Martin Luther King Jr. Day is coming up on Monday, Jan. 21. Take a look at the Madison celebrations, meals, interfaith services and more planned over the next two weekends in honor of the civil rights leader:
Friday, Jan. 18:
Free community dinner at UW Gordon Dining & Event Center, 770 W. Dayton St., from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
The King Coalition has hosted this free community meal for over 30 years, and this year includes dishes like fried chicken, mac and cheese and sweet potato pie. The Madison Music Makers will perform and a free shuttle to the event will depart from the YWCA, 101 E. Mifflin St., at 5:45 p.m. and Grace Episcopal Church, 116 W. Washington Ave., at 5:55 p.m.
Saturday, Jan 19
The MLK Forum for Social Action, Middleton Performing Arts Center, 2100 Bristol St., Middleton, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
The free event, sponsored by Madison365 and several school districts, is a call to action for “concerned citizens of Dane County” who want to end racial inequities in the community. Speakers include Percy Brown Jr., Director of Equity and Student Achievement for the Middleton Cross Plains Area School District, and retired UW-Madison professor Gloria Ladson-Billings.
“This will not be a celebration of MLK the ‘Dreamer,’ but an event that will reflect on MLK's Revolution of Values and the outcome of the Brown v. Board of Education decision,” the event description says.
I Have a Dream Scholarship Ball at the Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center, 1 John Nolen Drive, from 6:00 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.
The annual event from Women In Focus Inc. raises thousands of dollars, which is then given away as college scholarship money for students of color. Over the past 33 years, the organization has given away $505,000.
“While we are very proud of this accomplishment, each year we realize again how great the need is when we only have funds to award scholarships to a fraction of those who apply,” said Sally Hestad, co-chair of the event.
Tickets ($90) are available at womeninfocusmadison.org until Sunday, Jan. 13.
Sunday, Jan. 20:
MLK: Jesus’ Dream at Sherman Avenue United Methodist Church, 3705 N. Sherman Ave., at 9:15 a.m.
Rev. David Hart will be the speaker at this worship service and celebration of King sponsored by Sherman Avenue United Methodist Church, faith-based organization Selfless Ambition, St. Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church and S.S. Morris African Methodist Episcopal Church.
Martin Luther King Jr. Outstanding Young Person Breakfast at Edgewood High School, 2219 Monroe St., from 7:30 a.m. to 10 a.m.
The event, hosted by the Urban League of Greater Madison and King Coalition, brings hundreds of students, parents, teachers, school officials and community leaders to celebrate students, who are honored for academic achievement, extracurricular involvement and community service.
MLK Ecumenical Service at Lake Edge Lutheran Church, 4032 Monona Dr., from 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
This year, the annual interfaith service will be co-hosted by Lake Edge Lutheran church and Christ the Solid Rock Baptist Church. The event is “meant to draw persons of different faiths together in a recognition of our shared humanity.”
Monday, Jan. 21:
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Tribute & Ceremony in The Capitol Rotunda, 2 E. Main St., at 12:00 p.m.
The celebration features performances by acts including the Victory Travelers Gospel Quartet, and the audience will hear from guest speaker Rita Coburn, an award-winning director, writer and producer. The free event will be broadcast live on Wisconsin Public Radio and Wisconsin Public Television.
UW-Madison's Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration, Memorial Union, 800 Langdon St., from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
The afternoon will feature a social justice presentation, small group discussions and keynote speaker Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes. The free event includes lunch and a t-shirt, and attendees can register online.
MLK Day Youth Call to Service, Madison Municipal Building, 215 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. from 12:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.
The afternoon of events hosted by several groups including the city and county features interactive workshops on topics like the youth volunteerism and “the role of poetry in the civil rights movement.” The day will also include lunch and a march to the Capitol. Groups can register online.
34th Annual Madison-Dane County King Holiday Observance at the Overture Center, 201 State St., from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
The event starts with a freedom sing-in at 5 p.m., and the official program begins at 6 p.m. The celebration features a keynote address by Cheryl Brown Henderson, civil rights activist and daughter of Oliver L. Brown, the titular plaintiff in Brown v. Board of Education. Dane County Executive Joe Parisi and Mayor Paul Soglin will present the MLK Humanitarian award.