6 Ways to Honor Martin Luther King, Jr.

“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is Jan. 19. Your children may have the day off from school but don’t let them waste the day moseying around or watching television. Take advantage of the many opportunities in our community to educate them, and maybe even yourself, on the importance of King’s life and work.

1. Participate in a service project

Who: The Volunteer Center and The Kindness Connection have joined forces with the Winnetka Historical Society to provide an afternoon hosted by the Winnetka Community House.

What: The organizations are planning an event to celebrate King’s life and his service for others. The afternoon will begin with a video presentation and commentary that discusses the 1965 North Shore Summer Project and Dr. King’s visit to the Winnetka Village Green. After the 30-minute video presentation, people of all ages can participate in eight various service projects that will benefit the homeless, seniors, youth, military personnel, women and children, hospital patients, refugees and sheltered animals. No RSVP necessary.

When: Monday, Jan. 19, 1-4 p.m.

Where: Winnetka Community House, 620 Lincoln Ave., Winnetka

For more information about the MLK Day of Service, please visit The Volunteer Center or The Kindness Connection online, or email [email protected] or [email protected].

2. Learn more about the development of race

Who: The Illinois Holocaust Museum and the YWCA Evanston/North Shore

What: The organizations are co-presenting a national exhibit called “RACE: Are We So Different?” The IHM will be offering half-price admission for the exhibit to honor Martin Luther King, Jr. Adults cost $6 and Children cost $3. More than 7,700 students have already experienced this rich collection of interactive technology, the history of race and how it applies to our lives today.

Where: Illinois Holocaust Museum, 9603 Woods Drive, Skokie

When: Monday, Jan, 19, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

To learn more, please read our story, “RACE: We aren’t So Different,” or visit the museum’s website.

3. See the movie “Selma” 

What: The Golden Globe-nominated film produced by Oprah Winfrey and Brad Pitt, among others, chronicles King’s campaign to secure equal voting rights through an epic march from Selma to Montgomery, Ala., in 1965.

Where: Theaters everywhere, so buy your tickets now!

When: The movie opened in theaters everywhere this past weekend.

For more information on the film, visit the movie’s official website.

To listen to “Glory,” which won the Golden Globe for Best Original Song, click here.

4. Enjoy dance, song, poetry and music

Who: The African American Arts Alliance of Chicago

What: The organization announced the performance of “Justice Is Ours,” its 4th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Celebration. It will be a dedication of dance, song, poetry and music. Tickets are $12 and can be purchased online or at the door on the evening of the event. The event will feature performances by Sketch N’ Tyme, The Robbert Reddrick Trio, Alexis Rogers, Yahdina Udeen, Dawn Bless, Red Clay Dance and RIZE Youth Dance Company

When: Jan. 19, 7 p.m. with a pre-show reception at 6 p.m.

Where: The Black Ensemble Theater Cultural Center, 4450 N. Clark St., Chicago

For more information, visit the African American Arts Alliance of Chicago website.

5. Celebrate community

Who: The Highland Park Community and friends

What: The 6th annual MLK Day of Service will feature appearances by Jesse White, Highland Park’s Lynn Epps, the Edgewood Middle School Chorus, and the Jesse White Tumblers. Service and learning opportunities will be available for children and adults of all ages that will benefit our veterans and active troops, local shelters, food banks and a local health clinic, among others.

When: Monday, Jan. 19, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Where: Recreation Center of Highland Park, 1207 Park Ave. West

For more information, visit All For Good or contact the event organizer, Cheryl Levi, at [email protected]

6. Watch arts performances

Who: Youth Organizations Umbrella (Y.O.U.) and the Music Institute of Chicago

What: The organization will host its 9th annual Diverse Communities United event, which is a community-wide celebration of peace, diversity, unity, leadership and service. The event will feature original songs, choreography, dramatic performances and visual art pieces created by youth in honor of MLK’s legacy of diversity and togetherness. To RSVP, fill out the form here.

When: Monday, Jan, 1911 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Where: The Music Institute’s Nichols Concert Hall, 1490 Chicago Ave., Evanston

For more information, contact Sofia Porter-Castro at 847-866-1200, ext. 223.