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UPDATED: Things to do on MLK Weekend

Martin Luther King Day is celebrated annually on the third Monday in January. Martin Luther King Jr. was born Jan. 15, 1929, in Atlanta. Below is a calendar of local MLK observances for this week:

Jan. 11-15 – Volunteer Memphis MLK Days of Service. Volunteer Memphis is hosting its annual initiative of in-person and virtual volunteer opportunities. This year’s theme is: Get Involved in MLK Days of Service, and Care Like King!   

The event kicks off on Thursday, Jan. 11, and offers five community focus events, including Youth and Education Day on Friday, Jan. 12; Health and Wellness Day on Saturday, Jan. 13; Service Sunday on Jan. 14; and Community Cleanup Day on Monday, Jan. 15. Reggie Crenshaw is the president of Volunteer Memphis. For more details, visit volunteermemphis.org.

Jan. 13 — Volunteer Memphis: MLK Health + Wellness Day
This weekend as part of Volunteer Memphis’ 2024 MLK Days of Service, The Sleeves Up MLK Family Health and Wellness Day will be conducted at two locations:

  • The Orange Mound Community Center at 2572 Park Ave.
  • Hollywood Community Center at 1560 N. Hollywood Street.

Stop by for free COVID-19 and flu vaccines along with free food from the Mid-South Food Bank. Plus, the Bare Needs Diaper Bank is providing free diapers and baby items for give away. Other health information, games and a DJ will be on site from 10 a.m. to noon at the Orange Mound Community Center and from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Hollywood Community Center.

Jan. 13 — Wolf River Conservancy Restoration Series
During the Wolf River Conservancy Restoration Series event, volunteers can help clean up the Raleigh portion of the Wolf River Greenway.

Participants will help extend the trail, clear trash and debris and remove intrusive plants among other projects. The cleanup location site is 2630 Epping Way Drive.
The event will be held from 10 a.m. to noon. Click this link to register.

Memphis City Beautiful cleanups
As part of Memphis City Beautiful’s community cleanups, volunteers can pick up litter at specific locations. All tools and cleanup supplies will be provided by Memphis City Beautiful. Participants should bring their own water and wear clothing suitable for winter weather. Below is a list of five cleanup locations and times:

  • Cordova community cleanup (Saturday, Jan. 13)
    The meeting location will be 1050 N. Germantown Parkway in Cordova at the shopping center parking lot. The event will be held from 9 to 11 a.m.
  • Smokey City/New Chicago community cleanup (Saturday, Jan. 13)
    The meeting location is the Dave Wells Community Center at 915 Chelsea Ave. The event will be held from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. For more information, email davidm.burgess@memphistn.gov.
  • Glenview/Edgewood Manor community cleanup (Saturday, Jan. 13) 
    The meeting location site is the Glenview Community Center parking lot at 1141 S. Barksdale St. The event will be from 9 a. m. to noon). For more information, email Crystal Carpenter — crystalmcarpenter5@gmail.com.
  • Gooch Park cleanup (Saturday, Jan. 13)
    The event is from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Gooch Park, 1974 Hunter Ave. For more information, email JoAnn Street — mommadear1@yahoo.com.
  • Riverside community cleanup (Monday, Jan. 15, 10am-1pm)
    The event is from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 1606 Kansas St. at the former House of Prayer Church. For more information, email Tim Netter — tnetter357@gmail.com.

Jan. 14 – Crosstown Theater – Freedom Celebration Concert.1350 Concourse Ave., Memphis, TN 38104.  (2:30 to 4 p.m.) Part of the Mahogany Chamber Music Series, organized by Dr. Artina McCain, this event spotlights underrepresented composers and performers. Doors open at 2 p.m. Admission: Adults – $20, Students – $5.

Interested in donating? Click this image.


Monday, Jan. 15 from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. we will be doing a large blood drive in front of the National Civil Rights Museum. We’ve been doing blood drives and opening our donor centers for MLK Spirit of Service Blood Drive since DEC 15th. Donors receive their choice of an MLK Spirit of Service t-shirt, or a “Front-of-the-line-pass” for 2 to the NCRM – while supplies last. To donate blood, or to encourage others to donate blood please visit Vitalant.org or have them call 877-25-VITAL. Or, sign up here.

Jan. 15 – National Civil Rights Museum – Free Admission. 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Downtown Memphis. The MLK Birthday Celebration includes a stage on the museum plaza featuring live music with the Overton High School choir and singer Gerald Richardson. The museum is located at 450 Mulberry St. Regular museum hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Jan. 15 – Online Resources. Attention Parents: While school is out, you can help your kids observe Martin Luther King Day and Dr. King’s involvement in the Civil Rights Movement with free online resources. Visit https://education.com/resources/black-history-month. Resources include a library of games, worksheets, and more, categorized by grade level.

Jan. 15 – Race for Reconciliation. The third annual Race for Reconciliation continues to highlight the “dream of unity” for Memphis. The starting place is the Halloran Centre at the Orpheum, 225 S. Main St. Indoor and outdoor activities begin at 9:30 a.m., while the 5K run and a 1-mile walk start at 11 a.m. The event showcases “that the dream of unity is alive in Memphis” and involves people from all walks of life.

Jan. 15 – 21st Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration Game. Featuring the Memphis Grizzlies vs. the Golden State Warriors, 5 p.m. at FedEx Forum. Sponsors include the Memphis Grizzlies, the National Civil Rights Museum, the City of Memphis, and Shelby County Government.

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