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Martin Luther King Jr Day

an event photo from 2019. (Seattle Martin Luther King Jr Organizing Coalition)

Martin Luther King Jr Day: Family-friendly events around Seattle

Plenty of places to attend a celebration

Martin Luther King Day in Seattle, 2024: Monday, Jan. 15, is the national holiday commemorating the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday.

Whether you decide to attend a march or honor Dr. King quietly in your own way, take the opportunity to explore and share his message of community, service, and equality.

martin luther king day

Martin Luther King Jr workshops and events in Seattle

A week of workshops

The Seattle Area Martin Luther King Organizing Coalition will hold a week of events and online workshops from Jan. 9-13. Topics include oppression, the reparations movement, immigrant rights, bystander intervention strategies and community healing. There will be a lineup of 18 workshops on Monday, January 15th, for all ages and interests in person.

A special workshop on Mass Incarceration will be on Thursday, Jan. 11, at Garfield High School. It will be a discussion on mass incarceration and how to support Black and Brown men who were incarcerated as kids and came home as men, after long stints in prison.

Virtual event for youths

young leaders event will be streamed from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 14. This program is to help inspire young individuals to to nurture and create emerging young leaders. They will get the opportunity to connect with community leaders and engage in meaningful discussions on a variety of topics at the McKinney Center.

Martin Luther King Day Seattle: march and rally

The marquee event in Seattle is the annual march and rally sponsored by the Seattle Area Martin Luther King Organizing Coalition. The rally takes place at 11 a.m. Monday, Jan 15th, at the Garfield High School front parking lot. The march is set to depart at 12:30 p.m. However, the exact route is not being publicized.

Details about the event, including COVID-19 precautions, here. Important: Anyone feeling ill or experiencing respiratory or other COVID symptoms is asked to not attend the march.

Northwest African American Museum

The Northwest African American Museum chose Martin Luther King Day 2024 to reopen for in-person programming after an extended pandemic closure. The museum will be open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. with an array of activities for all ages.

Enjoy a day at NAAM full of music, movies, motivational speakers, and activities for the entire family. During the celebration, they will show a new exhibit entitled “Interrupting Privilege” hosted by the Center for Communication, Difference, and Equity (CCDE), you can register here.

Martin Luther King Day Seattle: Do something good

The legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is one of community service and volunteering, and the holiday often features some large work parties and volunteer opportunities.

United Way of King County has a searchable list of volunteer opportunities. (Pro tip: filter for “family-friendly.”)

You also can honor Dr. King by doing good as a family: Pick up litter in your neighborhood, help a neighbor, donate to a food bank or other nonprofit.

RelatedMore ways your family can volunteer

Seattle MLK Day 2024: More events

Seattle Colleges will hold its 51st annual Community Celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr., at Brockey Center at South Seattle College on Friday, Jan. 12. Doors open at 9:30 a.m. for breakfast and socializing. The program, with the theme “Joy of Community,” begins at 10:30, with emcee Monique Ming Laven from  KIRO 7, keynote speaker Harold Scoggins, Chief of the Seattle Fire Department, and music by Danell Daymon & Greater Works.

Washington State History Museum in Tacoma will have free admission on Monday, Jan. 15, and will commemorate the day with special performances.  Tacoma Arts Live presents Where Blooming Flowers Meet the Sky by Darryin B. Cunningham at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.

On-your-own observations:

The King Center is a great resource for learning about Dr. King’s life and teachings. Stanford University also has an institute with an extensive online collection, including an annotated version of the “I Have a Dream” speech. In addition, there are a lot of ideas on Pinterest.

Read: Even the youngest kids can begin to learn about Dr. King and his message, and there are lots of books to help. Here is just one list, put together by PBS. and the King County Library System has this list of books on Dr. King.

Also: Washington State Parks have free admission on Monday, Jan. 15.

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