MLK Jr. Day Events in Southeast Michigan

In honor of this African-American activist, Macomb, Oakland, Washtenaw and Wayne counties offer 2015 family-friendly events celebrating his life

MLK Jr. Events in Southeast Michigan

On Monday, Jan. 19, 2015, our nation honors perhaps the greatest civil rights activist: Martin Luther King Jr. Southeast Michigan does its part by offering family-friendly events in celebration of this man and all he accomplished. From inspiring speeches to craft activities, exhibits and more, Macomb, Oakland, Washtenaw and Wayne counties offer a variety of events this MLK Jr. Day. Metro Parent has checked out and listed some of these events at favorite local favorite. So take a peek at this list and find a fitting way to honor Dr. King. Note that events are listed roughly in date/time order.

Max M. Fisher Music Center in Detroit

Jan. 16, 2015 (Friday prior)

  • Address: 3711 Woodward Ave., Detroit
  • Phone: 313-577-5284
  • Time: 10 a.m.
  • Cost: $10/program, $65/program and luncheon

Wayne State University hosts a Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. tribute featuring keynote speaker Dr. Sampson Davis, Dr. Rameck Hunt and Dr. George Jenkins, known at The Three Doctors – role models for anyone who have been through a major hardship.

Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit

Jan. 19, 2015

  • Address: 315 E. Warren Ave., Detroit
  • Phone: 313-494-5800
  • Time: 8-10 a.m./commemorative breakfast, 9 a.m.-6 p.m./museum activities
  • Cost: Free with museum admission: $8/ages 13-61, $5/kids ages 3-12 and seniors 62-plus, free/under 3) $35/breakfast

Today is this historical hotspot’s busiest day of the year. Arrive at 8 a.m. for a commemorative breakfast (be sure to register in advance to secure a place). Then spend the rest of the day enjoying arts and crafts, musical performances, storytelling, video tributes, special displays and more.

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Athens High School in Troy

Jan. 19, 2015

  • Address: 4333 John R St., Troy
  • Phone: 248-524-1147
  • Time: 8:30-10:30 a.m.
  • Cost: Free; donations accepted

All are welcome to join Athens High School as it hosts a multi-activity event, titled A Celebration of Freedom, full of art displays, essays and guest speakers.

Farmington Community Library Main Branch

Jan. 19, 2015

  • Address: 32727 W. 12 Mile Road, Farmington Hills
  • Phone: 248-553-0300
  • Time: 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
  • Cost: Free

The event begins at 9 a.m. at Prince of Peace Church (28000 New Market Road), with a one-third-mile walk to the library. There, the O.E. Dunckel Middle School Ccoir performs at 10:15 a.m., followed by a keynote presentation by LaNesha DeBardelaben of the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History at 11:45 a.m. Then, there’s a reading by poet Ber-Henda Williams at 11:30 a.m., storytelling with Miz Rosie at 1 p.m., the Harrison High School Dance Company at 2 p.m. and an awards ceremony for the “Courage of King” writing contest at 2:30 p.m. Plus crafts going on in the children’s room (10 a.m.-4 p.m.).

MLK Peace Walk Celebration in Southfield

Jan. 19, 2015

  • Address: United Hope Methodist Church and Southfield Pavilion
  • Time 9:30 a.m./walk, 11 a.m./program
  • Cost: Free

Families gather at United Hope Methodist Church (26275 Northwestern Highway) for this 30-year-old walk commemorating Martin Luther King Jr., sponsored by Martin Luther King Jr. Task Force, Inc. The program afterward happens at the Southfield Pavilion (26000 Evergreen Road).

Baldwin Public Library in Royal Oak

Jan. 19, 2015

  • Address: 300 W. Merrill St., Birmingham
  • Time: 9:30 a.m.-9 p.m.
  • Cost: Free

Visit this “MLK Day Activity Center” at the library for a craft and activities to recognize Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Materials are all provided.

University of Michigan, Detroit Center

Jan. 19, 2015

  • Address: 3663 Woodward Ave., Detroit
  • Phone: 313-593-3584
  • Time: 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
  • Cost: Free

Dr. Marc Lamont Hill’s keynote address is simulcast from Ann Arbor in this 29th annual event, followed by a complimentary lunch and an afternoon panel discussion by panelists Ken Cockrel Jr. of Detroit Future City, Lawrence Williamson of Midtown Inc. and Rico Razo with Detroit’s department of neighborhoods. Registration not required but appreciated.

Hill Auditorium in Ann Arbor

Jan. 19, 2015

  • Address: 825 N. University Ave., Ann Arbor
  • Phone: 734-763-3333
  • Time: 10-11:30 a.m.
  • Cost: Free

This annual keynote address with journalist and activist Marc Lamont Hill returns.

Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum

Jan. 19, 2015

  • Address: 220 E. Ann St., Ann Arbor
  • Phone: 734-995-5439
  • Time: 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
  • Cost: $6/ages 2-plus (special pricing)

On MLK Jr. Day, the AAHOM offers a reduced admission rate and tons of fun. Kids use toys to discover their inner engineer in the museum’s pop-up “makerspace” – and today, the challenge is dowels and rubber bands.

Detroit Historical Museum

Jan. 19, 2015

  • Address: 5401 Woodward Ave., Detroit
  • Phone: 313-833-7935
  • Time: 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
  • Cost: Free

Today the museum offers a wide variety of activities that let families of all backgrounds play together and learn of King’s life and legacy in honor of his 86th birthday.

Painting with a Twist in Ferndale

Jan. 19, 2015

  • Address: 200 W. Nine Mile Road, Ferndale
  • Phone: 248-850-7182
  • Time: 1-3 p.m.
  • Cost: $25/seat

Create your own MLK Day masterpiece at this Ferndale spot. Celebrate by painting a picture that exemplifies this year’s theme, “Sharing a Heart of Dreams.” Register in advance to secure seat.

Black Pond Woods Nature Area in Ann Arbor

Jan. 19, 2015

  • Address: 1831 Traver Road, Ann Arbor
  • Phone: 734-794-6627
  • Time: 1-3 p.m.
  • Cost: Free

Natural Area Preservation, an organization that works to protect nature spaces in Ann Arbor, encourages local residents to use their MLK Day off to volunteer. Head here and help remove invasive shrubs and clean up the area. Wear long pants and closed-toe shoes (dress for weather!). Tools, snacks, training provided.

Detroit Institute of Arts

Jan. 19, 2015

  • Address: 5200 Woodward Ave., Detroit
  • Phone: 313-833-7900
  • Time: 2 p.m.
  • Cost: $8.50/nonmembers, $6.50/DIA members

The 1970s documentary King: A Filmed Record … Montgomery to Memphis, follows the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and plays today.

Power Center for the Performing Arts in Ann Arbor

Jan. 19, 2015

  • Address: 121 Fletcher St., Ann Arbor
  • Phone: 734-764-0583
  • Time: 2 p.m.
  • Cost: Free

The University of Michigan’s School of Music, Theatre and Dance performs in honor of Dr. King. This year’s theme is Face the Challenge of Change.

Flint Institute of Arts

Jan. 19, 2015

  • Address: 1120 E. Kearsley St., Flint
  • Phone: 810-234-1695
  • Time: 4-6 p.m.
  • Cost: Free

Kids ages 5-12 can capture “a peaceful moment ” and add it to “freedom frame” based on Dr. King’s messages of love, peace and tolerance. Plus performances by Gamma Delta Kudos and live music by Mama Sol and Tha N.U.T.S. Light refreshments provided. Note: Earlier, 2-4 p.m. at the Flint Public Library (1026 E. Kearsley St.), find live performances by the Boys and Girls Club, Flint Steel Drum Band and Gamma Delta Kudos and a speech by W. David Tarver.

Village Theater at Cherry Hill in Canton

Jan. 19, 2015

  • Address: 50400 Cherry Hill Road, Canton
  • Phone: 734-394-5460
  • Time: 5:30 p.m./reception, 6 p.m./program
  • Cost: $2/general admission

This tribute, titled Canton Celebrates Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., celebrates his legacy with music and dance, a display of PCEP Arts Academy artwork and essays. Plus, a luncheon and speech by keynote speaker the Reverend Father William Reese Jr.


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