MLK Day is more than a day off; it’s a day to reflect, change and lead in your community.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy as a civil rights icon lives on in the heart of many who aspire to continue his dream of making America a better place for all. As many know, this year marks the 50th anniversary of King’s assassination. What better way to remember King’s sacrifice than to give back to the community and enrich yourself and your loved ones by partaking in one of the many events in King’s hometown: the ATL. Here are a few ways you can celebrate the holiday:

1. Day of Service 

Community group Hands On Atlanta will mobilize an estimated 3,000 volunteers to help local communities, schools and nonprofits as part of the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service. There is still time to sign up for one of the 25 service projects around the Atlanta area. For volunteering opportunities, please contact Hands on Atlanta at (404) 979-2820.

Photo: Ricky Riley

2. MLK Day March & Rally

Probably one of the best ways to honor MLK is through activism. On Jan. 15, representatives from labor unions, youth groups, business people, families and churches, the LGBT community, civic groups, colleges, fraternities and sororities will come together to stand for the rights of all people. As President Donald Trump continues to launch racist assaults on the nation’s most vulnerable groups, the MLK holiday is the perfect time to combat bigotry. The march begins at the King Center at 1:15 p.m. Side note: The King Center will also be open to the public.


3. “The Meeting” Play 

This play depicts the legendary meeting between Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X to debate the future of the civil rights movement. Even though many of us weren’t able to meet these great men, this fictional drama is the next best thing. Both evening shows are sold out but there are $10 tickets available for the 1 p.m. showing at the  Mark Squared Studios in Tucker, Ga.


4. MLK 5K Drum Run

A great way to give back this MLK holiday and get in shape is to take part in the MLK 5k Drum Run. Local high school drum lines will be out keeping the rhythm as ATLiens get their run on. More than 250 drummers will be at Piedmont Park starting at 8 a.m. The race serves as a fundraiser for Atlanta-area schools, churches, businesses and community organizations. Registration is only $5 and race lineup is at 8:45 a.m.

Photo: Wiki Commons

5. Free National Park Day In Georgia 

On four days in 2018, the National Park Service will waive admission fees, including on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. This special also includes free entrance to the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area.

Photo: Atlanta History Center

6. Atlanta History Center 

The Atlanta History Center will waive admission on the King holiday to give the public an opportunity to learn about the contributions of African Americans in Atlanta. There will be a film screening and a conversation with the director of “The Trek to the River’s Edge” about the Atlanta Student Movement.

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