Evanston plans series of events honoring Martin Luther King Jr.

Billy Kobin, Reporter

Several events starting this weekend will honor Martin Luther King Jr. through music, speeches and discussions at different centers throughout Evanston.

Activities will begin Saturday at the Fleetwood-Jourdain Community Center, 1655 Foster St. The center will host an event titled “Day of Celebration Honoring the Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.”

Betsy Jenkins, Fleetwood-Jourdain’s manager, said 150 to 200 people are expected to attend the event featuring music, dance, guest artists and speakers centered around King and his mission.

Events will continue Sunday at the Evanston Public Library, 1703 Orrington Ave.

The Evanston Art Center and Insight Arts will host members of We Charge Genocide, a Chicago-based activist group that organizes against police violence, to speak at the event held at the library.

The group was involved in organizing Chicago protests following the St. Louis County grand jury decision not to indict Ferguson, Missouri police officer Darren Wilson in the fatal shooting of black teenager Michael Brown. Keith Brown, Evanston Art Center’s director of education, said he hopes people feel inspired after listening to We Charge Genocide.

“(Today) there are thousands of Martin Luther Kings in everybody’s city,” Brown said.

In addition, the library will host the “11 Months Wrap Up Celebration” to conclude 11 months of programming at EPL that focused on African-American culture.

Monday will be filled with community events. Y.O.U.’s 9th Annual Diverse Communities United program will begin in the morning at the Music Institute of Chicago, 1490 Chicago Ave. This event will include songs, dances and other art pieces all performed by youth.

Other events on Monday include a showing of two children’s movies relating to King at EPL. At 3 p.m., Rev. Eddie Reeves will deliver an interpretation of King’s “I Have A Dream” speech. 

EPL director Karen Danczak Lyons said the library wants to remember King’s work and legacy on his birthday.

Northwestern has its own events planned to celebrate King, beginning with a day of a service on Saturday during which students can volunteer at sites throughout Evanston and Chicago.

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