Holidays

17 Martin Luther King Jr. Day 2022 Events In Seattle

NAAM's Virtual Event, the 40th Annual MLK Day Rally and March, and More
January 12, 2022
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(ATOMAZUL / SHUTTERSTOCK)
The first major holiday of 2022 is upon us: Martin Luther King Jr. Day (Mon Jan 17). To help you plan, we've rounded up this year's biggest events honoring the life and legacy of the Civil Rights leader, from virtual options like the Northwest African American Museum's Martin Luther King Day Celebration featuring Nikki Giovanni to the 40th annual MLK Day Rally/March starting at Garfield High School.

THURSDAY, JANUARY 13

COMMUNITY

King County Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Add to a List
Tune into King County TV for a government-organized celebration of our county's namesake featuring as-yet-unannounced speakers and performers. This year's theme is inspired by two influential quotes: MLK's "The time is always right to do what’s right," and James Baldwin's “Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.”
(Virtual, free)

SATURDAY, JANUARY 15

MUSIC

Lady A's Welcome to the Porch Add to a List
Seattle-based blues singer Lady A will bring a night of music and storytelling to celebrate MLK's birthday as well as insight behind the lyrics.
(Egan's Ballard Jam House, Ballard, $15)

SUNDAY, JANUARY 16

MUSIC

The 22nd Annual Expansions MLK Unity Party Broadcast Add to a List
Join Kid Hops, Sharlese, Brit Hansen, Riz and Alex for the 22nd annual Expansions MLK Unity Party broadcast to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The show will start off with Sunday Soul with DJ Supreme La Rock followed by a special edition of Expansions, brought to you by Riz featuring select mixes from the whole gang. Tune in throughout the day for special holiday broadcasting. 
(Virtual via KEXP, free)

RELIGION

Desmond Tutu Memorial Service Add to a List
As an MLK weekend tribute, Epiphany Parish will celebrate the life of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who passed away in late December at the age of 90 and who made history for his roles as both the first Black Bishop of Johannesburg and Archbishop of Cape Town. The church writes, "This is a worthy celebration because of who he was, what he did, and what he taught. It is an appropriate memorial made more poignant in that it is celebrated on the weekend we remember Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.; Archbishop Tutu, as providence ordains, was himself the recipient of the Martin Luther King, Jr. award for Non-Violence in 1986. Both Archbishop Tutu and Dr. King lived their lives as true God-bearers, true followers of our Lord Jesus Christ."
(Epiphany Parish, Central District, free)

MONDAY, JANUARY 17

COMMUNITY

2022 MLK Day Rally/March Add to a List
As part of the Seattle MLK Coalition's week of events Add to a List , folks will gather in the Garfield High School parking lot for an 11 am rally, followed by a march downtown beginning at 12:30. There will also be a live broadcast on Rainieravenueradio.world.
(Garfield High School, Central District, free)

2022 MLK Day of Service Add to a List
Whether it's cleaning up a public space, potting trees, or helping feed the hungry, there are dozens of opportunities to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by volunteering at local organizations as part of a group, as an individual, or as a group leader.
(Various locations)

49th Annual MLK Celebration Add to a List
Seattle Colleges' annual community celebration will be filmed this year at Mount Zion Baptist Church and will become available starting at 10 am on MLK Day. KIRO-7 anchor Monique Ming Laven will host the event, which will also feature gospel group DaNell Daymon and Greater Works and talks focusing on Seattle Colleges initiatives that "focus on improving outcomes for Black and Brown and other male students from groups traditionally underserved by higher education."
(Virtual, free)

Bellevue MLK Health Fair Add to a List
This virtual event will include "remarks from City of Bellevue leaders" as well as "speeches and presentations from community partners to support your health and wellbeing," plus live music and door prizes from local BIPOC-owned businesses.
(Virtual, free)

Hope & Healing: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr Birthday Celebration Add to a List
The City of Tacoma's annual MLK celebration will "highlight the present and the future of Dr. King’s impacts on our community and will feature local performers and speakers who work and volunteer to ensure our community represents equity, hope, and healing." The event will also honor the recipients of the 2022 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Service Awards.
(Virtual, free)

Kent School District Rally for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Livestream Add to a List
Join the 5th Avenue Theatre for a public rebroadcast of the Kent School District's MLK Day rally. They write, "Each year, the rally is led by a team of passionate teen leaders and features musical performances, community speakers, and student reflections on the life, work, and legacy of Dr. King. This year, the rally will be presented by over 100 student performers and speakers for over 9,000 of their peers."
(Virtual via the 5th Avenue Theatre, free)

ARTS

MLK Day Celebration Add to a List
Celebrate this MLK day with music and poetry featuring Burien-raised artist, poet, and author Jamaar Smiley, known as the “voice of the Northwest”. Smiley will be accompanied by a trio including Medearis Dixson on horn, Joe Simpson on drums, Phillip Hines II on piano, and six curated artists: Jua, Luther Ray, Lake Stovall, Devh, Devonnie the Poet, and Sharmaine. 
(The Royal Room, Rainier Valley, free)

NAAM Martin Luther King Day Celebration Add to a List
The Northwest African American Museum will continue its tradition of honoring Martin Luther King, Jr. with an afternoon of virtual festivities, including community leaders reading civil rights books to children, music, dance, and spoken word poetry performances, and a keynote address from acclaimed poet Nikki Giovanni. 
(Northwest African American Museum, free)

Washington State Historical Society Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Add to a List
Take a day trip to Tacoma for free museum admission, performances of "The Right to Dream" by the Living Voices group, and art activities "inspired by Dr. King’s visit to Washington 60 years ago with artist Valencia Carroll."
(Washington State History Museum, Tacoma, $14)

OUTDOORS

MLK Day at Lake Sammamish State Park Add to a List
Lake Sammamish State Park invites you to reflect on the impact of Martin Luther King, Jr. as you walk from Tibbetts Beach to the Sunset Beach bathhouse, where the pathways are peppered with his quotes.
(Every day, through Jan 23, Lake Sammamish State Park, free)

National Park Free Days Add to a List
Get outside to your nearest national park for free on major holidays like MLK Day.
(Various locations)

State Parks Free Days Add to a List
If you don't have a Discover Pass but you still want to take in Northwest wildlife in all its evergreen-hued glory, take advantage of free admission to Washington State Parks on special days throughout the year.
(Various locations)

MULTIPLE DATES

Seattle MLK Jr. Week: Truth in Education Now! Add to a List
Organized by the Seattle MLK Coalition, the 40th annual King County MLK event will include virtual workshops (Jan 11–15), a virtual youth event (Jan 16), and an in-person rally and march Add to a List on January 17.
(Jan 11–17, free)

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