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Celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. : From Selma to Minneapolis – The Struggle Continues: 2021 MLK Community & Virtual Events

A celebration and look back at the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the plight of Black people during the Civil Rights Movement. The question remains, has the dream been fulfilled?

Valencia College Events

COVID-19 may have temporarily and physically closed our Valencia College campuses, but we continue in our recognition and celebration of the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  Join us for our virtual college and community events.  

January 18 and 23, 2021:  Parramore Room Virtual Tour, 8AM - 5PM

A collaboration by UCF, Valencia College, Local Parramore Residents and Business Owners.  Celebrating Dr. King’s commitment to working within the community, take a virtual tour of the Parramore Room at the UCF Valencia Downtown Campus highlighting the recently installed artwork created by artist Nancy Gutkin O’Neil. The artwork, which honors the rich history and heritage of Parramore, was produced in partnership with Parramore residents, business owners, as well as UCF and Valencia.

January 19, 2021: Dr.  Martin Luther King, Jr.: Man, Myth & Message, 6PM - 7:30PM

Join the Valencia African Heritage Committee celebrates Dr. King's ongoing legacy and works through a virtual ZOOM discussion that will be held from 6:00-PM - 7:30PM.  In celebration of the King Holiday, we will have a panel discussion surrounding portrayals of Dr. King in film, theatre and television. To join this virtual Zoom event, Click Here.

January 20, 2021:  Presidential Inauguration

The inauguration of the President of the United States is a ceremony to mark the commencement of a new four-year term of the President of the United States. The inauguration takes place for each new presidential term, even if the president is continuing in office for a second term.  Tune into your favorite channel to watch history in the making with the inauguration of the 46th President of the United States of America, Joseph Biden, and our first Black and first woman Vice President, Senator Kamala Harris.

January 21, 2021:  The Actively Engaged Community, 11AM - 12:30PM

Civic Engagement, the act of improving your community by addressing social issues, was a foundational element to the work of Dr. King. Join UCF, Valencia College, and FAMU Law School in a critical discussion about the value of being an active citizen working in the community. Learn why and how you can continue the legacy of Dr. King in your community today. Click Here to join the event.

Community Events

There are many events leading up to the nationally observed day celebrating the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  You can find more events at the Mayor's Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission Event that will take place throughout the month of January 2021.

January 11, 2021:    Orlando Magic vs Milwaukee Bucks

The MLK Youth Humanitarian award winners will be recognized during half time at the Orlando Magic vs. Milwaukee Bucks game.  The award winners are Orange County middle and high students selected by school officials for exemplifying the ideals embraced by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. There is a cost for this event.

January 13, 2021:  Unspoken Heroes: Black and Brown LGBTQ Civil Rights Figures

Join the One Orlando Alliance and The Bros in Convo Initiative for a video montage and dialogue celebrating Black and Brown LGBTQ+ Civil Rights figures.  Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is, for many, the primary face of the Civil Rights movement, and Dr. King’s legacy is truly incalculable. However, LGBTQ+ persons have always been involved in the struggle for civil rights. Join us on Facebook Live to hear more about the contributions of these Unspoken Heroes: Lady Java, Pauli Murray, Melvin Boozer and Barbara Smith.

January 14, 2021:  Annual MLK Leadership Forum

Presented by the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity. This virtual interactive moderated event will allow participants to listen and interact with our panelists on the topic of "Voting as a catalyst for change, and how voting can impact change." The virtual photo booth will allow guests to take photos from their mobile device for the event photo gallery.

January 15, 2021:  Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Luncheon

The virtual experience honors students, community leaders and organizations recognized with our prestigious Drum Major Award in Scholastic Achievement (scholarship), Civic Affairs, Social Justice, Community Service and Business. The virtual photo booth will allow guests to take photos from their mobile device for the event photo gallery.  Keynote Speaker: U.S. Diplomat, Jones High grad, and Alpha Brother Calvin Hayes

January 15, 2021: Let Freedom Ring

Join us at the Dr. Phillips Center Frontyard Festival for a beautiful evening with the 17-member Jazz Orchestra and two spoken word artists. The Jazz and the Civil Rights Movement will perform works that surrounded Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. This event showcases music by Marvin Gaye, Charlie Bird Parker and Nina Simone.

January 16, 2021:  MLK Orlando Parade Showcase

The Southwest Orlando Jaycees and the Orlando Mayor's Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission are excited to announce the Downtown Orlando Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday parade showcase. The showcase is free to the public and will be hosted by Orlando’s own comedian Rod Z.  This exciting event will safely feature dance, comedy, community organizations, drumlines, music, artistic expression and so much more.  RSVP and upon arrival you will be assigned to a socially distant box for up to five people for this awesome celebration.  Face coverings are required to enter the Frontyard Festival seating. You will have the opportunity to order food and beverages in your private box.  Come safely celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

January 17, 2021:  Community Garden Re-Fresh with Fleet Farming

Join us for a volunteer farming event to revamp the Audubon Park Covenant Church garden with fresh soil, mulch and plants. Community gardens provide people in the surrounding community with access to fresh, organic produce to encourage healthy eating and living.  This activity is great for families looking to volunteer together and those looking to enjoy the cooler outdoor weather of January in Florida. While this activity is open to all ages, children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult.

January 17, 2021: Interfaith Service - Love and Power

Join us for a celebration of the life and legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., bringing together voices, sounds, and images from a diverse group of faith traditions, cultures, and world views to affirm Dr. King’s vision of “a beloved community”.  This annual event draws its theme from Dr. King’s speeches, with this year’s theme being “Love and Power”. Keynote speaker: Florida Rep. Anna Eskamani, a prominent figure in community activism and a finalist for this year’s Orlando Sentinel “Central Floridian of the Year”.

January 18, 2021:  Arthur "Pappy" Kennedy Virtual Prayer Event

The annual Arthur “Pappy” Kennedy Virtual Prayer Event will commemorate the legacies of civil rights pioneers Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Arthur “Pappy” Kennedy, Orlando’s first African American City Council Member.  Held each year on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day for nearly three decades, this prayer breakfast traditionally brings together more than 1,000 civic leaders, pastors and Central Florida neighbors in faith, prayer and the shared commitment to strengthen our community and improve lives. While we are not able to celebrate in person this year, we are continuing to honor the legacy of Arthur “Pappy” Kennedy through a virtual prayer event.

January 18, 2021:  Martin Luther King, Jr. National Day of Service

Sometimes the hardest part about volunteering is knowing where and how to get started.  Join Heart of Florida United Way to learn about how you can find your passion and discover the best volunteer opportunities for you. Additionally, you can learn more about the needs in your community and how local nonprofit agencies are responding to our community needs.

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