MLK celebration features march, festival, and food drive —
March 31, 2020

MLK celebration features march, festival, and food drive

“True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar; it is not haphazard and superficial. It comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring.” — Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The Annual Community March celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King’s legacy takes place on from Jan. 17-21.

An uplifting event focused on diversity and multi-culturalism in our city, the MLK Community March kicks off on Monday, Jan. 21 at 9 a.m. with a short program at the MLK Statue on the University of Texas campus. Marchers then head toward the historic Huston-Tillotson University, where community building activities are planned. All businesses, nonprofit groups and individuals are invited to march and celebrate Dr. King’s legacy by event organizers. As is standard during gubernatorial inauguration years, the march will not visit the Capitol this year due to preparations for the inauguration.


The MLK Community Festival a Huston-Tillotson University kicks-off at 11:15 a.m. and will last until 3:30 p.m. and will include vendors, food and live music. Artists featured include Funk Mob Reunion, Tameca Jones, Pat G and Bavu Blakes.

This year, marchers are being asked to help by donating canned goods or non-perishable food items, which will be donated to the Central Texas Food Bank. Donation receptacles will be available at The University of Texas and the Capitol while the march is in those locations. Receptacles will also be available at the festival at Huston-Tillotson University.

MLK Oratory Competition

The Austin Area Heritage Council (AAHC), in collaboration with Google Fiber and Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity invite the public to join on Thursday, Jan. 17 at 6:30 p.m. at the George Washington Carver’s Boyd Vance Theatre (1165 Angelina Street) for the 14th Annual MLK Oratory Competition. Participating schools include: Maplewood Elementary School, Lee Lewis Campbell Media and Performing Arts Institute, Pecan Springs Early College Prep, Blackshear Elementary Fine Arts Academy, Volma Overton Early College Prep, Barbara Jordan Early College Prep, John B. Winn Elementary School, and Norman-Sims Elementary School.

The 2019 Oratory Finalists will compete in a five-minute speech based on the theme, “If Dr. King were alive today, how can we all unite by fulfilling his legacy while inspiring others and the next generation to continue his efforts in creating unity for everyone?” These inspiring young speakers will compete by delivering personally written speeches commemorating Dr. King’s ideals and principals by continuing to encourage his legacy of peace and unity.

Day of Service

On Saturday, January 19, United Way for Greater Austin and Hands on Central Texas invite the public to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with a day of service.

MLK Jr. Day of Service is a national initiative to strengthen communities, bridge barriers between different groups of people, create solutions to our social problems and move us closer to Dr. King’s vision of a “Beloved Community.” Thousands of individuals around the U.S. honor Dr. King’s legacy on this day by participating in volunteer projects that encourage community collaboration and make our towns a better place to live.

United Way for Greater Austin Volunteers, in partnership with Keep Austin Beautiful, is recruiting volunteers for MLK Jr. Day of Service, including the time-honored MLK Jr. Boulevard Clean Up.

MLK Jr. Day of Service will begin with a kick-off breakfast at United Way for Greater Austin (2000 E MLK Jr Blvd.) at 9 a.m. Volunteers will then disperse from the kick-off breakfast.

For more information about Austin’s MLK Celebration go to

About Merideth Cox 239 Articles
Merideth is a music writer who has covered bands from her hometown in Colorado to London to Bangkok to Shanghai and finally back to Austin. Led Zeppelin changed her life. So did Dolly Parton. You can read her music reviews at

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