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Knoxville's MLK Commission Plans Events for King Week 
MLK Commission in 2019 parade

For the 38th year, Knoxville’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Commission presents its annual King Week Celebration, which includes several opportunities to contemplate the life and legacy of the civil rights leader.

This year’s theme – “Let Freedom Ring: Through Social Justice, Economic Empowerment, Love, Peace and Unity” – will echo through the week’s events and is reflected in the works on display through Jan. 31 in the MLK Gallery of Arts Tribute exhibit at the Arts and Culture Alliance at The Emporium, 100 S. Gay St. 

Clarence Vaughn

Clarence Vaughn, Executive Director of PARC (the City's Police Advisory & Review Committee), is a member of the MLK Commission and has served as its Chair in past years. He explains how the Interfaith Prayer Service on Wednesday (listed below) serves as the kick-off and foundation of the week’s events. 

“It highly reflects the legacy of Dr. King, who advocated for everybody to come together despite their backgrounds,” said Vaughn, who is shown above in a photo from the 2018 Interfaith Prayer Service. “He preached not just for one particular community but to all faiths. During his famous ‘I Have a Dream’ speech, Dr. King talked about everyone walking hand in hand as mankind and try together to make a difference in our communities, to come together for a purpose of unity and love and acceptance.” 

All events are listed on the MLK Commission website, where you can also find out about purchasing tickets to Thursday's luncheon and ways to get to and watch the annual parade. 

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Interfaith Prayer Service 
Wednesday, Jan. 15, 12 Noon

Community Evangelistic Church (2650 Boyds Bridge Pike)

This service and its speakers brings people of all faiths together in worship and serves as the official celebration-week kickoff. 

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Leadership Awards Luncheon 
Thursday, Jan. 16, 12 Noon 
Rothchild Catering Center (8807 Kingston Pike)

Mayor Indya Kincannon will welcome guests to this annual event, which recognizes several people who have made a difference in our community in several categories. The event features keynote speaker Pamela Alexander, who decades ago became the first African-American woman to serve as a judge in the state of Minnesota. 

YWCA’s 25th annual Race Against Racism 5K Run 
Saturday, Jan. 18, 1 p.m. 
YWCA Phyllis Wheatley Community Center (124 S. Cruze St.)

Mayor Kincannon will be just one of many runners in this 5K, which begins and ends at the Phyllis Wheatley YWCA. 

Night with the Arts: A Concert in Celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Sunday, Jan. 19, 6 p.m. 

Tennessee Theatre (604 S Gay St.)

This musical and theatrical showcase features music by the Knoxville Symphony Chamber Orchestra and performances by members of Carpetbag Theatre. This moving, thought-provoking event is free and open to the public. Free parking is available in all City-owned garages, including nearby State Street Garage, and Knox County's Dwight Kessel Garage.

MLK Memorial Parade
Monday, Jan. 20, 10 a.m. 

Mayor Kincannon and several members of her administration and members of City Council will march in the MLK Parade, which begins on North Beaman Street (near Chilhowee Park's Midway), runs down Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue and ends at Harriet Tubman Street.

The Memorial Tribute Service will be held after the parade at the nearby Overcoming Believers Church (211 Harriet Tubman St.). Keynote speaker at this event is the Rev. Dr. Harold A. Middlebrook Sr., a founding member and Chair Emeritus of the MLK Commission.

KAT will run a shuttle that allows parade participates to park at OBC before the parade and be driven to the parade’s starting point. The shuttle will run between OBC and Chilhowee Park between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. on a 20-minute rotation. 

City of Knoxville offices are closed Monday, Jan. 20, in commemoration of the holiday.

Posted by ptravis On 15 January, 2020 at 10:29 AM