Celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy with these events

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day is January 17. Image courtesy of Presbyterian College.

Update: As of Jan. 12, the in-person MLK celebrations on Monday, January 17 put on by the Northern California Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Foundation are canceled. Please visit http://sfmlk.events/ for more info.

This year, The King Center’s theme for the upcoming King holiday is, “It Starts with Me: Shifting Priorities to Create the Beloved Community”. It’s a broad theme that can be put into practice, not only for one day but throughout the year. Maybe you’ll be inclined to spend the day participating in a community clean-up, maybe you’ll attend a rally, or maybe you’ll log on to a virtual event and listen to speakers and be inspired—any action or activity you choose has the potential for change.

Editor’s Note: Please wear a face mask while riding the trains or at an in-person event. Before you travel on BART, use our Trip Planner to get estimated arrival and departure times. Learn what to expect when you return to BART here.

Events before Monday, Jan. 17

Billie Holiday. Photo courtesy of Time Magazine.

Toward Justice: An Evening of Freedom Songs | In-person and virtual

The Northern California Martin Luther King Jr. Community Foundation kicks off its annual holiday celebration on Thursday, Jan. 13 at 7pm with this in-person and virtual musical event at Herbst Theater in San Francisco. Enjoy music by gospel singers Lena-Byrd Miles and Naté the Soulsanger and spoken words by artist Shawn William. Register for the event here. If you decide to head to the event in person, take BART to Civic Center/UN Plaza and walk eight minutes to 401 Van Ness Ave.

“It Starts with Me” book. Image courtesy of The King Center.

A Family Read-Along | Virtual

The King Center is hosting a virtual children’s book reading and puppet show on Saturday, Jan. 15 from 7:30-8:30am. The book, “It Starts with Me”, will be read by Dr. Bernice King with other special guests. Registration is free. All proceeds from book sales go to the King Center. Purchase the book here.

Darryl Van Leer as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Image courtesy of SF Chronicle Datebook.

Theatrical Readings | Virtual

Stream Darryl Van Leer’s performance of “The Life of Dr. King” on Saturday, Jan. 15, and Sunday, Jan. 16, presented by The Marsh Theater. As an actor and writer, Van Leer is a fan of the spoken word, and this performance showcases his talent by reenacting some of King’s most moving speeches. The Marsh Theater has its own streaming service; purchase tickets here to view.

Events on Monday, Jan. 17

The Richmond Greenway. Image courtesy of The Richmond Standard.

Richmond Greenway Watershed Cleanup | Richmond

Spend the morning (10am-12pm) maintaining Richmond’s watershed. Meet up at Richmond’s Alta Vista Park, where you’ll be given all the tools you need to help maintain the bioswales (channels that direct the flow of rainwater runoff) that run along the new Richmond Wellness Trail. The trail, still in Phase 1, will eventually take pedestrians and bicyclists from downtown Richmond to the Richmond waterfront. Hang around after and enjoy a provided light lunch. Registration is here. Limited space. Free. Take BART to Richmond and walk 11 minutes to 18th St and Ohio Ave.

Youth leaders of Urban Tilth. Photo courtesy of Urban Tilth.

Passion and Perseverance: A MLK Day Celebration | Richmond

This annual event, sponsored by Richmond’s Urban Tilth, centers around service, community, and celebration. Activities start at 10am and children are encouraged to come and participate. There will be opportunities to provide service, enjoy lunch, listen to music, and commemorate Dr. King and his legacy. Free. Register here. Take BART to Richmond and walk 11 minutes to 16th and Ohio Ave.

The Oakland Museum of California. Image courtesy of SFGate.

The Art of Reparations | Lake Merritt

The Oakland Unified School District is hosting an afternoon of oration and conversation at the Oakland Museum of California. This free event, happening from 12-3pm, highlights the school district’s work on the Reparations Resolution. Besides the MLK Oratorical Festival, there will be performances and art workshops. The museum will be open for attendees to explore as well. Register here. Take BART to Lake Merritt and walk three minutes to 1000 Oak St.

Attendees enjoy the free family day. Image courtesy of The Museum of African Diaspora.

Free Family Day at MOAD | Montgomery St

There’s a full day of programming from 11am-5pm at this BARTable museum, all centered around Dr. King’s life and legacy. The invitation to reflect on his life of service includes free admission to the museum’s exhibits, in addition to special events like a scavenger hunt. If you can’t make it to the museum, register to view “Civil Rights Through Art and Music,” which streams from 2-3:15pm. To access free tickets, you must register here. Take BART to Montgomery St and walk five minutes to 685 Mission St.

The Black Comix Arts Festival. Image courtesy of The Black Comix Arts Festival.

The Black Comix Arts Festival | Montgomery St

After the March for Justice, hang out at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and enjoy this gathering of artists and art fans. Besides art on display and workshops, there will be visual performances and lectures surrounding the inclusivity of artists from all backgrounds. The free event starts at 11am. If you are coming separately from the march, take BART to Montgomery St and walk six minutes to 701 Mission St.

Renel Brooks-Moon. Image courtesy of The San Francisco Chronicle.

Celebrating Black Broadcasters | Montgomery St

This roundtable celebrates six black female local and national broadcasters. Those scheduled to appear include Renel Brooks-Moon, Cheryl Hurd, and retired broadcasters Dana King, Barbara Rodgers, and Carolyn Tyler. Sounds like an enlightening conversation, especially for young women of color looking to enter journalism. The event takes place at 1:30pm and is free. Take BART to Montgomery St and walk six minutes to 701 Mission St.

We're social. 

How are you celebrating MLK Day? Let us know via social media, @SFBARTable #SFBARTable! Keep up with us on FacebookInstagram and Twitter to see all of the best BARTable events, places to eat and have fun around the Bay.

Latest News

Clipper now on iPhone, Apple Watch, and Android + new Clipper app available

Clipper Now on iPhone and Apple Watch, New Clipper App Available

NEW! BART merch now available online

BART merchandise