The Martin Luther King Jr. national holiday will be observed Monday and dozens of communities around the state are marking it with a wide range of activities.
Many of the events this year will be virtual because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Traditionally, many MLK Day observances include community-service activities. Some refer to MLK Day as a day on, instead of a day off.
The holiday was first observed in 1986, three years after President Ronald Reagan signed it into law. It marks King’s birthday, January 15. It is observed annually on the third Monday in January.
King was a civil rights leader and prominent figure in ending legalized racial discrimination in the nation in the 1960s. King, 39, was killed by an assassin’s bullet in Memphis, Tennessee on April 4, 1968.
Here are some of the events this year around the state to honoring Martin Luther King Jr.
- Bloomfield: Saturday, 200 free prepared meals donated by local restaurants will be given out in the parking lot at the Carteret Elementary School from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
- Camden: “To honor the life and enduring legacy of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., The city of Camden and its partners will be offering free COVID-19 drive-up testing along with walk-up vaccinations. Providers will be on-site offering other COVID related information, resources and counseling services.” Get more information.
- Galloway, Atlantic City, Hammonton: Stockton University’s Annual Day of Service: “It brings together over 900 students, community members, and community partners, and often encompasses over 25 projects.” Community members, partners, and alumni are encouraged to participate in remote projects for the day of service.
- Glassboro: Rowan University Alumni, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship Breakfast and Day of Service: This virtual event Monday features remarks from 6 ABC Philadelphia anchor Rick Williams, and MSNBC host Tiffany D. Cross; $25, registration required.
- Greater Monmouth County: YMCA celebrates the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 33rd annual commemoration Friday in a virtual event this year. Andrea McChristian, law & policy director at the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice, is the keynote speaker.
- Morristown: Martin Luther King Observance Committee: “The Promise of the Dream: From Chaos to Community.” Virtual event.
- Ocean City: Ocean City will celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. noon Monday at the Ocean City Music Pier. The event remembers King through words, song and dance; highlights include recitation of King’s “I Have a Dream” speech by the Rev. Gregory Johnson; complimentary soul food buffet luncheon in the Music Pier solarium.
- Pemberton Township, Browns Mills: MLK Jr. Day of Service on Monday will have outdoor, socially distanced activities for volunteers of all ages (weather dependent); masks are required; walking around with trash bag to pick up trash along the trails (social distancing); help pick up fallen branches and prune stems along the trails (gloves, some tools provided); 120 West Whites Bogs Road #34, Browns Mills.
- Princeton: Annual multi-faith service to honor legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., co-sponsored by CFPA and the Princeton Clergy Association, 7 p.m. Monday. Virtual event: Meeting ID: 873 0157 9202, Passcode: 654926, Or dial in at 1 929 205 6099 US.
- Scotch Plains, Fanwood: MLK Day of Service 10 a.m. Monday; virtual online registration here.
- Westampton: 16th Annual MLK Day Challenge; Monday 10 a.m to 3 p.m. at the Burlington County Library, 5 Pioneer Blvd., Westampton. “The purpose is to encourage residents to join Americans across the country to honor King’s legacy of tolerance, peace, and equality by meeting community needs and making the holiday a day of community service. Thereby making MLK Day – A Day On, Not a Day Off.”
- West Windsor: The 4th annual MLK Day of Service; “West Windsor Arts is partnering with the African American Parent Support Group (AAPSG) and the WW-P youth chapter of the NAACP to create a ‘day on, not a day off.’” Monday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Get more information.
Please subscribe now and support the local journalism you rely on and trust.
Bill Duhart may be reached at email@example.com.