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Celebrate with your community at one of these Cincinnati Martin Luther King, Jr. Day events!


Cincinnati MLK Day Events

Martin Luther King Day March

Annual MLK Blood Drive


Monday, January 16, 2023, is Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Many businesses are closed today, and children are out of school.


Martin Luther King, Jr. played a pivotal role in the Civil Rights Movement as he fought against racial segregation, oppression, injustice, and brutality. Everyone should take advantage of this occurrence to honor African American civil rights leaders.


Participate in Cincinnati MLK events such as marches, speeches, celebrations, or presentations around the city. Spend Monday remembering why Martin Luther King’s birthday is a federal holiday.


The information in this article is as current as the publication date. Readers are encouraged to confirm the information before acting.


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Featured Event


Cincinnati’s National Day of Racial Healing

Tuesday, January 17
10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Greater Cincinnati Foundation (Downtown)
Free Entry
The celebration includes keynote presentations from outspoken civil rights advocate Angela Davis and social justice activist Anna Gifty Opoku-Agyeman. Panel discussions about financial empowerment, universal basic income, mental health, health disparities, and championing equity will be led by local and national experts. The day also includes artistic performances, mindful meditation, and a happy hour.



Monday, January 16


King Legacy Celebration

8 a.m. – 9:45 p.m.
National Underground Railroad Freedom Center (Downtown)
$20 – $50
Lacey Roberts leads a moderated discussion with Brittany Packnett Cunningham. As a social justice activist, educator, and writer, Brittany leads at the intersection of culture and justice, building platforms to activate everyday people to take transformative action for justice. Kyle Inskeep will be the emcee, and a continental breakfast will be served.  Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra Quartet, Destiny L, and Dance Revolution Theatre will perform.


Southwestern Ohio Basketball presents MLK “Separation” Mini Camp

8 a.m. – 3 p.m. (time slot depends on age)
Landmark Athletic Center (Glendale)
$25 – $50
Individual instruction on the fundamentals of basketball, including ball handling, passing, shooting, and footwork, as well as game enhancement, including moving without the basketball, cutting, and screening.


MLK Day of Service

9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Various locations
Free Entry
If you are inspired to make a difference in your community, Cincinnati Parks has opportunities to get out and serve! Start the new year by helping Cincinnati Parks maintain safe, clean & beautiful parks in neighborhood parks throughout the city.  Volunteers should be prepared for the weather (layered clothing) and wear long pants and long sleeves to protect against thorns and possible poison ivy encounters.  Required: Close-toed & sturdy shoes, work gloves (if you own them), and a refillable water bottle.


MLK Coalition March

10:30 a.m.
National Underground Railroad Freedom Center (Downtown)
Free Entry
Gather outside the Freedom Center, where an interdenominational prayer service begins our solemn and spirit-filled re-enactment of the civil rights era marches for equality, dignity, and justice. The march concludes at Washington park with an additional prayer service. The complimentary Rosa Parks Bus provides rides for those who cannot walk a mile uphill in the cold.


Annual MLK Day Blood Drive

10:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Various Locations
Free Entry
Please join the MLK Week of Giving (January 14-22) by donating at a Hoxworth Neighborhood Donor Center. Be sure to mention the Annual MLK Day Blood Drive or Group Code NUR when donating. All donors receive a “Hoxworth Hero” sweatshirt!



Related Article: Black History Movies for children and families.



Miami University, Oxford community to commemorate Martin Luther King Jr. Day

11 a.m. – Noon
Miami University Shriver Center (Oxford)
Free Entry
Enjoy a keynote speech by Carolyn Jefferson-Jenkins and remarks from Miami University President Gregory Crawford and Cristina Alcalde, vice president for Institutional Diversity and Inclusion. There will also be music performances and a presentation of art exhibit winners.


Reckoning with Chaos, Creating Community MLK Day Commemorative Program

Music Hall (OTR) or Virtual
Free Entry
Enjoy student poets from WordPlay, dance performances, a proclamation from Mayor Pureval, music by the award-winning MLK Chorale, and a keynote address from All-In Cincinnati – Greater Cincinnati Foundation Executive Director Denisha Porter.



12:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Washington Park (OTR)
Free Entry
Celebrate the small business renaissance by supporting local businesses in the Cincinnati Area. Featuring food vendors, crafters, and entertainment.


38th Annual MLK Celebration 

1 p.m.  – 2:30 p.m.
Resurrection Lutheran Church (Lebanon)
Free Entry
Enjoy musical performances and an inspirational message from our keynote speaker Tia Ramey. MLK Lebanon will also announce the winners of the Drum Major Awards.


Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King Jr

7 p.m.
Miami Hamilton Downtown (Hamilton)
Free Entry
A program of spoken word, music, poetry, and more in recognition of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.




About Martin Luther King Jr.


Martin Luther King Jr.  (January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968) was a Baptist minister and activist, one of the most prominent leaders in the American civil rights movement from 1955 until his assassination in 1968.


An African American church leader and a son of early civil rights activist and minister Martin Luther King Sr., King advanced civil rights for people of color in the United States through activism, nonviolence and civil disobedience. He led targeted, nonviolent resistance against Jim Crow laws and other forms of racism and discrimination.


Along with his wife, Coretta Scott, King participated in and led marches for the right to vote, desegregation, labor rights, and other civil rights. He oversaw the 1955 Montgomery bus boycott and became the first Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) president. He led the unsuccessful Albany Movement in Albany, Georgia, and helped organize some nonviolent 1963 protests in Birmingham, Alabama.


King was one of the leaders of the 1963 March on Washington, where he delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. The civil rights movement achieved pivotal legislative gains in the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and the Fair Housing Act of 1968.


On October 14, 1964, King won the Nobel Peace Prize for combating racial inequality through nonviolent resistance. In 1965, he helped organize two of the three Selma to Montgomery marches. In 1968, King was planning a national occupation of Washington, D.C., to be called the Poor People’s Campaign, when he was assassinated on April 4 in Memphis, Tennessee.



Related Article: Visit these Black historic sites in Cincinnati while you’re out.  



Please help keep the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. alive as we start the year with Cincinnati MLK Events. His vision and contributions have affected all of us in some way. Submit additional Cincinnati Martin Luther King, Jr. Day events to The Voice of Black Cincinnati Calendar.


Written by: Crystal Kendrick


The Voice of Black Cincinnati is a media company designed to educate, recognize and create opportunities for African Americans. Want to find local news, events, job posting, scholarship,s and a database of local Black-owned businesses? Visit our homepage, explore other articles, subscribe to our newsletter, like our Facebook page, join our Facebook group, and text VOBC to 513-270-3880.


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Crystal Kendrick

Written by Crystal Kendrick

Publisher, The Voice of Black Cincinnati


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