MILWAUKEE — This year will mark 59 years since Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his celebrated "I Have a Dream" speech, and 54 years since he was assassinated.
It also marks 39 years since Congress voted to make "MLK Day" a federally recognized holiday.
Since then, cities, towns, and community leaders hold yearly celebrations, remembrances, and marches to recognize King's legacy and the values he advocated for.
If you're looking for a way to commemorate MLK Day, here are a few events happening across southeast Wisconsin:
YMCA MLK DAY CELEBRATION -- 8:00 am-- The YMCA of Metropolitan Milwaukee is convening public officials, business and faith leaders, nonprofit representatives, and the public on January 17 to "make progress toward Dr. Martin King Jr.’s vision of a beloved community at one of Wisconsin’s largest events celebrating the national holiday that honors his legacy," organizers said. The Y is also hosting a week-long Deliberate Dialogues panel series featuring community leaders.
MARCUS PERFORMING ARTS CENTER DR. MLK BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION -- 10 a.m. -- The Marcus Performing Arts Center in Milwaukee celebrates Dr. King’s Birthday annually since 1984. The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Celebration programming "highlights the youth in our community who every year interpret Dr. King’s words through art, speech, and writing contest," organizers said.
DR MARTIN LUTHER KING ST RENAMING CEREMONY --12 pm-- Alderwoman Milele A. Coggs and Alderman Robert J. Bauman are asking residents to attend the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. street renaming ceremony. The ceremony will take place at the intersection of N. MLK Jr. Drive and W. Wisconsin Ave.
WCTC MARTIN LUTHER KING JR CELEBRATION --11:30 am -- Waukesha County Technical College’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration will feature the Rev. Jamie Washington, Ph.D., founder and president of the Washington Consulting Group.
NAACP OZAUKEE MLK JR. CELEBRATION -- 5:30 pm --The celebration will still be held on Monday, January 17, 2022 beginning at 5:30 PM. Virtual tickets are $20 per person. This year's keynote speaker is Dr. Robert “Bert” Davis, President &CEO of America’s Back Holocaust Museum (ABHM). "He will unite history and present-day by reverberating Dr. King’s legacy of equality and civil rights for a better future as well as share the great work in progress at ABHM. Dr. Davis has an extensive background in education and fundraising, and was formerly the CEO of the Zoological Society of Milwaukee," according to organizers.
COMMEMORATION AT DR. KING STATUE -- 1 pm -- The 21st annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Justice Commemoration will be held on Monday, Jan. 17, 2022 - the national holiday - at 1:00 pm. at Dr. King's Statue on the 1700 block of Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive. The outdoor gathering at the statue of Dr. King will "feature a dramatic reading of Dr. King's words by Milwaukee actor Andre Lee Ellis, traditional civil rights songs and an open microphone for the community to reflect on the impact of Dr. King on our lives and the struggle against racism today," organizers said.