12 ways to honor the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

Whether you want to dedicate your day to service or spend time taking in speeches, songs and marches, Northern Virginia offers diverse ways to celebrate.

The memorial to the civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. during the spring season in West Potomac Park. © SeanPavonePhoto, AdobeStock

Reston Community Center’s 2018 MLK Celebration
Jan. 13-15
Beginning on Saturday and running through Monday, the Reston Community Center will host several events honoring Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The first day of festivities will involve packing lunches that will be donated to the Embry Rucker Community Shelter, helping out at the Southgate Community Center, tidying up outdoor areas and other service related activities, wrapping up the day with a free concert. Sunday, the 27th Annual “Voices of Inspiration” program will be held at the Northern Virginia Hebrew Congregation, and on Monday the co-chair of 2017’s Women’s March on Washington, Tamika D. Mallory, will deliver the keynote address. // Multiple locations

Potomac Stewards Cleanup: Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service
Jan. 13, 10 a.m-1 p.m.
Warm drinks, water and tools will be provided to the volunteers looking to pick up litter in Jones Point Park. The only thing that eventgoers will need to bring is closed-toe shoes, a coat and a willingness to get a little dirty to make a difference in the community. // Jones Point Park: 100 Jones Point Drive, Alexandria

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commemoration
Jan. 13, 2-3:30 p.m.
Organized by the Afro-American Historical Association of Fauquier County, the “MLK50 Forward: Together We Win With Love For Humanity”-themed remembrance will feature a free performance by the MLK Community Choir. Doors open at 1 p.m. // Afro-American Historical Association: 4243 Loudoun Ave., The Plains

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Black and Gold Gala
Jan. 13, 6:30 p.m.
The Omicron Alpha Lambda chapter of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity will honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.—an alumnus of Alpha Phi Alpha—with a black-tie event costing interested guests $75. Proceeds will go toward funding college scholarships for high school students in the area. // Riverside Center for the Performing Arts: 95 Riverside Parkway, Fredericksburg

The State of the Dream: Achieving the Beloved Community
Jan. 14, 12:30-2 p.m.
At the Annandale United Methodist Church, five panelists will come together to lead a discussion about how we as a society are not living up to Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream today. The panelists will also offer solutions on how we will be able to get there. // Annandale United Methodist Church: 6935 Columbia Pike, Annandale

“Martin Luther King, Jr.: The Man and the Mission”
Jan. 14, 5-6:30 p.m.
Performers from the Duke Ellington School of the Arts; Kim B. Miller, a spoken word artist; and students from Arlington County Public Schools will honor Martin Luther King Jr. through song, dance and other expressive forms. A county-wide day of service will follow (see below). // Wakefield High School: 1325 S. Dinwiddie St., Arlington

9th Annual Give Together by Volunteer Fairfax
Jan. 15
An opportunity to get the whole family together for a good cause, this event is geared toward elementary-aged kids and their parents. Middle school and high school students are being asked to serve as event volunteers who will help with the set up and clean up of different service stations. // Volunteer Farifax: 10530 Page Ave., Fairfax

Volunteer Arlington’s MLK Day of Service
Jan. 15, 8:30 a.m.-noon
Individuals looking to lend a helping hand are asked to register ahead of time and select which of eight service projects they would like to participate in. Upon sign-in at the Arlington Career Center the morning of, there will be small activities and a brief program before volunteers depart to their designated assignments at 9:30 a.m. Some service projects include a Cleanup at Barcroft Park with the Arlingtonians for a Clean Environment, making blankets for children in need and assembling “welcome kits” for Bridges to Independence. // Arlington Career Center: 816 S. Walter Reed Drive, Arlington

26th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration
Jan. 15, 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
A 10:15 ceremony and prayer will kick off the 10:30 march that proceeds from the Loudoun County Courthouse along East Market Street toward the Douglas Community Center (401 East Market St.) Leading up to a keynote address by Pastor Michelle Thomas at 11 a.m., the Douglas Community Center will be serving refreshments.  // Loudoun County Courthouse Lawn: 18 E. Market St., Leesburg

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Oratorical Contest
Jan. 15, 11 a.m.
The Prince William County alumna chapter of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority is hosting its 28th annual middle school and high school choir performance. There will be also be speeches and a clothing and nonperishable food drive. // Cecil D. Hylton Memorial Chapel: 14640 Potomac Mills Road, Woodbridge

Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Program
Jan. 15, 7:30-9 p.m.
Mayor Allison Silberberg will kick off the evening’s festivities with welcoming remarks, and soon after veteran news anchor Maureen Bunyan will deliver the keynote address. The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Planning Committee will give a “Dr. King: His voice, his teachings, his love for humanity” presentation and the Commonwealth Baptist Church Choir will provide musical entertainment. // Shiloh Baptist Church: 1401 Duke St., Alexandria

George Mason University 2018 Martin Luther King Jr. Commemoration
Jan. 20-28
Organized by the Office of Diversity, Inclusion and Multicultural Education, this weeklong celebration’s theme is “Unify+Amplify: We Must Speak!” shedding light on individuals whose voices are often overlooked in society. Among some of this week’s most important events are a service opportunity at Sterling’s Women Giving Back on Saturday, Jan. 20, and an evening of reflection on Wednesday, Jan. 24, where Wes Bellamy, Charlottesville’s Mayor, will speak. // George Mason University: 4400 University Drive, Fairfax

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