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Local Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebrations

Monday is Martin Luther King Jr. Day, also a National Day of Service, and will be celebrated through performances, discussions, marches and volunteering.

Many residents will have Monday off for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The city offices will be closed and Novi Community Schools have the day off, but several local places will be open for a celebration of King's legacy. 

Here's a list of local events and other ways to celebrate MLK Day on Monday:

Novi Events: "Remembering Our Past, Creating a Better Future"

Novi High School Auditorium - 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 17

This free event at Novi High School will have drama, song and dance and is open to the public. It will feature the winners of the 2013 Unity in the Community Oratorical and Essay Contests. Congratulations to winners Serena Wei, Moynawk Gangopadhay, Andrew Fokken, Jakiyah Bradley and Lindsey Kramer. Canned food items will also be collected for those in need.

Novi Public Library - 1-8 p.m. Monday, Jan. 21

For the first time, the Novi Public Library will be open on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The library is partnering with Novi Community Schools for this new event. It will include programs honoring Martin Luther King and highlighting the trials and triumphs of black history. The schedule is as follows:

1-2 p.m. The day will start with youth programs for children in fourth grade and under. Participants can enjoy interactive stories, crafts and puzzles.

4-8 p.m. The library will feature the Saffold Collection, a black history mobile museum. This exhibit will feature memorabilia that spans from the time of slavery to the Hip Hop age to the first U.S. African American president with original documents and artifacts. The exhibit is open to all ages.

7-8 p.m.  The day will conclude with a panel discussion focusing on how to integrate King’s vision and words into the community. The event is open to those in seventh grade and above.

Other Local Events

"Building Bridges: Canton Celebrates Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr."

The event is Monday at The Village Theater at Cherry Hill, 50400 Cherry Hill Road. The public is invited to attend a pre-event reception at 5:30 p.m. featuring refreshments, followed by the main program at 6 p.m. The program will feature a biography of King's life presented in dramatic form, musical performances, and a panel discussion. Admission is a $2 donation at the door.

Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Week at Eastern Michigan University

Some of the week's events include:

  • MLK Storytellers: Health Disparities Film and Speaker Series: Participants will explore health disparities and their impact on mental, physical, emotional and spiritual health on Thursday from 3-5 p.m. at the Student Center. 
  • MLK Day of Service: Meet at the VISION Volunteer Center in the Student Center to engage in service opportunities throughout the local Ypsilanti community on Friday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • 27th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. President's Luncheon: Monday at 10 a.m. the anti-racist activist/essayist, author and educator Tim Wise will give the keynote address at the Student Center Auditorium. The speech is followed by the president's luncheon at 11:45 a.m. in the Student Center Ballroom. Prices for luncheon tickets are $10 for students and $20 for non-students and can be purchased at the EMU Convocation Center ticket office and the Student Center ticket office.
  • MLK Celebration March: A campus-wide march of unity, lead by students and community leaders, begins at 6 p.m. at the south entrance of the Student Center. 

For a list of more events, visit Eastern Michigan University's website.

University of Michigan's 27th Annual MLK Symposium: "(R)Evolution of the Dream"

Some of the events include:

  • "IndiVisible: African-Native American Lives in the Americas:" A traveling exhibition from the Smithsonian Institution: The exhibition is a collaboration between the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, National Museum of African American History, and Culture and the Smithsonian Institution Travelling Exhibition Service. It will be in Ann Arbor now through Jan. 31 at the Duderstadt Center Gallery, 2281 Bonisteel Ave. in Ann Arbor. Hours are Monday-Friday noon to 6 p.m. and Sunday noon to 5 p.m.
  • Annual MLK Children & Youth Day: On Monday from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., children can gather at the Modern Languages Building at 812 E. Washington in Ann Arbor. Activities include storytelling, guided discussions and group projects, skits, rap poetry and a range of musical performances. The School of Education, School of Social Work, and the Office of Academic and Multicultural Initiatives invite all students throughout the K-12 school communities to participate in a day filled with a range of activities planned specifically to celebrate and commemorate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

For more information on events, visit the Symposium website.

Ways to Give Back

Food Drive by Plymouth Democratic Club

In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the Plymouth Democratic Club is having a food drive of non-persihable food items at its meeting 7 p.m. Thursday at the Plymouth District Library. The items will be donated to Plymouth's Salvation Army, and the club will continue to collect food donations through the weekend.

Sort Merchandise at Recycle Ann Arbor

Recycle Ann Arbor, 2420 South Industrial Highway, a nonprofit organization, asks for volunteers to join them Monday on the National Day of Service to gather and sort recyclable materials.

Give a Coat, Share the Warmth!

You can bring gently worn coats to the customer service desk at any Burlington Coat Factory now through Monday and receive 10 percent off your purchase. If you don't have a coat to give, text "COAT" to 80100 to donate to One Warm Coat.

The closest Burlington Coat Factory is in Westland at 355555 Warren Road.

Do you know of another MLK event or way to give back? Tell us in the comments below.

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