How to Celebrate MLK Jr. Day in Baltimore

How to Celebrate MLK Day in Baltimore
Photo via Unsplash by Bee Calder

Martin Luther King Jr. Day is an occasion to continue the legacy of the Civil Rights leader who advocated for activism and service. Explore in-person and virtual events and donation opportunities around Baltimore that honor Dr. King.


MLK Commemorative Film Screening

Jan. 17–18 | 9 p.m.

The Reginald F. Lewis Museum and Baltimore Office of Promotion & the Arts (BOPA) will be airing a commemorative video as part of their “The Art of Activism: The Legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.” program. The screening will feature talks with Baltimore activists and artists whose work honors the legacy of Dr. King as well as footage highlights of past Baltimore MLK parades. The screening will air on CharmTV, BOPA’s YouTube channel, and will be livestreamed on

The Art of Activism: Youth Activists Panel Discussion

Jan. 18 | 8 p.m.

In addition to its film screening, the Reginald F. Lewis Museum and BOPA will host a panel to discuss issues and themes related to MLK’s legacy, inequality and social injustices. The panel will be moderated by writer Lisa Snowden McGray and will feature panelists including Destini Philpot and Micaela Lattimer, Good Kids, Made City, Baltimore’s Youth Poet Laureate Destinae Butler and Tia Thomas, Wide Angle Youth Media. The panel will air on CharmTV and will be livestreamed on

Martin Luther King Jr. Convocation

Jan. 20 | 7 p.m.

Loyola University Maryland will be hosting New York Times bestselling and National Book Award-winning author Ibram X. Kendi as speaker for its  28th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Convocation. During the virtual convocation titled “Uprooting Racism and Inequality: Antiracist Educator and Scholar Ibram Kendi in Conversation with Karsonya Wise Whitehead,” Kendi will discuss his book “How to Be an Antiract” and other actions to uproot racism. The conversation will be moderated by Karsonya Wise Whitehead, associate professor of communication and African and American Studies at Loyola. The event is free but registration is required to view the livestream.

Volunteering and Donation Opportunities

Civic Works

Jan. 18 | 9 a.m.–noon

Civic Works is encouraging everyone to volunteer in its annual MLK Day of Service. The organization can’t accept any more in-person volunteers, but it will put you on a waiting list to be sent with 150 volunteers to more than 10 sites in East Baltimore, Hampden, West Baltimore and Pigtown. Volunteers will clean public spaces, landscape urban farms, green a vacant lot, sort clothes for AmeriCorps members and more. Email Jayna Powell at [email protected] to be placed on the list. If you want to get involved at home, Civic Works has plenty of virtual options still available including making bookmarks, blankets, cards for seniors and cleaning tools that will be delivered to you.

Art with a Heart

Jan. 18 | 11 a.m.–12:30 p.m.

Art with a Heart, a nonprofit organization in Baltimore, will be holding a virtual event titled “Give Peace a Chance: Creativity and Coloring with Art with a Heart.” Participants are asked to print out pop art coloring pages and color in the images with permanent Sharpie markers. They can mail the images back to the organization which will use them to create Pop Art Cans with its workforce development students. The cans will be sold in its social enterprise store and all proceeds will go to the Youth Empowerment Society in Baltimore. All ages are welcome. 3000 Falls Road, Mill No. 1.

Hope Tote’s

Virtual donations accepted anytime

Drop-off times are from Jan. 25–29 | 7 a.m.–7 p.m.

Helping Up Mission, an organization that offers services for men and women in Greater Baltimore fighting addiction, poverty and homelessness, is seeking donations for essential items that will fill its “Hope Totes” for the men and women they serve. Donate through the Amazon Wish List or drop off items. Click here for a list of needed items. 1029 E. Baltimore St.

Baltimore Hunger Project

Making Snack Bags for Hungry Kids

Jan. 18 | Virtual event

The Baltimore Hunger Project is asking everyone to prepare and drop-off snack bags that will be distributed to hungry kids in the Baltimore region. Click the link above for a list of snack ideas and necessary instructions on preparing the bags. 117 Old Padonia Road, Suite E, Cockeysville

Heartfelt Notes for Kids in Need of Food and Encouragement

Jan. 18 | Virtual event

Create heartfelt, handcrafted notes to be included in the bags of food that the Baltimore Hunger Project delivers to kids in the Baltimore region every week. Participants can use their own materials or pick up materials at the Baltimore Hunger Project then mail the completed notes back to the organization. Volunteers can also arrange to drop off the notes by emailing [email protected]. 117 Old Padonia Road, Suite E, Cockeysville

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