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City to hold 'Day of Celebration in Honor of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.' event

January 18, 2019

Mayor's Office

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Mayor's Office

The City of Boston, the Museum of African American History, and Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras continue the tradition of paying tribute to the life, legacy, and influence of Dr. King.

Mayor Martin J. Walsh, in partnership with Boston University, the Museum of African American History, and Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras, will present, "A Day of Celebration in Honor of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.," on Monday, January 21, 2019 at 1:00 p.m. at Metcalf Hall on the second floor of George Sherman Union at Boston University located at 775 Commonwealth Avenue in Boston.

This event celebrates Dr. King: the man, the minister, and the humanitarian. Outstanding performances of classical music, spirituals, and freedom songs by young Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras musicians complement readings of Dr. King's words by distinguished community leaders. The event culminates with a keynote address by Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley.

"The City of Boston has the great privilege of partnering with Boston University, the Museum of African History and the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras for the Day of Celebration in Honor of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.," said Mayor Walsh. "This day allows us the opportunity to come together as a community to recognize Dr. King's enormous impact and legacy, and recommit ourselves to living out his dream in our community."

"We are proud to host this event honoring Dr. King's service and sacrifice. His legacy is immense and timeless. We count it a privilege to be able to claim him as an alumnus and find continuing inspiration from his words and deeds," said President Robert A. Brown of Boston University.  

"This year's program offers a moment of service, celebration and inspiration," said Marita Rivero, President and CEO at the Museum of African American History.  "It is an honor to join with the City of Boston in celebrating this adopted son who was educated here, met his wife here, and spoke here as a civil rights leader. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is among Boston's great leaders, a champion of humanity."
"Dr. King cherished the values of community, justice and equality," said Catherine Weiskel, Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras (BYSO)'s Executive Director. "We at the BYSO also foster these ideals and are honored to celebrate Dr. King's legacy through sharing exceptional music-making with the City of Boston on this special day. "

In previous years, leaders such as Beverly Morgan-Welch, Sonia Sanchez, Dr. Alvin Poussaint, Ernest Green of the Little Rock Nine, Judy Richardson of Eyes on the Prize, and civil rights activist and filmmaker Topper Carew served as keynote speakers. Governor Deval Patrick, Chief Justice Roderick Ireland, Boston Poet Laureates Sam Cornish and Danielle Legros Georges, former Orthopaedic Surgeon-in-Chief at Beth Israel Hospital Dr. Augustus White, and WGBH Radio host Eric Jackson are among those who have served as readers in previous years.

In December of 2017, Mayor Walsh and King Boston announced that a memorial honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott King will be established on Boston Common. As a result of community input, the project vision was expanded from a single memorial site to three components: an outdoor memorial on the Boston Common, a dynamic program headquartered in Roxbury and in partnership with leading local stakeholders that oversees civic, educational, and economic equity programming, and an endowment in partnership with Twelfth Baptist Church to educate and train nonviolent activists. The MLK Boston Art Committee has selected five finalists. More information is available here.

For further information on the MLK events please call 617-635-3911, visit and, or follow the Mayor's Office of Tourism, Sports and Entertainment on social media @VisitBostonCity.