ATLANTA, GA — As the city that Martin Luther King Jr. called home, it is only fitting that Atlanta has a full slate of activities scheduled to observe his legacy on Monday.
This year, 2018, is the 50th anniversary of King’s shooting death on April 4, 1968. Monday would have been King’s 89th birthday.
From prayer services to road races to marches, there will be plenty going on in Atlanta to observe the day. The King family will be present for services and events at the King Center, as will state and local political leaders.
Here’s a look at some MLK Jr. Day events in Atlanta for 2018.
Sunday, Jan. 14
MLK Race For The Dream (Marathon, Half-Marathon, 20-Mile Bike Ride)
Starting Sunday at 6:30 a.m., the races are sponsored by the Martin Luther King Jr. Drive Merchants Association. They start at Booker T. Washington High School, at 45 Whitehouse Dr. All participants will receive a finisher’s medal and there will be a Finish Line Festival after the races are done.
Monday, Jan. 15
At King’s church, Ebenezer Baptist, the service runs from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Speakers will include Bernice A. King, Pastor David Yonggi Cho, Deborah A. Bartlett, Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms. The church is ast 101 Jackson St. NE.
Starting at 2 p.m. at Auburn Avenue and Peachtree Street, the march is free and open to the public. The rally will be held on Auburn Avenue and focus on issued including education, transportation, housing and environmental justice.
From 10 a.m.-2 p.m., the conference will be held at the IBEW Auditorium at 501 Pulliam St. James Edward Orange, who was one of King’s first field staff members, founded the March Committee. Each year, he hosts the conference to mobilize young leaders. It is free, but registration by email is required.
From 11 a.m.-2 p.m., the children’s museum will host a special readers’ theater program highlighting leaders of the civil rights movement, many of whom marched alongside Dr. King. At noon, speaker Jerry G. White will recite King’s “I Have A Dream” speech, which has become an annual tradition at the children’s museum.
The center’s free program includes a screening of the film “A Trek to the Water’s Edge,” a documentary of the Atlanta student movement of the 1960s. There also will be an interactive theater experience simulating the experience of Freedom Riders during the era (parental guidance is advised). The center is at 130 West Paces Ferry Rd.
At Piedmont Park, music begins at 8 a.m. and the run begins at 8:45 a.m. The Peachtree Road Race qualifier is also a fundraiser for community programs. The post-race party will feature music and other entertainment focused on King’s legacy.
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