Watch the Missoula MLK Day 2021 Event on January 18th, 2020 from 6 pm-8 pm HERE!
Donate HERE to support this year’s event.
Every year Missoula’s MLK Day Celebration Committee honors the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King by engaging our community in dialogue about race and justice through a virtual Intergenerational and community-led celebration. It is the mission of the Missoula MLK Day planning team to build a community-wide celebration providing educational, service, and advocacy events within Missoula to help elevate and remember the work of the civil rights movement and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy; committing our community to ongoing anti-racism and human rights work today and in the future. We acknowledge that the work of the civil rights movement is intersectional. Therefore, while many events focus on issues of racial justice, we realize the need for empowerment for many in our community and beyond.
As we congregate today on land inhabited from time immemorial by the Salish, Pend d’Oreilles, and Blackfoot people and in the spirit of the civil rights movement, we acknowledge the historical and ongoing trauma of native and Indigenous peoples across our country and especially here in Western Montana. The Missoula MLK Day Committee seeks to utilize our platform to honor, support, and empower their voices and those of other historically marginalized communities. In the spirit of Dr. King, we wish to continue and expand upon his legacy by addressing the intersecting issues of diversity, inclusion, and civil rights in the modern age while acknowledging and addressing the historical trauma wrought by colonialism, genocide, slavery, and segregation. Through the awareness of Dr. King’s timeless teachings, we can navigate our choices when confronted with issues of human rights in the future.
This year’s event will feature our annual Youth Art & Essay Contest based on MLK quotes, a keynote address from Dr. Carlton P. Byrd (pastor, professor, and civil rights activist), art and music presented by local artists Andre Floyd, Eden Atwood, Elijah Jalil Paz Fisher, and calls to action from local youth leaders. This virtual event will be streamed live on Youtube and Facebook on January 18th, 2020 from 6 pm-8 pm.
Dr. King remains a central figure in our nation’s ongoing dialogue on race and equality and although we are not able to gather in person this year to celebrate his legacy, honoring his work is needed more than ever in the current moment. Through service, action, lecture, and art, the MLK Day celebration provides an examination of the legacy of Dr. King, equity issues locally and nationally, and ways to bridge divides and resolve differences. Donations from individuals and businesses throughout the community are the fuel that powers this celebration. This year’s MLK Day Youth Art and Essay Contest, as well as the larger celebration centers around two Dr. King, quotes,
“And I must say tonight that a riot is the language of the unheard. And what is it America has failed to hear? … It has failed to hear that the promises of freedom and justice have not been met. And it has failed to hear that large segments of white society are more concerned about tranquility and the status quo than about justice and humanity.”
“The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.”
We invite you, today and in the days to come, to join us in applying and actualizing Dr. King’s methods of understanding, compassion, and non-violence to all situations involving human rights while reflecting upon his words, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, what are you doing for others?”