The Muskegon community organizes events to commemorate the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.

MUSKEGON, MI – Residents of the Muskegon area are encouraged to celebrate the life and legacy of slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. at the federal holiday in his honor on Monday, January 17.

The day is often observed as a day of remembrance and solidarity with marches, keynote speakers and community service. Over the past year, many of the planned events have taken place online due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but this year remains in-person for some.

Here are some of the events taking place in Muskegon that honor King and his work in the overall success of the civil rights movement:

Muskegon Art Museum

The Muskegon Museum of Art is offering a free Community Day to celebrate and honor the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr., Monday, January 17 from 1-3:30 p.m.

The event is scheduled in-person, exploring the galleries with docent MHS students, engaging through an interactive exhibit and film screening of “Black Man” throughout the day at 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. in the auditorium, located at 296 W. Webster Ave.

To learn more, head to their website.

Lakeshore United Way

United Way of the Lakeshore will host the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service to celebrate the life and legacy of the civil rights leader through service.

“Observed annually on the third Monday in January as ‘a lit day, not a day off,’ MLK Day is one of only two federal holidays designated as a National Day of Service to encourage all Americans to volunteer. to improve their communities,” United Way of the Lakeshore said on its website.

To celebrate MLK, United Way is encouraging Muskegon residents to volunteer to pack COVID-19 care kits for homeless families. Currently, the organization says it has more than 80 families staying in COVID-19 positive hotels and motels who are homeless. Volunteers will prepare care kits for these homeless families to make their stay easier and more enjoyable while they fight COVID.

Members of the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program will prepare care packages beginning at 11 a.m. for homebound seniors in Muskegon and Oceana counties. Volunteers will work alongside COVID-19 Care Kit Packers at the Burel Center, 412 E. Sherman Blvd., in Muskegon Heights. Masks are mandatory for volunteering regardless of vaccination status. Click on here to volunteer.

Documentary “Top of the Bottom”

As part of MLK Day celebrations, United Way of the Lakeshore will also host a special screening of the documentary film “Up From the Bottom: The Search for the American Dream” on Monday, January 17 at 5 p.m. at the Burrel Center, 412 E. Sherman Blvd., in Muskegon Heights.

The film is described as following the personal stories of African Americans, now in their 80s and 90s who migrated north in the 1940s to the war factories of Muskegon. Masks are mandatory. To reserve a seat for the documentary, head to the website.

Muskegon Community College MLK Unity Breakfast (postponed)

Muskegon Community College (MCC) had to postpone this year’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Unity Breakfast which was scheduled for Friday, Jan. 14, ahead of Monday’s federal vacation, as a safety precaution in the face of increased cases of COVID-19 in the region.

The annual breakfast to promote equality and justice for all will now take place on Friday, June 10 at the downtown VanDyk Mortgage Convention Center, the MCC recently announced.

“Due to the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in our region, we have made the difficult decision to postpone this important event in the life of our community,” MCC President Dale Nesbary said in a prepared statement. “Each year, we look forward to this wonderful tribute to the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the lessons learned and shared by keynote speakers.

Related: Muskegon College’s annual MLK Unity Breakfast postponed to June due to COVID-19 outbreak

Donna Brazile, a Washington DC political strategist, ABC News contributor and former acting chair of the Democratic National Committee, will continue as the keynote speaker. Breakfast tickets are $30 for individuals and $300 for a reserved table of eight, depending on the MCC website. Tickets can be purchased here.

Supper House & Pathfinders of Muskegon MLK Dinner

Supper House and Pathfinders of Muskegon will host a ceremony and complimentary dinner and dessert and entertainment on Monday, January 17 in honor of the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr., to promote unity.

The event is scheduled from 2-5 p.m. at the Supper Club on the campus of Temple United Methodist Church, 2500 Jefferson St. in Muskegon Heights.

Supper House is a cooperative effort between 28 places of worship in the Muskegon area that offers an evening meal Monday through Friday in the church gymnasium. Pathfinders is an education, life skills and violence prevention program for children and youth in Muskegon Heights, Muskegon and surrounding communities. Nonprofits Direct People to Facebook Page here for more information and updates.

Muskegon County Community Foundation

The Muskegon County Community Foundation does not have a specific MLK Day event on Monday, but rather an event aligned with its vision on Tuesday, January 18. To recognize National Day for Racial Healing, the WK Kellogg Foundation will host a virtual presentation that the Muskegon community can view at 3 p.m. at the Beardsley Theater, 425 W. Western Ave., Suite 200.

Masks are mandatory. To view at home, visit

The foundation will once again be offering mini-grants of up to $500 to businesses, educational institutions, non-profit partners, or concerned citizens implementing National Healing Day Action Kit activities. racial. Visit for more information and to apply.

Learn more about MLive:

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