MLK Day Events and Volunteer Opportunities (In-Person and Virtual)

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day is this Monday, January 17, and many events celebrating his legacy have been scheduled around the city, virtually and in person. Here is a list of some events and volunteer opportunities happening in West and Southwest Philadelphia and online. To explore other MLK Day volunteer opportunities in Philadelphia, click here.

Thursday January 13 and Friday January 14:

Sam Pollard Film Screenings – Virtual Event

Scribe Video Center is hosting an online screening of two films by acclaimed filmmaker Sam Pollard. On Thursday January 13 at 7:00 p.m., join Scribe for a presentation of MLK/FBI, and on Friday January 14 at 7:00 p.m. there will be a presentation of Two trains in motion, followed by a conversation with Sam Pollard. The screenings and the conversation will be presented via the Crowdcast platform. Click here for more information and to register.

From Thursday 17 January to Friday 28 January

University of Pennsylvania hosts the annual meeting Memorial Symposium on Social Change. The symposium offers an array of events, service opportunities, and lectures. This year’s events will take place virtually and in person. For more information, visit this page.

Monday January 17

People’s emergency center (PEC) invites community members to a celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the MLK Jr. Memorial (40th and Lancaster Ave.). The event will include live music, food giveaways, giveaways and more. The location is the site of Dr. King’s “Freedom Now” tour speech on August 3, 1965, with a crowd of 10,000 in attendance. Kenny Sykes of Philadelphia will kick off the event with live music until noon. The gifts include food, school supplies, winter accessories and toys. Additionally, free COVID testing will be available from the PENN Medicine mobile team until 1 p.m.

At noon, Redeemer Tabernacle Baptist Church and 16th Police District will briefly stop at the memorial site during their annual Martin Luther King Day Freedom Now Peace Unity March. There will be a ceremony honoring Dr. King, Jr. until 1:30 p.m., when the procession will continue to the Lucien E. Blackwell Community Center for further festivities.

• To rejoin Bartram’s Garden (54th & Lindbergh Blvd.) for volunteer opportunities in Southwest Philadelphia. Volunteers will meet at 9:30 a.m. at the Visitor Center and help staff pick up litter in the garden and sanitize plant pots in the greenhouse in preparation for spring. At 11:30 a.m., join Bartram’s for community programming with Misty Sol. Additionally, Dr. King’s speeches will be screened in the Coach House. For more information and to register, click here (volunteers must register to participate).

• To honor the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the University of Sciences (USciences) organizes several virtual activities dedicated to improving the community, empowering individuals and removing barriers. Programming begins at 11:30 a.m. Go here for more information.

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