Service opportunities, virtual events abound for Martin Luther King Jr. Day
Monday, Jan. 18, is Martin Luther King Jr. Day. This year, due to the pandemic, the civil rights leader will be remembered through online tributes and service opportunities and projects. Here is a sampling of suburban events.
Elgin's MLK celebration and fundraiser
Virtually from 9 to 10:45 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 16, on the city's Facebook page. The city of Elgin's Martin Luther King Jr. Committee will host its annual celebration event virtually. It will feature music, speeches from community leaders, a panel discussion, prayers for peace and unity, the humanitarian award presentation and scholarship presentation. The event is free and open to the public, and donations are encouraged to support the committee's community food drive and youth scholarship programs. In past years, the prayer breakfast has been a ticketed event held at Elgin Community College, and any proceeds would go to its food drive and scholarship programs. In lieu of that option for raising funds this year, the committee is selling merchandise and has set up direct donation websites. Visit www.facebook.com/cityofelgin for the event and www.cityofelgin.org for details and the donation websites.
Music Institute presents -- Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration
Virtually at 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 16 and 17, Nichols Concert Hall, 1490 Chicago Ave., Evanston. The Music Institute of Chicago celebrates the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. through music and discussion via virtual events. Saturday's program will be "Race and Identity in American Music Culture," featuring Stephanie Shonekan, associate dean of the College of Arts & Science and professor of music at University of Missouri. On Sunday, the Music Institute presents an afternoon concert featuring special guest artists; MIC students, faculty, and alumni; and Chicago Musical Pathways Initiative students. The CMPI offers talented student musicians from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds a pathway to musical training. Free. www.musicinst.org/nch.
Benedictine University's 21 Days of Action
Virtually Sunday, Jan. 17, through Sunday, Feb. 7. "Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr -- 21 Days of Action and Educating Towards the Beloved Community" is an opportunity for shared learning, action, and growth. The self-guided learning journey examines the history and impact of racism, and how it has shaped people's lives. The experience aims to deepen understanding and help launch a lifelong commitment to improving equity and inclusion. Participants will receive a daily email with readings, videos, podcasts, and ways participants can take action. Free. Register at ben.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_cA3oumLKTmBE3wp. For details, contact Karl Constant at email@example.com.
MLK Day of Service Food Drive
9 a.m. to noon Sunday, Jan. 17, and Monday, Jan. 18, First Presbyterian Church Arlington Heights, 302 N. Dunton Ave., Arlington Heights. MLK Day of Service Drive Through Food Drive will benefit the Wheeling Township Food Pantry. Nonperishable food items accepted. www.firstpresah.org
The Rev. Raphael Warnock, senior pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia, will be the guest speaker at Agape Connection's 20th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration at 3 p.m. Jan. 17.
- Associated Press file Photo
Agape Connection hosts Dr. Raphael Warnock
Virtually beginning at 3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 17. Agape Connection, a 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization in Aurora, will host its 20th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Day celebration. Since 1991, Agape Connection Inc. has been providing educational, cultural and other initiatives that impact the children and youth of the Western suburbs. The celebration program will feature guest speaker the Rev. Raphael Warnock, senior pastor of the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia. He is the new senator-elect for Georgia. Tickets are valued at $75 and available at agapeconnectioninc.square.site. (630) 898-5333.
Musical director Jeff Lomax leads the Sears Holdings Associate Gospel Choir during a previous Hoffman Estates Cultural Awareness Commission Martin Luther King Jr. Community Breakfast. A previous performance by the choir will be part of this year's virtual celebration Jan 17.
- Daily Herald File Photo
Hoffman Estates Cultural Awareness Commission
Virtually beginning Sunday, Jan. 17. Join the Cultural Awareness Commission and celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. While the commission's annual breakfast event has been canceled for 2021, the commission has put together a special compilation video of previous celebrations. It will include previous performances by the Sears Holdings Associate Gospel Choir, led by choir director Jeffrey Lomax; Senior Pastor Robbie Robinson and the Christian Tabernacle Church Choir of Roselle; and the Kingdom Impact Theater Ministries. The video also features "Strolling Down MLK Street," performed by Michael and Vikki Myers, depicting how Dr. King and his wife might respond to what they would see today. The video will be broadcast on HETV Channel 6/99 and will be available on the village's YouTube channel from Jan. 17-31. To view on YouTube, visit www.youtube.com/user/HoffmanEstatesIL.
Donations for Cradles to Crayons
On Monday, Jan. 18, Cradles to Crayons Chicago (C2C) invites families to commemorate Martin Luther King Jr. Day by donating new or gently used children's winter wear such as coats, boots, hats, gloves and scarves and warm clothes at contactless drop-off locations, including Bank of America, 1300 N. Arlington Heights Road, Buffalo Grove; Highwood Public Library, 102 Highwood Ave., Highwood; and Bank of America, 1301 E. Ogden Ave., Naperville. Additionally, C2C is accepting volunteers to safely help sort donations at their Giving Factory -- C2C's main warehouse for housing donated items -- while practicing socially distance guidelines. www.cradlestocrayons.org/chicago/mlk2021.
FaithBridge Interfaith Virtual Prayer Breakfast
Virtually from 8-9:30 a.m. Monday, Jan. 18. Crystal Lake-based FaithBridge hosts its 11th annual Beloved Community service. Guest speaker Dr. Mark A. Hicks will speak on "Searching for the Beloved." Register at www.FaithBridgeInterfaith.org.
Martin Luther King Jr. Day Storytime
Virtually at 10 a.m. Monday, Jan. 18, Morton Grove Public Library. A special family storytime about kindness and making a difference in the world around us. To register, visit mgpl.org/events or call (847) 965-4220.
Dr. Martin Luther King Forum -- 'Beloved Community'
Virtually from 10-11 a.m. Monday, Jan. 18, through Elmhurst University and First Congregational United Church of Christ of Elmhurst. Featuring scholar, author and speaker the Rev. Robert E. Buckner II. Buckner is associate pastor to young adults at Covenant United Church of Christ in South Holland, Illinois. The forum's theme comes from King's global vision of a "Beloved Community." Buckner will share the advances that were achieved during the 1960s for African-Americans in the United States and how people can be part of King's vision -- as a society based on justice, equal opportunity, and love of one's fellow human. Register at elmhurstucc.org/mlk-2021.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service
Virtually at 10 a.m. Monday, Jan. 18. The City of Highland Park Human Relations Advisory Group and the Park District of Highland Park will present the 12th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service. The event will be held via Zoom and will feature live virtual keynote presentations, remote service projects, donation collections and more. HRAG Student Representatives have created an interactive, online trivia quiz, and writers of all ages will be invited to submit their work to an essay contest. The city's website also features a list of local service providers and short presentations by participating local organizations to educate and entertain in an effort to further Dr. King's legacy. The event will also be recorded and posted on the city's website. For information, visit www.cityhpil.com/mlk or email Laura Frey at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Virtual Dreamers' Event
Virtually 10 a.m. to noon Monday, Jan. 18. Waukegan Township is hosting its annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr's Dreamers' Breakfast virtually this year. The theme this year is "American Heroes Struggle Toward Justice, Health and Wholeness." Tickets start at $25. For information, call (847) 244-9242 or email email@example.com. For tickets and sponsorships, visit www.waukegantownship.com.
MLK Day Service Project
Virtually at 11 a.m. Monday, Jan. 18, Niles-Maine District Library, 6960 Oakton St., Niles. Students in grades K-8, with caregiver through grade two. Create valentine cards for homebound senior citizens. Pick up materials at the library ahead of time or use your own. More information provided after registration. Register at www.nileslibrary.org.
Dial-a-Story -- Happy Birthday, Martin Luther King
Monday, Jan. 18, Schaumburg Township District Library. Phone-in program for kids. Call the library at (847) 923-3197 to hear this week's story, "Happy Birthday, Martin Luther King" by Jean Marzollo, read by Miss Amber. New stories available every Monday and Friday. For information, www.schaumburglibrary.org.
I Care Collection
Drop off items between noon and 2 p.m. Monday, Jan. 18, at the Highland Park Country Club, 1201 Park Avenue West, Highland Park. The Highland Park/Highwood Rotary Club and Highland Park High School Rotary Interact Club are collecting items to support the homeless in Lake County. The "I Care" Collection will be donated to PADS, which provides trauma-informed support, resources, and shelter to individuals and families experiencing a housing crisis in Lake County. Individuals not able to drop off items during the event can email firstname.lastname@example.org for a contactless pickup at their home before 10 a.m. Jan. 18. Donations requested include the following: hand sanitizer, latex gloves, toilet paper, cleaning supplies, new men's and women's sweatpants and sweatshirts, travel size spray bottles, microwave safe individual meal containers, bottled water, chips/pretzels/snacks, grocery store gift cards and fast food gift cards.
COD's virtual MLK ceremony
3 p.m. Monday, Jan. 18, livestreamed at www.facebook.com/collegeofdupage/. Celebrate the memory and legacy of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. during a virtual ceremony with the College of DuPage. Featuring a keynote address by COD Professor of Justice Studies Theodore Darden, the ceremony includes the announcement of the four recipients of the college's 2021 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship. The recipients were selected based on their demonstration of how the ideals taught and demonstrated by Dr. King have directly made an impact on their lives. The students will share how they have been inspired to make an impact on the lives of others based on the work of Dr. King. Interim Dean of Students Nathania Montes will provide the welcome and Student Diversity and Inclusion Manager David Swope will serve as emcee. Scholarships are made possible by the College of DuPage Foundation, The Latino Outreach Center, and The Center for Student Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Visit www.cod.edu.
United Way Equity Challenge
Ongoing, Jan. 18 through June 19. United Way of Lake County joins United Ways across the state in the United Way of Illinois Equity Challenge, a 21-week program -- From Martin Luther King Jr. Day to Juneteenth -- designed to encourage Illinois residents to engage in racial equity conversations. This free, online learning program will provide lessons and resources for Illinoisans to learn about racial issues and systemic inequalities together. Participants will complete weekly learning assignments about equity, racism, bias and more. The 15-minute assignments include readings, videos, and questions for participants to consider. Upon completion, they will receive a digital certificate and tips and tools to help continue the conversation in their local community. To take part, visit www.unitedwayillinois.org/equity-challenge.
'Living the Dream'
Virtually at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 18. Residents of DuPage and neighboring counties are invited to join "Living The Dream," the annual celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday and legacy, in a documentary. This recorded service will be available on the Second Baptist Church's website (sbcwheaton.org), YouTube channel and Facebook page, and Gary United Methodist Church's website (garychurch.org) and Facebook page. This year they celebrate 31 years, the oldest public celebration of the life and ministry of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in DuPage County. This documentary will include singing by the Second Baptist Church Music Ministry and more, performances by George Saltar, "Motivator G," Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s Mountain Top Speech by 14-year-old Charles Sykes and excerpts from various keynote speakers. (630) 260-0190 or www.dupagemlk.org.
Marcus Gentry of Marcus Gentry Associates will perform his one man play, "I Have A Dream: A King's Journey," as part of the College of Lake County's virtual celebration of the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at 6 p.m. Jan. 25.
- Courtesy of the College of Lake County
Know Your History to Guide Your Future
Virtually at 6 p.m. Monday, Jan. 25. The College of Lake County is partnering with Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., Kappa Chi Lambda chapter, based in Waukegan, to present "Know Your History to Guide Your Future." As a part of the event, Marcus Gentry of Marcus Gentry Associates will present his one man play, "I Have a Dream: A King's Journey." The performance is designed with an educational focus, centered around historical content. See a full description at www.marcusgentry.com/i-have-a-dream. Details on how to attend the virtual gathering will be posted on the fraternity's Facebook page, Lake County Alphas, at www.facebook.com/lakecountyalphas.