Queens to celebrate the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. with weekend of cultural programs & day of action

Queens will celebrate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with a series of events.
AP Photo

The legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a beacon of the civil rights movement in the 1960s, will be celebrated throughout Queens from Jan. 19 to 21.

Borough President Melinda Katz is sponsoring the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration at Queens Central Library on Saturday, Jan. 19, at noon.

All are invited to attend the event at 89-11 Merrick Blvd. in Jamaica to hear Joy Kelly, who will tell a memorable story about Martin Luther King Jr.

The following day, the Dance Theatre of Harlem returns to headline Queens College’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day Commemoration.

Dance Theatre of Harlem founding member and artistic director Virginia Johnson will be the honoree and keynote speaker.

“Virginia Johnson’s dedication to continuing DTH co-founder Arthur Mitchell’s vision to provide opportunities to artists of color that did not exist prior to the creation of Dance Theatre of Harlem exemplifies the spirit of Dr. King’s mission,” Queens College President Félix V. Matos Rodríguez said. “By selecting her as our honoree, we offer our students and the community the chance to reflect on the scope of this country’s historical inequities, extending into the arts, progress made thus far and the work that remains to be done.

Johnson is being recognized for her commitment to artistry, inclusion and mentorship throughout her distinguished career as a prima ballerina and for providing dancers of color with groundbreaking performance opportunities.

Complementary tickets are available to youth and community service organizations, including the Queens Community House after-school program and the Pomonok Center, to enable members of the community to participate in this year’s presentation, which will be held Sunday, Jan. 20, at 4 p.m, in Colden Auditorium of the Kupferberg Center for the Arts, located at 65-30 Kissena Blvd. in Flushing.

The NYC Parks Stewardship will celebrate the legacy of Dr. King. across the borough on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Monday, Jan. 21, when Queens residents are invited to Meadow Lake in Flushing Meadows Corona Park to volunteer and help to make parks greener, cleaner and healthier environments for everyone to enjoy.

Volunteers are asked to arrive at 9 a.m. dressed in clothes that can get dirty, warm layers, and durable boots or sneakers. Volunteers under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a chaperone.

Similar events will be held at Crawford Avenue and Palmer Avenue in Seton Falls Park in the Bronx and at Bayview Avenue and W 33rd Street in Brooklyn’s Kaiser Park.

Brooklyn Boulders Queensbridge is hosting an MLK Adventure Day on Monday, Jan. 21, in Long Island City, where a team of educators will introduce children to climbing and goal-setting “with the aim of building the next generation of leaders ready to take on the world.”

The event will be held at 23-10 41st Ave. from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.