FILE - In this 1960 file photo, Martin Luther King Jr. speaks in Atlanta. The civil rights leader had carried the banner for the causes of social justice — organizing protests, leading marches and making powerful speeches exposing the scourges of segregation, poverty and racism. (AP File Photo)

Monday, Jan. 20, is the federal holiday commemorating the birthday of the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Although his birthday was actually Jan. 15, M.L. King Day is always observed on the third Monday of January each year.

King was the leading advocate for nonviolent activism in the civil rights movement, which protested racial discrimination in federal and state law. The campaign for a federal holiday in King's honor began after his assassination in 1968. Former President Ronald Reagan signed the holiday into law in 1983, but it wasn't until 2000 that the day was observed in all 50 states for the first time.

In 1994, the King Holiday and Service Act was passed, which encourages citizens to use the federal holiday as a day of service to volunteer in their communities.

Southern Adventist University students, employees and alumni will continue the university's tradition of honoring M.L. King Jr. through service to their community. Approximately 1,000 participants will serve more than 45 local organizations and community members within the Chattanooga area on Monday.

Among locations where Southern's volunteers will be found will be the American Red Cross, Chambliss Center for Children, Chattanooga Community Kitchen, Salvation Army, Samaritan Center and Erlanger Health System.



* God, Universe, Nature: The Dream to End Gun Violence: Eastdale Village Community United Methodist Church, 1403 Tunnel Blvd., 6 p.m. 423-698-3121.



* M.L. King Prayer Breakfast Celebration: Greater Tucker Baptist Church, 1115 N. Moore Road, 9 a.m. $25. For more information, click here.

Dr. Catherine Meeks, author and executive director of the Absalom Jones Center for Racial Healing in Atlanta, is the guest speaker at this breakfast, sponsored by Unity Group of Chattanooga.

* Coffee Talk with Kreneshia Whiteside: The Chattery, 1800 Rossville Ave., Suite 108, 11 a.m., $5. For more information, click here.

Coffee Talk offers the chance to connect, sip coffee and have conversation with creatives in the area. Whiteside will share her perspective as a black woman working in the art world and open the floor to discuss the topic of diversity in the creative field. This dialogue is suggested for anyone currently working or planning to work in the arts.



* MLK Week Gospel Music Extravaganza: Greater Tucker Baptist Church, 1115 N. Moore Road, 5 p.m., Willie McClendon facilitator. 423-510-9684.



* A Day On, Not a Day Off: University of Tennesse at Chattanooga, Maclellan Gym, 8 a.m., sponsored by the city of Chattanooga. For more information, click here.

Volunteers needed for Be the Change service day volunteering at area nonprofits and community organizations.

* Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Breakfast: Chattanooga Convention Center, 1150 Carter St., 9-11 a.m., $30 individual, $240 table for eight. For more information, click here.

Psi Lambda Educational Foundation Inc. hosts its sixth annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Scholarship Breakfast. PLEF funds the educational programs/scholarship awards of Psi Lambda chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc.

The breakfast will feature panelists Tenesha Irvin, talk radio host of "The Tenesha Irvin Show"; Dr. Richard Brown, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga executive vice chancellor of finance and administration; and Chantelle Roberson, attorney, civil litigation cases. Their topic will be "Social Justice: You Can Make a Difference."

* 50th Annual Memorial March: Lineup will begin on Georgia Avenue in front of the Federal Court Building at noon then proceed up M.L King Boulevard to Peeples Street and Olivet Baptist Church. Sponsored by the Unity Group of Chattanooga. 423-364-3501.

* Town Hall Meeting: Orchard Knob Missionary Baptist Church, 1734 E. Third St., 5 p.m. 423-364-3501.

The Unity Group of Chattanooga hosts a panel discussion with Paul McDaniel, Tommie Brown, Johnny Holloway, JoAnne Favors, Leamon Pierce and Sherman Matthews on their views, accomplishments and struggles related to Chattanooga. This will be followed by a question-and-answer session. The program will be filmed for a documentary.

* The Porter's Gate Worship Project: Dora Maclellan Brown Memorial Chapel on the campus of Covenant College, 14049 Scenic Highway, Lookout Mountain, 8-11 p.m., $12. For more information, click here.

M.L. King Day concert by artists Audrey Assad, Latifah Alattas, iAmSon, Paul Zach and Urban Doxology.



* Elevate 2020: Our Vision Is Clear Youth Event, Chattanooga State Community College, 4501 Amnicola Highway, sponsored by LSMB Business Solutions, 5:30-7 p.m., free but registration required. For more information, click here.

Dr. Gina Paige of African Ancestry and Freddie Taylor of Urban Intellectuals meet with 100 high school youth and up to 50 of their parents.

Elevate 2020 continues on Saturday, Jan. 25, with an event at the Mountain City Club, 729 Chestnut St., from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tickets are $50 or $75 VIP. Reservation deadline is Monday, Jan. 20.

* Dr. Steve Perry Talk: University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, University Center auditorium, 642 E. Fifth St., 10:30 a.m.

Free lecture by educator and author.

Contact Susan Pierce at or423-757-6284.


Cleveland, Tennessee
(All events are free.)

* Monday, Jan. 20: "Resistance, Lament and Praise: The History and Practice of African American Protest Music," Humanities Center, Johnson Lecture Hall, 7 p.m.

Lecture on the historical connections between music, protest, theology and the struggle for freedom. This presentation will also include music and a discussion.

* Tuesday, Jan. 21: Showing of 2018 documentary "King in the Wilderness," Helen DeVos College of Education, Rose Lecture Hall, 7 p.m.

After screening the documentary about the final chapters of King's life, Chattanooga racial justice advocate Donivan Brown will lead an open conversation about the ways in which this history impacts citizens today.

* Thursday, Jan. 23: "Bridging Our Parallel Lives: Lee University and College Hill Community," Humanities Center, Johnson Lecture Hall, 7 p.m.

This panel highlights some of the College Hill community members' contributions to Cleveland while identifying significant ways in which the community evolved side-by-side with Lee University.

* Friday, Jan. 24: "Help Me Be Sensitive," Johnson Lecture Hall, Humanities Center, 7 p.m.

Hear students' stories and perspectives on social issues impacting the Lee family and surrounding community.

For more information on any of these events, email


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