If you go out in public, remember to follow social distancing guidelines (at least six feet between you and anyone else), wash hands often and thoroughly, and wear a face mask.
Rothko Chapel’s 2021 Martin Luther King Birthday Celebration with Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor
Kicking off the weekend on Friday, the popular Houston haunt, Rothko Chapel, will host Princeton University professor of African-American Studies Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, for a free, live presentation of “The Radical King and the Quest to Change America.'' Taylor’s presentation focuses on the life of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s ideas, and strategies to create a lasting change relating to equality in the present-day United States. Activist and lead organizer for Black Lives Matter: Houston Brandon Mack will moderate a Q&A discussion following the presentation. The event will be streamed on Vimeo.
6 p.m. Jan. 15. Free. Online. All participants must register here.
YMCA of Greater Houston Virtual Sunday Supper for MLK Day: The Fierce Urgency of Now
We have your Sunday dinner plans covered: Cook a meal, and gather around the computer screen to join Houston’s YMCA Equity Innovation Center, BakerRipley, Capital One, Harris Health Systems, Houston Texans, and Reliant for a virtual event discussing pressing issues relating to equality, and ways to deak with those issues. Participants will tune in via Zoom; the first 125 registered Houstonians will receive a “Sunday Supper Swag Box.”
4 p.m. Jan. 17. Online. Free. All participants must register here.
43rd Annual MLK Day Parade and Virtual Experience
On Monday the Black Heritage Society and the City of Houston will join forces for the 43rd annual MLK Day Parade, which this year can be viewed online via Houston Television. The parade’s grand marshals are Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo. While King's life is the spark for the celebration, this year the parade also serves to give support to Houstonians affected by the pandemic. After watching the parade, head over to MacGregor Park to donate basic necessities that will be distributed to Houstonians in need by local non-profits. Donations are accepted from 10 a.m. to noon.
10 a.m. Jan. 18. Online. Free. More information at originalmlkparade.org
YASS 8th Annual MLK Jr. Day of Service
What better way for your kids to spend their MLK Day off from school than to help them give back to the community? Monday morning Houston non-profit Youth Achieving through Service and Sports is partnering with Project RESPECT to host their eighth annual MLK Day of Service. This year the event’s project helps beautify Fifth Ward’s historic Evergreen Negro Cemetery. The day will kick off with a reading of King’s “I Have a Dream'' speech; then volunteers will help build and paint a walkway leading to the grave of the cemetery’s founder, A.K. Kelley, as well as tidy up the cemetery. Youth volunteers aged K–20 can register here; families welcome.
9 a.m. Jan. 18. 5400 Market St. Free. More information here.
33rd Annual GHFC Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Scholarship Breakfast
Feel like getting a little teary-eyed witnessing students obtain well-deserved scholarships? We totally get it, and you can do just that Monday morning. The Greater Houston Frontiers Club will host its 33rd annual scholarship breakfast live on KHOU 11. Along with honoring hard-working students, the breakfast also celebrates MLK and late activist and former U.S. Rep. John Lewis; additionally, the event’s Drum Major recipient is one of Houston’s own, rapper Trae the Truth. The event will have performances from Houston comedian Marcus D. Wiley and poet Se7en The Poet. The event also serves as a fundraiser for the GHFC.
9 a.m. Jan. 18. Online. Free. More information at www.ghfrontiers.com