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Martin Luther King Day 2022: Cleveland celebrating the lasting legacy of the civil rights leader

Martin Luther King Jr.
Posted at 1:38 PM, Jan 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-17 07:42:43-05

CLEVELAND — From the Cleveland Museum of Art to Cuyahoga Community College, Cleveland institutions are finding creative ways, despite COVID-19 pushing some events to go virtual, to celebrate the legacy of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

We compiled a running list of places that are open and hosting events on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Monday, Jan. 17.

The Cleveland Museum of Art

The Cleveland Museum of Art will open its doors for a free daylong celebration honoring Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. This year, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., the museum offers activities and meditations for visitors of all ages on the King Center’s 2022 King Holiday theme, “It Starts with Me: Shifting Priorities to Create the Beloved Community.”

Visitors will also have free access to the thought-provoking exhibition, Picturing Motherhood Now, which brings together works by a diverse range of contemporary artists who interpret all the possibilities of what motherhood looks like today.

As another way to keep children engaged, the museum will have a free Family Discovery Pack, a wearable packs with kid-friendly tools and activities as they find connections among the artists and artwork. The free packs will be available at the Ames Family Atrium.


Visitors can also contribute to King’s vision by participating in the Take Action Challenge. Select a card and commit to fulfilling an action it presents within the next few months.

The CMA requires all visitors, staff and volunteers to wear face-coverings inside the building.

Find more info here.

The Cleveland History Center

In lieu of in-person events, the Cleveland History Center is offering a free, virtual presentation and discussion with Reverend Dr. Marvin A. McMickle on Thursday, Jan. 20 at 6 p.m. McMickle will discuss his 18th book project, “Let the Oppressed Go Free,” which examines the influence of various liberation theologies in social, cultural and political history.

Click here for more information.

Cleveland State University

Cleveland State University will host a panel featuring personal and collective memories of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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Sonali b. Wilson, CSU’s General Counsel and Secretary to the Board of Trustees, will share personal memories of King’s visits to Cleveland and engagement with her family.

Dr. Tara White, assistant professor of history at the University of North Carolina, will establish a historical context for a discussion highlighting scenes from the movie "Selma."

Eric Siler, instructor of film and media arts at Cleveland State University, will draw on other collective memories established through film.

Click here for more information, including the link to the virtual event.

Cuyahoga Community College

Tri-C will host its 45th annual celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s life and legacy beginning on at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 16. The virtual remembrance will feature an assortment of musical performances and scholarship presentations as well as student speeches honoring the civil rights leader.

The tradition began in 1977, six years before the federal government designated a day to honor King, making it the longest-running MLK event in Cleveland. The event typically takes place at Playhouse Square but moved to online in an effort to minimize the spread of COVID-19.


“Cuyahoga Community College understood early on the importance of honoring Dr. King’s dream of civil rights and racial harmony,” Tri-C President Alex Johnson said. “As we come together this year to reflect on his call to collectively fight injustice, it will be against the backdrop of renewed efforts to protect and strengthen voting rights.”

Three essayists will present essays that reflect on a quote from King’s 1965 speech in Oberlin, Ohio. Sydney Hughart, a Mandel Scholar and journalism major who plans to become an investigative journalist; Austin Keller, a Mandel Scholar who aspires to teach social studies and enjoys volunteering with nonprofits; and TinaRenea Conwell, a Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society member and CMSD employee who plans to become a civil rights attorney.

Click here for more info.

Free virtual cooking class with EDWINS

EDWINS Leadership & Restaurant Institute is hosting a one-hour virtual cooking class with chef Brandon Chrostowoski for kids ages 5 and up on Jan. 17 at 5 p.m.

Grab your aprons and spend some of the day learning how to make Pecan Pie, a favorite of Dr. Martin Luther King. Participants will gain kitchen skills, including preparation, baking techniques and measurements.

Once registration is complete, either online or by calling 216-921-3333, pecan pie kits may be picked up at EDWINS Butcher Shop, 13024 Buckeye Road.

  • Friday, Jan. 14 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Saturday, Jan. 15 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Sunday, Jan. 16 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Monday, Jan. 17 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage

The museum is offering free admission, virtual family activities and a special online program featuring Dr. Khalid el-Hakim, founder of the Black History 101 Mobile Museum.

From 1 to 2 p.m., 6th through 12th-graders can participate in the “Stop the Hate” essay writing workshop during which Lake Erie Ink will provide insight on how to craft a personal essay that tells a powerful story.

Click here for more information.

Missed an event that you would like to be featured in this list? Email Kaylyn Hlavaty at

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