Martin Luther King Jr. Day Events in Metro Detroit and Ann Arbor

In honor of this African-American activist, Macomb, Oakland, Washtenaw and Wayne counties offer these virtual and in-person Martin Luther King Jr. Day events.

On Monday, Jan. 17, 2022, our nation honors perhaps the greatest Civil Rights activist: Martin Luther King Jr.

In southeast Michigan, local spots do their part by offering plenty of family-friendly Martin Luther King Jr. Day events in celebration of this man and all he accomplished.

Here, you will find a list of inspiring speeches, craft activities, exhibits and more in Macomb, Oakland, Washtenaw and Wayne counties, and beyond to commemorate Dr. King.

Search the list and find the right way to teach your kids about the Civil Rights movement, and bring up conversations about race and racism, this MLK Day.

Note: Due to COVID-19, some events may cancel without notice and those that do happen may enforce social distancing, face masks and other safety protocols. Make sure you contact your chosen event for details if you choose to head out to one.

United We Walk at West Bloomfield High School

Jan. 16, 2022

This annual walk returns for the 28th year and makes its way through downtown West Bloomfield. This year’s theme is “Dream, Believe, Do.”

Honoring the Legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.: MLK and The Lighthouse Effect

Jan. 17, 2022

  • Address: Virtual
  • Time: 2-3:10 p.m.
  • Cost: Free

The Library MLK Committee presents a talk with Steve Pemberton, best-selling author and business leader. A Q&A session follows the event.

King: A Filmed Record… Montgomery to Memphis at the Detroit Film Theatre

Jan. 17, 2022

Check out one of the most well-known documentaries depicting Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Civil Rights activism. The film is 185 minutes long and includes an intermission.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day at the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation

Jan. 17, 2022

Celebrate MLK’s life with free admission to the museum, historical presentations, artifacts and hands-on fun. Registration required.

MLK Day at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit

Jan. 17, 2022

  • Address: 315 E. Warren Ave., Detroit
  • Time: 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
  • Cost: Free with museum admission: $15/ages 13-61, $12/ages 3-12 and 62-plus, free/under 3

Enjoy virtual keynote speaker, Andrew Young, and other presentations. You can also visit the museum for other fun activities.

MLK Day Celebration: The Butler at the Chelsea District Library

Jan. 17, 2022

Celebrate MLK Day with the inspiring story of a Black butler who worked at the White House serving eight U.S. presidents. You can watch in-person or in the comfort of your own home.

MLK Day Circle of Unity at the Diag in Ann Arbor

Jan. 17, 2022

The event brings the community, students, staff and faculty together to celebrate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. through spoken word, song and dance.

MLK Day of Service at Barton Nature Area in Ann Arbor

Jan. 17, 2022

Do as Dr. King would do and use your day off to do some good in the local community. Head out to the nature center to help clean it up. Warm clothes and closed-toed shoes required and so is pre-registration.

MLK Family Day at Painting with a Twist in Ferndale

Jan. 17, 2022

Create your own MLK Day masterpiece at this Ferndale spot. Good for ages 7-plus. Registration required.

MLK, Jr. Day: Give Us the Ballot at the Detroit Historical Museum

Jan. 17, 2022

Visitors can participate in a voter registration project for kids and listen to an expert discuss the importance of registering to vote. Kids will make their own ‘mock’ voter registration cards and color MLK coloring pages. The event will conclude with cupcakes and a sing-along to Stevie Wonder’s, Happy Birthday.

MLK, Militarism, and the Future at Hussey Rm Michigan League

Jan. 17, 2022

This event is offered in person and virtually. Veterans for Peace-93 and the U-M Office of Veterans and Military Services examine Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s concepts of racism, militarism and military services.

U-M 2022 MLK Memorial Keynote Lecture: This Is America at the University of Michigan Detroit Center

Jan. 17, 2022

The theme this year for the MLK Day Celebration is, “This is America.” You can attend in person or livestream the event.

Looking for another way to celebrate MLK Day this year? Check out our list of at-home day of service ideas for more.

This post was originally published in 2016 and is updated regularly.


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