Gleaners Food Bank. Activities will take place throughout the day at WRSP's six major attractions: the Eiteljorg, IMAX Theater, Indiana State Museum, Indianapolis Zoo, NCAA Hall of Champions.



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