Your Guide to MLK Day in West Michigan

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Aquinas College MLK Social Justic March

Whether you’re the type to roll up your sleeves and get busy or you’d rather sit still and learn, there are lots of ways to honor Martin Luther King Jr. Day across West Michigan.

Here’s what is slated locally for the national holiday on Monday:

MLK Day of Service

You’re invited to make this MLK Day “a day on, not a day off.”

How? Honor King’s legacy by volunteering for a project that drives social good. You can join already planned projects, develop your own or connect with a nonprofit.

Find MLK Day of Service volunteer opportunities online via The Corporation for National and Community Service.

Dr. Martin Luther King Commemorative Celebration

Head downtown to hear an acclaimed speaker tackle the topics of justice, bias and more.

David Stovall is a professor at the University of Illinois-Chicago. He will headline the 33rd-annual Dr. Martin Luther King Commemorative Celebration. It’s hosted by Davenport University, Grand Rapids Community College and Grand Valley State University.

The speech is at Fountain Street Church in Grand Rapids. Doors open at 5:30 p.m., and the event begins at 6 p.m. Admission is free.

Stovall will also appear at free community events at the colleges: 9:30 a.m., a presentation at Grand Rapids Community College in the Applied Technical Center Auditorium; 1:30 p.m. at the MLK Silent March and Celebration at Grand Valley State University in the Zumberge Hall/Fieldhouse Arena; 12 p.m. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration and Silent March at Davenport University in the Sneden Auditorium.

“50 Faces of MLK”

Time is running out to see an exhibit that digs deeper into the life of MLK.

The Grand Rapids African American Museum & Archives has on display an exhibit devoted to King, with a small display of artifacts. “50 Faces of MLK” opened last April and runs through Feb. 28.

Its hours are from noon to 5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday. Admission is free. Donations are suggested online.

“How Would You Change the World?”

For MLK Day, Holland Museum is affirming that black lives matter.

“How Would You Change the World” is a family-friendly exhibit that spotlights minority inventors, the civil rights movement and the truth that people from diverse backgrounds can make a difference. It will include a full display on the life of MLK and play video clips of King’s speeches in the lobby.

It is from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Admission is free.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day

The Muskegon Museum of Art is hosting a free community day to honor the life of MLK.

The event will use displays, activities, film and a panel discussion to convey aspects of the black experience and get real about social issues. The film “Black Man” by Jon Wesley Covington will be shown. Covington will moderate a panel discussion afterward.

It is from 10 a.m.-8 p.m.

MLK Day March & Celebration

Community members are invited to join Aquinas College students, staff and faculty as they march for social justice on MLK Day.

The college’s Center for Diversity, Inclusion and Equity is sponsoring a march that starts at Donnelly Hall and winds around the campus. Refreshments will be served after the march, and Pastor Jerome Glenn, of Revolution Culture Movement and Light, will give a talk.

The march begins at 3:10 p.m.

Unlearn — Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Calvin College is putting on a series of events Monday to mark MLK Day.

The college will host a special morning chapel and a march right after, followed by a cake and punch reception in the Multicultural Student Development Office.

The day’s January Series talk at 12:30 is titled “Dreaming the End of Racial America” by Willie Jennings, a Yale University professor. The college is also encouraging everyone to attend the Stovall speech at Fountain Street Church to round out the day.

More information is online.

MLK Civil Rights Lecture

Hope College has invited an MLK Day speaker who focuses on healing and help for the hurting.

Joy DeGruy, a researcher, author and educator, will give a keynote at Hope’s annual MLK Civil Rights Lecture event at Dimnent Chapel. Her talk is titled “We Have Been Here Before: Challenges and Courageous Alternatives.”

More information is online.

MLK Celebration

“Kneeling for Justice Then and Now: As You Choose” is the theme of this year’s MLK Celebration at Western Michigan University.

Activities at WMU and across the Kalamazoo community are planned to honor King, including a convocation, march, day of service, educational programs and presentations.

The full list of activities is on WMU’s website.

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