How to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day in Seattle, Wa

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Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Park | Photo via Seattle Parks and Recreation

Today is Dr. Martin L. King Jr. Day, a commemoration of his hard work, bravery, and dedication to a better tomorrow for Americans. 

Honoring the day typically means spending time in service to our communities in order to continue his legacy. There are plenty of opportunities to get involved today, so let’s break them down. But first, a little history.

What is Seattle’s connection to Dr. King?

Two decades ago, there was a tremendous grassroots push to have King County’s namesake officially changed from former Vice President William Rufus de Vane King (which it had been originally since 1852) to MLK. After a majority vote by the state senate and house of representatives, Dr. King became the official namesake on July 24, 2005.

Dr. King also visited Seattle in November 1961, where he spoke at the University of Washington, Garfield High School, and the Eagles Auditorium. 

What can I do to commemorate?

The Northwest African American Museum (NAAM) is hosting a full day of events beginning at 9 a.m. You can: 

  • Donate to its Hygiene for Humanity Drive. Drop-off is between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. in the Garfield High School parking lot. Items such as toothpaste, hand sanitizer, face masks, and towels/washcloths are needed.
  • Attend the virtual “Poetics of Hope” program featuring Poet Nikki Giovanni as keynote speaker, musical performances, and a children’s story book hour with readers from the Seattle Kraken and State House of Representatives. Broadcasted 2-4:30 p.m. + re-broadcasted 6-8 p.m.

The Seattle MLK, Jr. Organizing Coalition has also arranged a march in Dr. King’s honor beginning at 11 a.m. at Garfield High School. Masks are required.

Or, you can participate in one of these MLK Day of Service events.