Monday marks the culmination of 10 days of celebration in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday and the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Known as Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Monday is also dedicated to honoring the life and legacy of Dr. King, who believed in the philosophy of nonviolent social change.

With children out of school and many businesses closed for the day, it’s the perfect opportunity to begin educating young children on the teachings of Dr. King. A variety of events will take place on Monday, allowing families and individuals the opportunity to honor Dr. King and his philosophy in the way that best fits them.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Annual Commemorative Service. Held Monday, Jan. 19, 2015 at 10 a.m. at Ebenezer Baptist Church, this year’s service will feature a variety of speakers from various backgrounds, races and religions. The keynote speaker is Dr. Gwendolyn E. Boyd, minister and president of Alabama State University, and she will be joined by David Oyelowo, the actor who played Dr. King in the movie Selma. Other special guests will include artist Sandi Patty and Rwanda’s Ambassador to the United States, Mathilde Mukantabana.

Annual King Holiday March and Rally. This mass march will take place Monday at 2 p.m. beginning on Peachtree Street. The route will proceed to Jackson Street via Auburn Avenue and it will be led by community leaders. The march will conclude with a rally in front of The King Center.

The King Family Book Signing. Mrs. Christine King Farris, Dr. King’s sister, and two of Dr. King’s nieces, will be on hand at The King Center to sign books they’ve written from 3 until 4:30 p.m.

MLK Day of Service. Organized by Hands On Atlanta, this day of service typically has more than 3,000 volunteers who are honoring the life and work of Dr. King. Aimed at serving local communities, schools and nonprofits, the event is known as “A Day On, Not A Day Off.” Events will include involvement opportunities at five local schools, building gardens, an essay challenge and more. These events will take place at several locations, including Action Ministries, Keep North Fulton Beautiful, Finch Elementary School, Fernbank Museum of Natural History, Friends of Kittredge Park and many more.

Why Life Matters. Taking place at Woodruff Park at 12:06 p.m., this demonstration calls for national healing. The event aims to follow Dr. King’s teachings of nonviolence and love, which calls for American culture, media, music and more to turn toward this philosophy. For more information about the Why Life Matters event, email

For more information on Dr. King or the events surrounding his birthday and national holiday, visit

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