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GUIDE: List of events in Northeast Ohio honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Most events have moved online this year due to the pandemic, but there are a few in-person programs scheduled.

CLEVELAND — A number of events are planned across Northeast Ohio in honor of the life and legacy of slain civil rights leader Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Most events have moved online this year due to the pandemic, but there are a few in-person programs scheduled including self-guided hikes and tours of local institutions.


Case Western Reserve University MLK Convocation featuring Heather McGhee February 5 | 12:45 PM | Virtual

Event Details: Author Heather McGhee, shares insights from her book, The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together. 

For more information, email mlkconvo@case.edu. 

Cleveland History Center Martin Luther King, Jr. Day | January 18

Event Details: The Western Reserve Historical Society will offer a variety of online programming including exhibit presentations and walkthroughs and viewings of historical photographs of Martin Luther King Jr. in Cleveland.

The Cleveland Museum of Art's Martin Luther King Day Program: Becoming a Beloved Community January 18, 2021 | 6pm | Free | Online Event

Event Details: Poets will use Michelangelo Lovelace’s painting “My Home Town” to examine racial divide and community.

The program includes:

  • Opening remarks by Reverend Dr. Jawanza Colvin, pastor of Olivet Institutional Baptist Church, museum trustee and inaugural chair of the museum’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee
  • Original poems recited by Cuyahoga County poet laureate Honey Bell-Bey and acclaimed poet Orlando Watson
  • Closing moderated discussion

Cleveland Museum of Natural History's Discovery Day January 18, 10 A.M.-7 P.M.

Event Details: Museum Programs include The Secret Lives of Dinosaurs: Meet a Paleontologist, Human Evolution: Following in Lucy's Footsteps, Meet the Dinosaurs, It's Not Black & White: How a Museum Defines 'Race', and The Skies Above.

The Cleveland Orchestra's 41st Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration
January 14, 7 P.M.

Event Details: The Cleveland Orchestra has prepared a community celebration that honors the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. The event includes a special airing of their 2018 Celebration Concert on Adella.

Credit: The Cleveland Orchestra

Karamu House: Infinite Hope January 18 – 24 

Event Details: “Infinite Hope,” is a 55-minute virtual presentation of spoken word, song, and dance. 

Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage's Hear Our Voices: Free MLK Day Celebration January 18 | All Day | Virtual

Event Details: The Maltz Museum will honor the legacy of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with an all-day celebration that includes family activities, and a special program featuring Dr. David Pilgrim of the Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia.”

Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Concert Hosted By: The Music Settlement and BOP STOP at The Music Settlement January 17 | 3 p.m.

Streaming Live: Facebook.com/BOPSTOP

Credit: The Music Settlement/BopStop

Push Thru Athletics: MLK Clinic January 18 | 12-3 p.m. | St. Ignatius High School | Cost: $50

All boys and girls ages 8 -15 are invited to have fun while learning the fundamentals of basketball. 

Click here for ticket information

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame : A Virtual Celebration Of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day January 18 | 12-11:59 PM

Event Details: “It’s Been Said All Along: Voices of Rage, Hope & Empowerment” will feature live music and dance performances, rare archival footage, educational spotlights, and more.

Soul in the Game: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr and Baseball January 16 | 10 -11:30 A.M. | Virtual 

Event Details: Learn about Dr. King’s multifaceted connection to baseball. You hear about his experiences as a black youth playing baseball in the segregated South. 

Click here for more information


Akron Art Museum & Akron-Summit County Public Library Martin Luther King, Jr. Day January 18 | 10 A.M. – 4 P.M.

Event Details: On Jan. 18, you can watch videos from a collection that spotlights important moments in the Civil Rights Movement. Black authors and poets will share their readings on Facebook and Instagram as well. 

The Akron Urban League Annual MLK Day Breakfast Celebration – Virtual January 18 | 9-10 A.M. 

Event Details: Hear from local leaders and young professionals about the shared history within the Jewish and African American communities.  

Akron Zoo January 18 | 11 A.M. – 4 P.M.

Free admission for all guests. No tickets will be available at the door.

Event Details: To reserve your tickets, click here. 

Summit Metro Parks free self-guided MLK Hike January 18 | 9 A.M. -11 P.M. 2077 Newton St., Akron, OH 44305

Event Details: Take a self-guided hike along Alder Trail inspired by the life of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Geauga County:

Geauga County Public Library and the Geauga County Library Foundation January 18 | 3 P.M.

Virtual screening and discussion of the documentary True Justice: Bryan Stevenson’s Fight For Equality 

Lake County:

MLK Celebration The Soul Of A Woman January 17 | 6 PM | Tickets: $20 Another Place: 28600 Ridgehills Rd. Wickliffe, OH 44092

Event Details: This event will feature of Aretha Franklin, Anita Baker, Toni Braxton and Mary J Blige. Feature local Vocalist Donnie Lynee will perform.

Click here for tickets

Lorain County:

Lorain County Metro Parks Virtual Event | January 15-22

Event Details: MLK: Remember The Dream is a week long program that includes a craft activity, an MLK book reading and a trivia trail activity at French Creek Reservation.

The Interfaith Ministries of Lorain County and Lorain Interfaith Association Martin Luther King Day Jr. Celebration January 18 | 1-3 PM | Zoom

Event Details: Community leaders will have a conversation about Dr. King’s legacy and how it can help our nation overcome a variety of divisions in country.
More information, contact Robert Moore at robertmoorewriting.com.

Related links:

Editor's Note: The below video aired on September 12, 2020