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Ways to commemorate and pay it forward on MLK Day in Durham

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day on Jan. 16 is a national day of service, designated to encourage Americans to take action and volunteer to improve their communities. The Chronicle has compiled a list of ways to volunteer at Duke and Durham this upcoming weekend to commemorate Martin Luther King, Jr. 

MLK Commemoration at Duke Chapel

On Jan. 15, the annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration “Leading the Good Fight” will be held at 3 p.m. in the Duke Chapel. This year’s service is the first in-person service since COVID-19 and inclement weather. Bestselling author Mikki Kendall will lead the commemoration and deliver the keynote address. Musical services will be performed by the Duke Divinity Gospel Choir and the John Brown Quintet. The service is free and open to the public with a livestream option available as well.

Celebrating the Legacy through the Arts

Looking for art activities to celebrate MLK day? Durham Parks and Recreation will be hosting the “MLK: Celebrating the Legacy through the Arts” event on Jan. 14 from 2 to 5 p.m. at Durham’s W.D. Hill Recreation Center. A plethora of activities will be available to enjoy including open mic poetry, live performances and arts and crafts projects. 

Geer Cemetery MLK Weekend Clean Up

One of Durham’s oldest African American burial grounds, the Geer Cemetery, will be having cleanup events on Jan. 14 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and Jan. 16 from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. Interested individuals should complete the following form and are encouraged to bring leaf blowers, rakes and tarps if available. 

MLK Day of Service Meal Packaging Event

The MLK Day of Service Meal Packaging Event will be held on Jan. 16 from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Duke School in Durham. Join students, faculty and staff to volunteer with Triangle-area Rotary clubs to prepare pre-packaged meals. This event supports North Carolina food banks through Interfaith Food Shuttle and Meals of Hope. Interested individuals can sign up for volunteer shifts from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. or 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 pm.

Dream Big Book Drive 

Book Harvest will be hosting the annual Dream Big Book Drive and Community Celebration on Jan. 16 from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Golden Belt Campus. The event will feature a free book drive, outdoor booths and the Poetry Fox. Community members can also donate new or gently used children’s books to support children in Durham.

North Carolina MLK Black History Month Parade

The 20th annual N.C. MLK black history month parade will be held on Feb. 4 at 12 p.m. on Fayetteville Street. The block party will include food trucks, face painting, music and other activities. 


Amy Guan | Health and Science News Editor

Amy Guan is a Pratt junior and health and science news editor of The Chronicle's 118th volume.

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