Celebrating MLK Jr. Day in Milwaukee with Kids


MLK Jr DayMLK Jr. Day is not just a free day off of school.

We celebrate the life and activism of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., a champion of civil rights, a preacher, an activist, and a man who fought for the humanity of all people. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was born in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1929. He worked his life to achieve equality and justice for all Americans. His platform was built around peaceful protesting.

During the “March on Washington,” MLK Jr. gave his most famous speech, now known as “I Have a Dream.” In 1964, Congress passed the Civil Rights Act, outlawing racial segregation in publicly-owned facilities. King’s advocacy wasn’t accepted by all. In fact, King was assassinated by James Earl Ray on April 4, 1968 on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel.

We remember Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., today when we think about equal and civil rights and honor his memory while we continue to fight for the equality he both lived and died for. To help you do this with the next generation, I have put together some kid-friendly resources for celebrating the holiday dedicated to this incredible man.

Educate Your Children on MLK and Diversity ::

MLK Jr Day

Kid President :: Watch this YouTube video with your children. Kid President is cute, funny and accurate!

National Geographic :: They offer an informative article including pictures and fun facts!

The Kids Activity Blog :: Teach your children about diversity with this egg demonstration. Our shells might be different colors but we are all the same on the inside.

Check out our Pinterest Board “School House Rock” for more crafts and activities to do with your children!

Write about it! Milwaukee schools have been participating in essay and poetry writing in honor of Dr. King for years! Give your children a prompt or question and see where their minds take them!

Check out a book about Martin Luther King Jr from your local library to read and discuss with your child. This one is a favorite of ours!

Attend a MLK Jr. Day Event in Milwaukee  ::

Dr. Martin Luther King, JR. Birthday Celebration – The 35th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Celebration is on Sunday, January 19th, 2020 from 1:00 pm-3:00 pm at the Marcus Center. This year’s theme is “Your Life Has Significance.” The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Celebration programming highlights the youth in our community who every year interpret Dr. King’s words through an art, speech and writing contest. In addition, various cultural arts organizations take center stage in Uihlein Hall, truly demonstrating the excellence of our arts community. Some of the groups celebrating with us have included United Indians of Milwaukee, Latino Arts Strings, Milwaukee Flyers Tumbling Team, O.N.F.Y.A.H, MPS’ Milwaukee High School of the Arts Jazz Ensemble, Majestic Community Choir and more! The event concludes with the Paulette Y. Copeland Reception in the Atrium. Location: 929 N Water Street, Milwaukee,  // (414) 273-7206

King Day at the MLK Community Center —Join us on January 20th at noon, at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center as we celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. King. Enjoy presentations of music, spoken word, dance, and more. Location: 1531 West Vliet Street, Milwaukee // (414) 344-5600

MLK Day at Milwaukee Public Library – Milwaukee Public Library hosts a full day of activities honoring the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Monday, January 20, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Martin Luther King Branch. For the past 10 years the branch has opened on Martin Luther King Jr. Day to offer a celebration filled with poetry, music, dance, crafts, games and community services. Programming for the celebration is funded by the Milwaukee Public Library Foundation. This all day celebration will run from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm with events throughout the day including music, stories, and crafts! There are sessions for children, teens, and adults so bring the entire family!

Neighbors of the Dream – Join us at “Neighbors of the Dream,” a city-wide event to stand against racial divides, hosted by the Milwaukee Declaration (milwaukeedeclaration.com). Monday, January 20, 2019 from 6:30-8:00 pm at Eastbrook Church (5353 N. Green Bay Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53209).

MLK Day: Family Morning of Service – Join the Bay View Community Center for our 2nd annual MLK Day Family Morning of Service on Monday, January 20 from 9:30-11:30 am. Families with children of all ages are welcome. We’ll share stories, learn together, and work on a service project. After, a soup lunch and open play in our Children’s Room will be available. Details about registration are available on the event page.

MLK Event 2020 – “What Would King Do?” Monday, January 20, 2020 from 11:00 am-1:00pm at Waukesha County Technical College. This year’s guest speaker is Muhibb Dyer, Co-founder of Flood the Hood with Dreams. Wanting to live and teach the messages he brings, Muhibb began a successful campaign to bring the art of the spoken word to inner city youth. Muhibb Dyer has dedicated his life to helping others navigate their way through painful experiences and connect to their purpose. FREE and Open to the Public, RSVP Required.

Allied in the FightCelebrate the Civil Rights Movement on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day with Jewish Museum Milwaukee’s traveling exhibit, Allied in the Fight: Jews, Black and the Struggle for Civil Rights. Allied in the Fight explores the partnership between Jewish and African American leaders in confronting systematic racism in the United States. The exhibit addresses Black-Jewish collaboration within the Civil Rights Movement and the complicated nature of Jewish contributions to the Civil Rights movement through archival materials and information from a national perspective. Free Admission. Monday, January 20 at 10:00 am.

Meet the Watson Family – Special Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Program from 11:00 am-3:00 pm. Interact with the true story of Sully and Susanna Watson, a couple who played a vital role in establishing Milwaukee’s black middle class. Experience a replica of the Watson House in the Streets of Old Milwaukee and explore their family history through images and objects that illustrate this vibrant era in the city’s black heritage. Free with admission.


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