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slides: 10 Martin Luther King Jr. Day Events in Rhode Island

Saturday, January 18, 2014


Religious, civic and government leaders from across the state will celebrate the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. this long weekend with numerous celebrations and service projects. From dinners to concerts to children’s events, Rhode Islanders have the opportunity to honor Dr. King’s legacy in a variety of ways. With that in mind, GoLocal has compiled a list of 10 Martin Luther King Jr. Day festivities being held this weekend and throughout the month of January.

Martin Luther King Day

First observed in 1986, Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a federal holiday celebrating the life and achievements of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. King, who was a pastor, activist, humanitarian and leader in the African-American Civil Rights Movement. A campaign for a federal holiday in King’s honor began shortly after his assassination in 1968, but the holiday wasn’t signed into law until 1983 during the Reagan Administration. As of 2000, the holiday is officially observed by all 50 states.


Related Slideshow: MLK Day Events in Rhode Island

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AmeriCorps Honors MLK Day

On Monday, January 20, Senator Jack Reed will visit with 140 AmeriCorps members as they transform Lyman B. Goff Middle School, 974 Newport Ave, Pawtucket, for the Martin Luther King Jr. national Day of Service. AmeriCorps members will add fresh coats of paint to the second and third floor hallways to help refresh the Pawtucket middle school. Serve Rhode Island, the state’s center for volunteerism and national service planned and organized the day of service. In addition to Reed, Bernie Beaudreau, Executive Director of Serve Rhode Island, will also be in attendance. 

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State Holiday Commission Celebration

The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. State Holiday Commission annual celebration of the life, and death, of the great civil rights leader will be held on Monday, January 20, beginning at 4 p.m. at the Ebenezer Baptist Church, 475 Cranston Street, Providence. The official holiday commemoration, to which the public is invited, will include remarks by commission, state and religious leaders and a number of musical presentations. Presenters include Rep. Raymond A. Hull and Rev. Carl H. Balark Jr., pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church. 

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RI Civil Rights Roundtable

Join the Rhode Island Civil Rights Roundtable for a celebration of the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., on Sunday, January 19 from 4:30 to 6:30pm at the Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, 15 Hayes Street in Providence. The event is free and open to the public. Presenters include Rep. Joseph Almeida, Hillary Davis, Michael Evora, George Nee, and Rev. Linda Watkins. Food, refreshments, and birthday cake will be made available at this free event.

For more information, call Dr. Toby Ayers, RI for Community & Justice, 401-467-1717 x 102 or email [email protected],org. 

Photo: Rep. Joseph Almeida

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MLK Day Event for Kids

Explore an exhibit of photographs, words and books describing Dr. King's life and work this Monday at the Providence Children's Museum. Participate in an interactive exploration of the negative power of discrimination, and see powerful performances of “M.L.K.: Amazing Grace.” Award-winning actors/storytellers Rochel Coleman and Valerie Tutson bring history to life through songs and stories as they portray Civil Rights activists Rosa Parks, Ralph Abernathy and more. Shows at 11:30pm, 1:00pm and 2:30pm. 

For more information, go here

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MLK Celebration Dinner

RISD will host the "MLK Opening Celebration Dinner" on Saturday, January 18 at 5pm to 8pm at the Portfolio Cafe located in the Mandle Building, 15 Westminster Street, Providence. RISD will serve this community meal to promote dialogue, reflection, and peace. Open to the public. $8.95 per person.

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Candidates Nonviolence Forum

The Institute for the Study and Practice of Nonviolence will host an educational forum with Rhode Island gubernatorial and Providence mayoral candidates on Monday, January 20 from 1pm to 3pm at the organization's headquarters at 265 Oxford Street, Providence.

Gubernatorial and mayoral candidates will articulate their vision of nonviolence, focusing on nonviolence education in schools and nonviolent tools and strategies to reduce violence in the community.

For more details, click here

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MLK Concert

Join the celebration, feel the spirit, and embrace the joy! Join RISD as they kickoff their 2014 MLK Celebration Series on Saturday, January 18 at 630pm to 8pm at the Fleet Library located in the Mandle Building, 15 Westminster Street, Providence. The event includes music from the PRISM of Praise Gospel Choir and spoken word by Reza Clifton. Free and open to the public.

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Day of Service

RISD and the Mt. Hope Learning Center will partner to celebrate the life and teachings of Dr. King on Monday, January 20 at 8:30pm to 2:30pm at the MLK Elementary School, 35 Camp Street, Providence. The festivities will include arts, crafts and special activities intended to inspire children on this special day.

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Film Screenings

As part of Providence College's The MLK Day of Service program, now in its second year, the school will screen a pair of films to celebrate Dr. King's legacy. Here's the list:

  • Thursday, January 23: a screening and discussion of The Butler in Guzman Hall. Dinner will be served at 5:00 p.m.; the film will begin at 5:30 p.m.
  • Tuesday, January 28: a screening of the Freedom Riders documentary in the Slavin Center’s ’64 Hall, followed by a discussion of the film. The movie starts at 5:30 p.m.

For more information, go here

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Freedom Riders Lecture

Three Freedom Riders, Paul Breines, Jean Denton-Thompson, and Ellen Ziskind, will speak at Providence College for the annual MLK Lecture on Thursday, January 30 at 7pm. The event will in the Great Room of the Ruane Center for the Humanities. 

For more information, go here


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