Martin Luther King, Jr. Day—Ways to Take Action and Engage

In many cities across the United States, and at SPM, MLK Day is known as a “Day On” or a “Day of Service." With this in mind, and in celebration of MLK's life and legacy of advancing the civil rights and equality for all Americans, we're highlighting opportunities and activities our team is partaking in today and beyond below:


  • “I Have a Dream” Virtual Race. A portion of every registration fee (15%) will be donated to the Equal Justice Initiative
  • An Unapologetic Dream: A MLK Day Celebration; Hyde Park Art Center in collaboration with South Side Community Art Center and Arts + Public Life, presents a free virtual screening of "Unapologetic" by Chicago filmmaker Ashley O’Shay 
  • The DuSable Museum free virtual screening of the film “Our Friend Martin.” 
  • Donation opportunity: MLK Day Donation Drop-off for Cradles to Crayons (multiple locations throughout Chicago and Chicagoland) 
  • Research and support local black-owned businesses in your area and/or support organizations, national or locally, that fight for racial justice
    • Recommendations from the SPM community:
      • Semicolon in Chicago (a Black woman-owned Chicago bookstore that has an online shop for those not local)
      • Expedition Subsahara (the team creates amazing art, and 20% of their profits is earmarked for the building of a girls’ STEAM school in Senegal


  • King of the Wilderness (2018), this documentary candidly shares how King was perceived by both leaders of the Black Power Movement and President LBJ. This documentary does not aim to present a sanitized perception of King and highlights his often-misunderstood commitment to nonviolence. 
  • I am MLK Jr. (2018), this documentary is a compilation of interviews that provide a vast spectrum of perspectives on why the legacy that King established is still so relevant today.
  • Selma (2014), the historical drama centers on King Jr., the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the fight for suffrage, the Selma to Montgomery marches in 1965 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. 
  • MLK/FBI (2021), this documentary provides raw, unfiltered insight into the harassment by the government that King Jr. experienced in the final years of his life. Includes interviews from former FBI officials, King’s close confidantes, and others. 
  • Books for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (PBS for parents)
  • 11 Books to read on MLK Jr. Day (Bustle)
  • Opportunities to celebrate with your kids & keep them inspired