Martin Luther King. Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Martin Luther King. Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

This week there are events around San Diego commemorating Martin Luther King, a man known for his powerful influence as a Civil Rights Activist and American Baptist minister. These celebrations aim to honor his dream of peace, racial equality and freedom for all.

UC San Diego Hosts Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service

UC San Diego’s annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service hosts community beautification projects to paint stairwells and fences, replace window screens and clean local facilities around the neighborhood. This event is supported by UCSD’s Volunteer50 initiative that encourages students to dedicate themselves to at least 50 hours of community service throughout the academic school year.

Over 150 community volunteers will participate in the event on Sunday, Jan. 17 from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. at Father Joe’s Villages on 1501 Imperial Avenue. After completing the projects, volunteers will attend the 36th annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Parade downtown. Deacon Jim Vargas, president and CEO of Father Joe’s village will give an opening speech introducing the event and volunteer service will begin at 9 a.m.

Register for the event here.

36th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Parade

The 36th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Parade is scheduled to take place in downtown San Diego Sunday afternoon to honor the slain civil rights leader.

The parade will march along North Harbor Drive from the County Administration Center to Pacific Highway, near Seaport Village and Ruocco Park.

Floats, high school bands, drill teams, college students, church groups and other organizations will take part in the event, which is organized by the nonprofit Zeta Sigma Lambda Foundation.

The foundation is part of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, the oldest African American fraternity in America. King was a member of the fraternity.

ADL Shares No Place for Hate Remembrance

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) of San Diego is spreading its message of No Place for Hate to raise awareness for Martin Luther King. An ADL spokesperson will present a talk about spreading the No Place for Hate initiative throughout San Diego and its schools. The speech will include points on empowering young people to speak out against hate, support hope and strengthen communities.

The event begins at 9 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 18 at the Community Space of the 28th “All Peoples Celebration” on 2145 Park Blvd.  Admission is free.

Interfaith Community Service for MLK Jr. Day

Congregation Beth Israel of San Diego is creating an opportunity for a breadth of religions to come together for a remarkable morning of community service in Balboa Park. Jews, Muslims, Christians, Hindus and other people of unique religious beliefs are welcome to contribute to a community gardening project from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on the MLK holiday Monday. The event will include musical entertainment and a complimentary picnic lunch of hot dogs and chips. Volunteers are encouraged to bring the whole family to this day of service.

After arriving in an outfit suitable for gardening, volunteers will clear and haul brush, as well as mulching and planting fresh vegetation. Participants are asked to bring gardening tools if possible, although a standard supply of tools will be provided. The event is at the Gold Gulch located behind the Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park. There is ample parking available at the President’s Way parking lot just off Park Boulevard.

Martin Luther King Jr. Community Choir. Photo credit: Courtesy of Artists

Register for the event here.

TPCC Presents MLK Jr. Community Choir

The MLK Community Choir at Torrey Pines Christian Church (TPCC) will perform 12 concerts through this January and February in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Since 1990, the MLK Choir has blessed the community with many heartfelt and talented performances. The choir is a premier gospel vocal ensemble led by director Ken Anderson. One of their goals since 1997 is to raise money for education grants that benefit high school seniors in San Diego planning to pursue visual or performing art degrees.

An upcoming performance is at the Sanctuary in the Torrey Pines Christian Church on Sunday, Jan. 24 at 5 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.