TOLEDO, Ohio — Martin Luther King Jr. Day is more than just a federal holiday. It's a time to celebrate the life and legacy of an icon and reflect on the values he believed in.
Across our community, various organizations are holding events and activities to honor Martin Luther King Jr. this weekend and throughout the week ahead.
Here's a list of celebrations, community appreciation days and events to pay tribute to Martin Luther King Jr.
- The City of Toledo's Human Relations Commission and the University of Toledo will co-host the annual Martin Luther King Jr. celebration on Monday, Jan. 18. Starting at 10 a.m., the public can watch the virtual event streamed live on Facebook at this link and on YouTube at this link. Austin Channing Brown, The New York Times bestselling author of "I'm Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness," will be the keynote speaker for the event.
- The Toledo Museum of Art will be open Monday, Jan. 18, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- General admissions to the museum are always free, but thanks to generous support from the Greater Toledo Community Foundation, parking will be free as well as admission to two special exhibitions: Radical Tradition: American Quilts and Social Change and PICTURE ID: Contemporary African American Works on Paper
- The museum is also providing free art kits for guests to create a community art project from home. Participants are encouraged to complete the project at home, then share their work on social media with the hashtag #PeaceOfArt.
- The National Museum of the Great Lakes is opening its doors with free, museum-only admissions from Saturday, Jan. 16, through Monday, Jan. 18, as a way to thank the community for its support.
- To ensure the health and safety of its guests, the museum requires masks at all times and has a limited attendance capacity. Although not required, timed, pre-purchased entry tickets are strongly encouraged and can be reserved online at nmgl.org.
- The City of Bowling Green will be hosting their tribute to Martin Luther King Jr. virtually, streamed live to the city's YouTube channel at this link starting at 7 p.m. on Jan. 18. The tribute is sponsored by the City of Bowling Green Human Relations Commission.
- The event will feature keynote speaker Jennifer McCary, Chief Diversity and Belonging Officer at Bowling Green State University as well as music.
- The Human Relations Commission will also present the annual Drum Major for Peace Award to Ana Brown, the director of BGSU's Office of Multicultural Affairs.
- The Brown Bag Food Project is holding its annual two-day food donation drive this weekend on Jan. 16, and 17.
- Community members can drop off non-perishable canned or boxed food and hygiene items during the drop-off drive.
- Volunteers will collect donations at 530 Sand Ridge Rd. from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and noon to 2 p.m. on Sunday.
- The Tiffin-Seneca Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Virtual Celebration will be held Jan. 18, at 7 p.m. and streamed live at this link. The theme for 2021 is "Seeking Justice: Make it Fair."
- Dr. Trevor Bates, president of Wilmington College, will be a featured speaker during the program.
- The program will feature essays written and read by Tiffin and Fostoria students as well as choral performances by the Heidelberg University Concert Choir and singer-songwriter Jarrett Johnson.
- Helping Hands in Seneca County has been named the recipient of this year’s Peacemaker Award.
- Monroe County Community College will hold Dr. Martin Luther King Holiday and Diversity events from Jan. 18 through Jan. 22.
- On Jan. 18, The IHM Sisters will hold a prayer service from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. To watch the prayer service, visit this link.
- On Jan. 19, at noon, the Unity Peace March will start at the south side of the MLK Pedestrian Bridge by the parking lot off Front Street.
- On Jan. 20, at 10 a.m., "Conversations About Peace" featuring representatives from the IHM Sisters of Mercy, the Monroe Rotary Club and others will be held over Zoom. You can join at this link.
- On Jan. 21, at 11 a.m., MCCC President Dr. Kojo A. Quartey will host a broadcast of Martin Luther King Jr.'s “I Have a Dream” speech over Zoom at this link.
- On Jan. 22, at 11 a.m., Dr. Quartey will host a Zoom event including a video about influencers of Martin Luther King Jr. followed by a discussion of the video. You can join the event at this link.