Orlando honors legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with 2023 events

Orlando will honor Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy with a series of local events next year.

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Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and the Mayor’s Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission announced the events for the first quarter of 2023.

The volunteer organization will honor the late civil rights leader and promote a community based on peace, justice, freedom and respect.

Here is a schedule of the events:

Sunday, Jan. 8

6 p.m. - MLK Candlelight Vigil and March at the Rotunda, at City Hall on 400 South Orange Avenue

The commission will host a candlelight vigil, a brief presentation and a march to the Shiloh Baptist Church of Orlando for the Interfaith Multicultural Celebration.

6:30 p.m. - Interfaith Multicultural Celebration at the Shiloh Baptist Church of Orlando, 604 West Jackson Street

  • Guest speaker Bishop Derrick L. McRae, Senior Pastor of The Experience Christian Center

  • The celebration theme is “The Daybreak of Freedom”

Monday, Jan. 9, 2 p.m.

Orlando City Council Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Presentation at City Council Chambers on the second floor, located in City Hall, 400 South Orange Avenue

Mayor Dyer and the city commissioners will proclaim Jan. 8-16, 2023, as “Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Week” in the City of Orlando.

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Thursday, Jan. 12, 7 p.m.

19th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Leadership Forum at FAMU College of Law, 201 FAMU Law Lane

The Orlando Alumni Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity will host a forum where participants will discuss this year’s theme of “Seize The Moment. Take The Opportunity. Dare To Affect Change.”

For more information on event registration, click here.

Friday, Jan. 13, 11:30 a.m.

37th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Luncheon at the First Baptist Orlando, 3000 South John Young Parkway

  • Keynote speaker Bishop Vashti Murphy McKenzie, the new interim General Secretary/President of the National Council of Churches

  • The luncheon will recognize the Drum Major Award and other community achievements.

For more information on event registration, click here.

Saturday, Jan. 14, 10 a.m.

39th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Downtown Orlando Parade on Orange Avenue

The parade theme is “It Starts with Me: Cultivating a Beloved Community Mindset to Break the Cycle of Injustice.”

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Monday, Jan. 16

7:45 a.m. - Arthur “Pappy” Kennedy 32nd Annual Prayer Breakfast at First Baptist Orlando, 3000 South John Young Parkway

  • Guest Speaker Barbara Jenkins

  • Held on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day for more than 30 years

  • Commemorates civil rights pioneers Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Arthur “Pappy” Kennedy, Orlando’s first African American City Council Member

For more information on event registration, click here.

9 a.m. - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission’s Great Day of Service at Lake Lorna Doone Park, 1519 West Church Street

9 a.m. - Seedlings for Civil Rights at Gilbert McQueen Park, 650 West Lake Mann Drive

Help beautify homes in the community by planting trees, mulching and removing litter from surrounding areas. The commission will provide snacks, water and supplies but closed-toe shoes are required.

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Friday, Jan. 20, 7 p.m.

MLK Night at the Orlando Magic at Amway Center, 400 West Church Street

The event will recognize MLK Youth Humanitarian Award winners at the Orlando Magic vs. New Orleans Pelicans game.

Saturday, Feb. 18, 7 p.m.

MLK Gospel Concert at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, Steinmetz Hall, 445 South Magnolia Avenue

The eighth annual concert will be produced and directed by Jeffrey Redding. Admission is free, but guests are encouraged to donate non-perishable foods to the Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida.


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