How to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day in Chicago — in person and virtually

From delivering personal protective equipment to seniors to attending virtual performances and panels, there are many options for celebrating MLK’s legacy this year.

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Rev. Jesse Jackson, kneeling, huddles with Rev. Martin Luther King (center) and Bernard Lee of King’s staff, at a mass meeting held in Stone Temple Church, 3622 Douglas Blvd on Aug. 20, 1966 in Chicago.

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From delivering personal protective equipment to seniors to panel discussions, music and poetry, there are many ways Chicagoans can honor Martin Luther King Jr. on Monday, both in person and virtually.

Here are some events to commemorate the holiday:

In person

Virtual events

  • Chicago History Museum: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Take a virtual tour of the Chicago places King frequented and create hands-on history art highlighting King’s messages of justice, peace, and change. 
  • Rainbow PUSH: Noon to 1:30 p.m. Virtual MLK celebration with a panel discussion that features Fair Fight founder Stacey Abrams and a musical performance by the Chicago Sinfonietta and the Detroit Youth Choir.
  • The Art Institute of Chicago: 5 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. King Day virtual performance: Rebirth Poetry Ensemble and In the Spirit. Youth poets have created spoken-word pieces in response to the exhibition Bisa Butler: Portraits.
  • Yorkville Public Library: 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. “In the Belly of the Beast: King in Chicago.” Entertainer and historian Clarence Goodman presents a virtual program on King’s many visits to Chicago in pursuit of justice. Registration is required.
  • DuSable Museum of African American History: Anytime. This “Lunch and Learn” event features a video presentation of a 1961 BBC interview with King. 

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