This article was published in January 2017 and has been updated regularly with current information.
The MLK Community March and Festival are Monday, January 21.
During the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday this weekend, there is no shortage of events for celebration, remembrance, education, and tribute.
In recent years, Austin’s celebration also includes a citywide MLK Day of Service. Several local organizations offer volunteer opportunities for special projects to be carried out in honor of the holiday.
If you’d like to be of service this holiday weekend, check out this list below—we’ve rounded up info about celebration and service events, including of places where you can volunteer. Click on headings to get more information about specific events.
You can also get more information about MLK Day celebrations and Day of Service opportunities at the MLK Celebration website.
Did we miss an event? Leave details in the comments section below or hit us up on the tipline, please.
Saturday, January 19 (Day of Service)
In partnership with Keep Austin Beautiful, United Way for Greater Austin is sponsoring and organizing this annual event. All volunteers will meet for a kick-off breakfast at United Way for Greater Austin (look for the You’re My Butter Half mural), then break into their routes and meet with their route leaders to get supplies, additional directions, and information on where they can park closest to their clean-up area.
Volunteers and organizers will gather at Kealing Middle School for a Peace Through Pie (pizza and pie) community social from noon to 1 p.m., then join together until 3 p.m. in a service event working on the school grounds and cleaning up surrounding neighborhood.
Scholarship recipients in the Austin community will be recognized for their commitment, achievement, and inspiration at an afternoon reception on the ACC Eastview Campus.
Sunday, January 20
Members and staff of youth education program Austin Youth River Watch, this year’s beneficiary of the annual 3M Half Marathon will be out in force during Sunday’s race, engaging with members of the community at race weekend events. Since the river-watchers work with local and statewide agencies to monitor our water quality and spend countless volunteer hours doing so, be sure to give them a shout and a listen should you be in the race area on Sunday.
Monday, January 21 (MLK Day)
The annual MLK Community March that “celebrates Dr. Martin Luther King’s legacy while uplifting diversity and multiculturalism in our city,” as the organizers put it, kicks off at 9 a.m. with a short program at the MLK Statue on the University of Texas campus (23rd Street & Speedway).
The march then proceeds to Huston-Tillotson University, where a festival with numerous activities is planned (see below). All businesses, nonprofit organizations, and individuals are invited to march and celebrate Dr. King’s legacy.
This year, organizers are asking marchers to help by donating canned goods or non-perishable food items to the Central Texas Food Bank. Donation receptacles will be available at The University of Texas and the state Capitol while the march is in those locations. Receptacles will also be available at the festival at Huston-Tillotson University.
MLK Community Celebration & Music Festival
The MLK Community Festival commences immediately after the march has arrived at the Huston-Tillotson campus and will last until 3 p.m. The celebration includes many types of vendors, food trucks, and performances by local musical artists.
The Austin Young Lawyer’s Association will coordinate members of the legal, community, and family and friends who sign up for one or more of its Day of Service. Through the AYLA event, tere will be volunteer opportunities at SAFE, Community First!, Austin Animal Center, Bookspring, and more.
Pease Park Conservancy’s first MLK Day of Service event will start at the picnic tables at 1 p.m. and will complement major trail improvements underway along the southern portion of Caswell Shoals. There will be snacks.