Martin Luther King Jr. Poster

During the annual Dr. Martin Luther King Day march on Jan. 21, 2019, a participant gave legs to a King poster during the march from the Old Courthouse downtown to Leonard Baptist Church, 1100 N. Compton Ave.  Observances honoring King, who was born on Jan. 15, 1929, will be different this year.  In response to the coronavirus pandemic, speeches, programs, awards ceremonies and other activities will be held virtually, by Zoom, YouTube and other digital means. 

Fri., Jan. 15, 12 noon, Christian Hospital 4th Annual “Embracing the Dream” Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration. KSDK-TV’s Rene Knott will serve as master of ceremonies. The event will feature a courageous conversation about rising above the challenges of race, injustice and exclusion, including commentary from Bryant McBride and Willie O’Ree. Bryant McBride is the first African American class president at the United States Military Academy at West Point. Willie Eldon O'Ree is the first Black hockey player to play in a National Hockey League game. This year’s event will take place virtually and will also include the presentation of Drum Major awards, which are bestowed upon unsung local heroes who have given their time, talents, treasure and service in the name of justice, equity and equality. The 2021 Drum Major Award recipients are: Adrian Bracy — CEO of YWCA Metro St. Louis; Chris Krehmeyer — president/CEO of Beyond Housing; Elizabeth Perkins — Campus president, St. Louis Community College at Florissant Valley, and Keith Williamson — president, Centene Charitable Foundation at Centene Corporation. Drum Major Scholarships will be awarded to student scholars from Ferguson-Florissant, Hazelwood, Jennings, Normandy, Ritenour,and Riverview Gardens school districts; Incarnate Word Academy, Cardinal Ritter College Preparatory, Trinity Catholic and Lutheran North high schools and St. Louis Community College. For more information, visit

Sat., Jan. 16 – Mon., Jan. 18, Jack & Jill of America, Inc. - St. Louis Chapter will host its 2021 JJOA MLK Day of Service Weekend. On Jan. 18, the chapter will host two virtual community panel discussions — “‘I Have a Dream’ Children’s Chat & Story Time” and Tween/Teen “Beyond the Dream” Virtual Town Hall and Call to Action. Both will be focused on the impact & legacy of King with the theme of, “Then and Now — Education, Socio-Economic and Health Inequality of African-American Youth.” The event will culminate with a city-wide on-line campaign and drive-by donation drive and mobile food market where the members of the public will join JJSTL in fighting hunger and disparities in the St. Louis African American community. For more information, visit,Louis%20Area or

Sun., Jan. 17 – Mon., Jan. 18, The Missouri Historical Society is hosting a series of free, virtual program in honor of MLK Day and commemorating the 60th anniversary of King’s visit to the United Hebrew Temple on Skinker Boulevard, which today serves as the Society’s Library & Research Center. The virtual program series includes gospel yoga, youth activism workshops and a special virtual event featuring a first-hand account from a St. Louisan who was in the audience the day of King’s 1960 speech at the United Hebrew Temple. For registration and a full listing of scheduled programming, visit

Mon., Jan. 18, 8:30 a.m., Saint Louis Zoo’s MLK Day Camp: Animal Super Heroes, For kids in grades 1-5. This is a virtual program that is limited to 20 participants. Cost is $30 for Zoo members and $33 for the general public. Jan.18, from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. For more information and registration, visit Additional information will be included in the Zoom website link that will be sent after registration.

Mon., Jan. 18, 10 a.m. Saint Louis Art Museum Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Freedom Celebration, “Inspired by a Movement.” Join the Saint Louis Art Museum for a unique, virtual edition of the annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Freedom Celebration. Inspired by depictions of King and the Civil Rights Movement by Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer, Moneta Sleet Jr., local Black performing artists respond to Sleet’s photographs through music, dance, and theatrical presentations. This program is supported by the Dana Brown Endowed Fund for Education and Community Programs. For more information, visit

Mon., Jan. 18, 11 a.m., University of Missouri-St. Louis Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Observance. Michele Norris, former NPR host and special correspondent, founding director of The Race Card Project and Washington Post opinions contributor, will deliver the keynote address. The event will also feature a special performance led by Brian Owens, founder and executive director of L.I.F.E. Arts Inc. and the E. Desmond Lee Fine Arts Collaborative Community Music Artist in Residence. The event will take place virtually. For more information and log in, visit

Mon., Jan. 18, 4 pm., Washington University 2021 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Lecture with keynote address by Professor Dorothy Roberts. She is the 14th Penn Integrates Knowledge Professor and George A. Weiss University Professor of Law & Sociology at the University of Pennsylvania. She has joint appointments in the Departments of Africana Studies and Sociology and the Law School, where she is the inaugural Raymond Pace and Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander Professor of Civil Rights. She is also the founding director of the Penn Program on Race, Science and Society. The Celebration lecture will take place via Zoom. Registration is not required to attend the lecture. To join, please use the following link:

Tues., Jan. 19, 6 p.m., St. Louis Community College — Florissant Valley and the North County Churches Uniting for Racial Harmony and Justice are proud to present the 2021 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Virtual celebration. The event’s keynote speaker will be Rudolph Nickens, Diversity, equity, inclusion and sustainability partner at Evolution. For more information, visit

Tues., Jan. 26, 12 noon, Maryville University Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration. This year’s keynote address will be delivered by Dr. Joy DeGruy, nationally and internationally renowned researcher, educator, author and presenter. The celebration will be a virtual event. For more information, email at

Tues., Jan. 26, 4 p.m., University of Missouri, Columbia, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration. The 2021 theme is “Infinite Hope: The Power and Possibilities of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Vision.” The keynote address will be provided byAmbassador Andrew Young. A congressman, mayor, humanitarian, ordained minister, international businessman and sports enthusiast, Young has been serving and shaping our country for almost 50 years. The event will take place via Zoom. For more information, visit

Thurs., Jan. 28, 2:30 p.m., Saint Louis University will present its annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Tribute along with Loyola University Maryland and the University of San Francisco. Rev. Dr. Starsky D. Wilson, former president of the Deaconess Foundation and newly appointed CEO of The Children’s Defense Fund, will deliver the keynote address for the virtual event. For more information, visit

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