Martin Luther King, Jr.Martin Luther King Jr. Day 2015 will be marked with a series of events around Intown, including a parade, awards dinner and much more. Here are some of the activities:

Strategies of the Civil Rights Movement
A new exhibition at the National Center for Civil and Human Rights in Downtown opens today, Jan. 12, and continues through May 3. Some of the artifacts on display include handwritten notes for Dr. Kings speech on Selma in 1965, Dr. King’s Diary from Albany Jail, a letter from President Lyndon Johnson to Dr. King dated 1963 and  King’s address on the Civil Rights Act of 1964. For more details visit

Martin Luther King Jr. Civil and Human Rights Conference
This year’s conference will be held Jan. 15–19 in Atlanta at the Westin Peachtree Plaza. Established to commemorate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the accomplishments of the civil rights movement, this multi-ethnic, multi-gender and intergenerational conference is specifically inclusive of people of color, young people, LGBTQ people, women and immigrants. There will be workshops, panels and more. For more information, visit

MLK Day 5K
This 5K walk/run will take place entirely in Piedmont Park on Jan. 17, starting at 8 a.m. The Peachtree Road Race qualifier will be run on grass, road, gravel, wooden bridge and dirt paths through the park. There will be a 3.1 mile drumline along the race course to encourage participants. To register, visit

The King Center & Annual March and Rally
This year’s observance at The King Center on Auburn Avenue in the Martin Luther King Jr. Historic District includes programs for youth, lectures, music and more. On Jan. 19, the annual King Holiday March and Rally will be held at 2 p.m. along Peachtree Street to the King Center. Visit for more information.

MLK Annual Commemorative Service
The Martin Luther King, Jr. Annual Commemorative Service will be held on Jan. 19 at 10 a.m. Ebenezer Baptist Church on Auburn Avenue. The service is an ecumenical endeavor, engaging members of various religious traditions, and state national and international governments. Guest speakers will include keynote speaker Dr. Gwendolyn E. Boyd, actor David Oyelowo (who plays king in the film Selma) and a musical tribute from Sandy Patty. Visit for more details on this year’s service.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service
On Jan. 19, Hands On Atlanta will host “A Day On Not a Day Off” and will provide opportunities for community improvement at five local schools including local community cleanup. There will also be as an essay challenge in which each school will select the winner of a MLK essay contest to read at the service site on MLK Day. The essay topic will demonstrate ways that Dr. King’s Speech in 1963 still resonates in the challenges we face today. Hands On Atlanta is also hosting a “Sunday Supper” on Jan. 18 with the theme “Our Greatest Resource: Youth in Service to Build a Better Community.” For more details visit,

Salute to Greatness Awards Dinner
The King Center will recognize President Bill Clinton for his work with The Clinton Foundation, including his bi-partisan efforts with the Clinton Global Initiative, by presenting him with one of the Center’s highest honors, the Salute to Greatness Award. The dinner will take place on Jan. 17 at 7 p.m. in the Hyatt Regency Hotel. The 2015 corporate honoree is Kaiser Permanente, and the award will be accepted by CEO Bernard J. Tyson. The King Center will also present two Coretta Scott King A.N.G.E.L. (“Advancing Nonviolence through Generations of Exceptional Leadership”) Awards to Aidan Thomas Hornaday, 13, founder of Aidan Cares, for his commitment to helping those in need through philanthropic and humanitarian efforts, and to the Tangelo Park Program, established by Harris Rosen. For tickets and information, visit

Prophetic Voice
Dr. Rabbi Abraham Skorka will join Masorti Olami, the world council of Conservative/ Masorti synagogues, and the Atlanta community for a conversation honoring the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Jan. 18 at 7 p.m. at Congregation Or-Hadash, 7460 Trowbridge Road, Sandy Springs. Co-hosted by the American Jewish Committee and The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta, the event will feature a discussion on the “Prophetic Voice” and how religious tradition and values can transform society.

MLK Parade and Rally
The DeKalb  NAACP branch will sponsor its 13th annual Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Parade and Rally on Jan. 19. The parade will step off at 12:30 p.m. from the parking lot of Green Pastures Christian Ministries, 5455 Flat Shoals Parkway in Decatur, turn right on Snapfinger Road and end at MLK Jr. High School. The rally will begin immediately after the parade in the school’s auditorium.

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.