2023 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration Week (Recap)

The City of Dallas hosted its 41st annual celebration of the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., from January 10-January 16, with a weeks’ worth of events highlighting issues of equity, diversity, and opportunity. This year’s theme was Daring to Dream: The Radical Imagination of a New Generation.

MLK Wreath Laying Ceremony (January 10, 2023)

The 41st Annual MLK Celebration Week started with a Wreath Laying Ceremony at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center, featuring City of Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson as Keynote Speaker. Special guests included James Madison High School JROTC; Saxophonist Jeff Aycock, Vocalist Lady Emerald; and Townview High School “Big D” Drumline. 

MLK Celebration Job Fair (January 11, 2023)

The MLK Celebration Job Fair was an in-person event at the Hall of State at Fair Park, in partnership with Workforce Solutions of Greater Dallas, featuring on-site interviews and hiring from 50+ employers.

Youth Summit (January 12, 2023)

The Youth Summit, hosted by the Dallas Youth Commission, took place at Dallas City Hall, examining the youth impact and ways to become lifelong leaders actively engaged in civic affairs, public policy and advocacy in the D/FW Metroplex.

Day of Prayer (January 12, 2023)

The City of Dallas and Faith Forward Dallas partnered to bring the Day of Prayer to the Latino Cultural Center to honor the work of Dr. King, his fight for a more just society, and ability to galvanize support from various faith leaders.

Equity Indicators Symposium (January 13, 2023)

The 4th Annual Equity Indicators Symposium was held at Paul Quinn College in collaboration with Communities Foundation of Texas. The Symposium focused on the Racial Equity Plan and philanthropy, education, and community to addresses disparities.

MLK Candle Lighting Ceremony (January 13, 2023)

The MLK Candle Lighting Ceremony, hosted by Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. (Alpha Sigma Lambda Chapter), was held at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Recreation Center, featuring Rev. Ty Pettiford, II, Senior Pastor of Carter Temple CME Church as the Keynote Speaker. Special guests included James Madison High School JROTC and U.S. Representative Jasmine Crockett. 

“Keep Up the Dream” MLK Fest- Community Clean Up (January 14, 2023)

“Keep Up the Dream” MLK Fest was a community clean-up initiative in the South Dallas/Fair Park Neighborhood in partnership with South Side Quarter Development Co., Walls Project, Epiphany, Zeal, New Era, and the City of Dallas.

41st Annual MLK Scholarship & Awards Gala (January 14, 2023)

The 41st Annual MLK Scholarship & Awards Gala took place at the Hyatt Regency Dallas featuring Keynote Speaker Rev. Dr. Gwendolyn Boyd and Mistress of Ceremony Tashara Parker. The MLK, Jr. Community Center presented awards and scholarships, along with live entertainment and a silent auction in partnership with LIRA Group. Special thanks to Mae Beck and the Arthello Beck, Jr. Art Gallery; Manuel Beckles for original artwork from Zimbabwe; and to Ridout Framing.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Parade (January 16, 2023)

The City of Dallas and HELP partnered to host the MLK Day Parade, which featured approximately 200 entries ranging from elected officials, community organizations, youth groups, band/drill teams, colorful floats, and more. 

Sponsors from this year’s celebration included AT&T, Toyota, Reliant NRG, Dallas Love Field, Dallas Mavericks, Dallas College, AMN Healthcare, In-N-Out Burger, MoneyGram, State Fair of Texas, Wells Fargo, TXU Energy, Accident & Injury Chiropractic, SMU, Truist Bank, and Denny’s.

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2023 MLK Celebration Week

41st Annual MLK Scholarship & Awards Gala 

2023 MLK Day Parade

MLK Thanksgiving Basket Giveaway (Event Recap)

On Saturday, November 19, 2022, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center hosted its annual Thanksgiving Basket Giveaway to provide complete Thanksgiving meals to over 400 families in need.

Guests participated in a drive-through event receiving bags filled with vegetables, bread, desserts, and more, along with a ham and Cornish hen for a complete holiday meal.

This was a collaboration between the City of Dallas Office of Community Care, LIRA, HELP, Bob’s Steak & Chop House, Accident & Injury Chiropractic, Miles of Freedom, Ben E. Keith, The Richards Group, Foremost Family Health Center, Dallas Black Chamber of Commerce, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. (Kappa Zeta Chapter), Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. (Alpha Sigma Lambda Chapter), Kroger, Stream Realty, Ellen’s Kitchen, Empowering the Masses, Enterprise, Transportation Unlimited, Inc., First Choice Social Services, US Bank, O.E.S. Saturah Chapter #13, A+ Charter Schools, Inc., Ronald Kirk, Mark Jones, Sam Gioldasis, Ron Haynes, Kate Levit, Kevin Summers, Marcy Taylor, and James Hickey.

We want to extend a special thank you to the volunteers who gave their time and energy to assist with preparing and distributing baskets, including Enterprise, Diva Girls Rock, Alpha Merit, Zeta Phi Beta (Kappa Zeta Chapter), HELP, Refulgent Star, and O.E.S. Saturah Chapter #13.


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Treat the Building!

On Friday, October 28, 2022, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center hosted its annual “Treat the Building” Halloween event for the students who attend MLK ChildCareGroup.

This event was a collaboration between the MLK Branch Library, Foremost Family Health Center, Miles of Freedom, Empowering the Masses, First Choice Social Services, Dallas Black Chamber of Commerce, Office of Community Care Social Services, H.E.L.P., Dallas County Seniors, and the office of Councilman Adam Bazaldua.

Special thanks to our student volunteers from the Baylor University Louise Herrington School of Nursing!

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MLK Hispanic Heritage Festival (Event Recap)

On Saturday, October 1, 2022, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center, in collaboration with Reliant, hosted its first-ever Hispanic Heritage Festival in celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15-October 15).

Over 450 attendees enjoyed a variety of local retail and informational vendors, live entertainment, free food, and giveaways. The Kid Zone activities included face painting, balloon art, arts and crafts, bounce house, and hamster ball play area.

Special guests included Ballet Folklórico Ollimpaxqui; the Cristo Rey Dallas College Prep Aesthetic Literacy students; Ariana Zuniga, Zumba Instructor; Councilman Adam Bazaldua (District 7); Councilwoman Jaynie Shultz (District 11), and Dr. Jose Dela Cruz, MLK Advisory Board Member (District 11).

Special thanks to the students who participated in the art display, which will be on display at the MLK, Jr. Community Center until October 15. Participating schools included KIPP Truth Academy, A.W. Brown Middle School, Solar Preparatory for Girls, KIPP Pleasant Grove, Cristo Rey Dallas College Prep, Spruce High School, MLK, Jr. Arts Academy, and Dallas Christian High School.

Community Partners included Reliant, LIRA, Miles of Freedom, HELP, Oncor, Dallas Black Chamber of Commerce, Dallas Public Library, Empowering the Masses, Dallas Civil Rights Museum, Dallas Park and Recreation, and Dallas Fire Department. Breakfast was sponsored by DFW Voices for Education. Music was provided by DJ Trikky.

Councilman Adam Bazaldua (District 7); Pamela R. Jones, MLK Center Manager; Dr. Jose Dela Cruz (MLK Advisory Board, District 11)

Ballet Folklórico Ollimpaxqui
Ballet Folklórico Ollimpaxqui

Face Painting by Anna Garza

Photobooth by LCI Media
Students and teacher from Cristo Rey Dallas College Prep

A raffle prize winner, courtesy of LIRA Group

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