Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebrations set for South Bend area

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In this Tribune file photo, religious and community leaders stop at the statute depicting the Rev. Theodore Hesburgh and Martin Luther King Jr. holding hands, part of the city's 32nd annual celebration of King's life. Tribune File Photo
In this Tribune file photo, religious and community leaders stop at the statute depicting the Rev. Theodore Hesburgh and Martin Luther King Jr. holding hands, part of the city's 32nd annual celebration of King's life. Tribune File Photo

SOUTH BEND — The annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration at the Century Center has been postponed because of the increase in COVID positivity rates in the area. All events that had been planned for the holiday, Monday, Jan. 17, at the Century Center have been moved to Feb. 21, Presidents' Day.

Sponsorships, breakfast tickets and vendor booths that have been purchased or reserved will be honored for Feb. 21, as well as ads placed in the Celebration Book. For more information, call Gladys Muhammad at the Charles Martin Youth Center at 574-280-7092 or email Jessica Kitchens at jessicavkitchens@gmail.com.

The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in Selma, Ala., in February 1968.
The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in Selma, Ala., in February 1968.

Although the Century Center event is postponed, here are live and virtual events that will be held in and around the South Bend area in honor of King.

South Bend

Charles Martin Youth Center, 802 Lincoln Way W., will host two events:

— COVID-19 vaccination clinic will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Jan. 17. Pre-register at OurShot.IN.gov. Walk-ins welcome, too. Available for ages 5 and older, including boosters if eligible. Bring ID, health insurance and COVID-19 vaccination card, if available.

— Voter registration from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Jan. 17.

County-City Building lobby in downtown will be the starting point at 11:45 a.m. of the traditional march on Jan. 17 to the Hesburgh-King statue on Main Street. The march will begin with prayers for peace.

Volunteer Lawyer Network: The network will host an “Ask-a-Lawyer” event from 1 to 4 p.m. Jan. 17 at the St. Joseph County Public Library, 304 S. Main St. Attorneys will be in attendance giving free, general legal advice in sessions of up to 30 minutes. For questions regarding the event, call 574-277-0075 or email vlnsouthbend@probonoindiana.org.

The St. Joseph County Public Library will offer two events in celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Postcards of Peace, Francis Branch, 52655 N. Ironwood Road, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. All ages can celebrate by designing and coloring a postcard and sending a message of peace through the mail.

March with the King, Centre Township Branch, 1150 E. Kern Road, all day. All ages can learn about the impact King had on the world while engaging in educational activities and contributing to a community project. This event continues through Jan. 22.

The South Bend Symphony Orchestra: The symphony will hold a concert to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and successes of Black composers in a series titled “Celebration for a King.” The public is welcome to join the Symphony’s Woodwind Quintet, host and symphony board member Dr. Marvin Curtis, guest violist Cameren Anai Williams, and church choirs that will celebrate King’s life and legacy and feature works by African American composers and musicians such as Valerie Coleman and William Grant Still.

The concert is at 7 p.m. Jan. 14 at Sweet Home Ministries, 410 S. Taylor St. It will conclude with “Holy, Holy, Holy” arranged by Curtis.

The concert is free and open to the public, Registration is encouraged to manage space requirements, but walk-ins are welcome. Register online at www.southbendsymphony.org. The concerts will last about 75 minutes and will not include intermission. Donations will be accepted.

• The History Museum and Studebaker National Museum: Both museums are offering free admission from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Jan. 17. Visitors are required to wear masks, regardless of vaccination status.

Mishawaka

• Bethel University: The university's Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council will hold an event to honor the life and legacy of Dr. King on Jan. 17. The day will begin with chapel from 10 to 11 a.m., in the Everest-Rohrer Chapel/Auditorium, followed by guided prayer from 11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. in the rotunda area. From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., a pop-in style activity that will focus on prayers for unity, reconciliation and peace will be held in the rotunda. During this time, community members can create an artistic physical representation of their prayers by writing them on colored paper and placing them on large light-up archways, which will resemble the stained-glass windows of King, Jr.'s church, Ebenezer Baptist. Refreshments will also be available at noon.

Elkhart

Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary: A forthcoming documentary and book, “What Happened at Benham West: African American Stories of Community, Displacement and Hopes in the City of Elkhart,” will be the focus of the seminary’s 2022 program. This will be an online event, livestreamed from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Jan. 17 at ambs.edu/mlkday.

The documentary and book explore life in the predominantly Black Benham West neighborhood — known to many as “the village” — and includes experiences of segregation in Elkhart, the city’s clearing of Benham West, and some of the remaining elders’ hopes for the future.

The event will feature video clips from the documentary, discussion of Black history in Elkhart and a panel discussion of members of the Elkhart Black History Project Advisory Committee reflecting on their participation in the project. To learn more, go to ambs.edu/mlkday or email icurassistant@ambs.edu.

Indiana Black Expo: This group's Elkhart Chapter will lead a march Jan. 17 from the downtown Civic Plaza. Participants can gather at 9:15 a.m. The march will start at 9:30 a.m., leading to the Community Missionary Baptist Church, 228 Chapman Ave., where a program will begin at 10 a.m. Masks are required. The keynote speaker will be Emorja Roberson, who became the first Black student to earn a doctoral degree of musical arts in choral conducting from the University of Notre Dame. He is director of Voices of Faith Gospel Choir and the Founder/Host for Black@ND. The Ben Barnes Community Service Award will be presented posthumously to educator/athlete David Robinson. Afterwards, lunch for the youth will be served at the Tolson Center and lunch for adults will be served at the church.

This article originally appeared on South Bend Tribune: MLK Day 2022: Area celebrations to honor Martin Luther King Jr.

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