Life

Martin Luther King Jr. Day events planned across Cedar Rapids, Iowa City area

A photo of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. speaking in Sinclair Auditorium.
A photo of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. speaking in Sinclair Auditorium.
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Martin Luther King Jr. Day brings a host of related events to the Corridor this Monday, including service opportunities, fellowship-building and educational activities.

There is no school in Iowa City or Cedar Rapids, though it is a workday for Cedar Rapids teachers and staff. Administrative offices at City Hall in Iowa City will be closed, with no curbside waste pick up; Cedar Rapids offices remain open. Iowa City will provide free transit shuttles to the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service and Celebration at Mercer Park’s Scanlon Gymnasium. Shuttles will be available at Broadway Neighborhood Center, 2015 Broadway St.; the Iowa City Public Library, 123 S. Linn St.; Lakeside Drive/Nevada Avenue Bus Stop No. 7052; and Pheasant Ridge Neighborhood Center, 2651 Roberts Road. A full list of departure and arrival times is available at iowa-city.org.

Public libraries will remain open throughout the Corridor, with many hosting MLK Day events. The Coralville Public Library noted in an event announcement, “The library will be open throughout the day in keeping with our mission as a community center serving a diverse population as a resource for leisure, knowledge and learning.”

In Iowa City and Mount Vernon, Monday is just one day of many throughout the week of ongoing events. The University of Iowa hosts MLK Human Rights Week, with partner organizations hosting additional events. Cornell College also hosts events on campus all week.

In Cedar Rapids, several organizations came together to coordinate events, including Coe College, Mount Mercy University, the Cedar Rapids Public Library and St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, in partnership with the African American Museum of Iowa, Cedar Rapids NAACP and Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church. The largest community celebration takes place at St. Paul’s Monday night, with choirs from St. Paul’s, Coe and Mount Zion, and performances and poetry readings by community members. The event also features the presentation of the Dr. Percy and Lileah Harris “Who is My Neighbor Award” to McKinley Middle School teacher Molly Lamb and a new youth award to Xavier High School student Haley Cummings.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day events in the Corridor:

Cedar Rapids

Bethel AME Celebration

• What: The keynote speaker will be Waypoint Client Specialist Betty Daniels. All are welcome.

• Where: Bethel AME Church, 512 Sixth St. SE, Cedar Rapids

• When: 5 to 6 p.m. Saturday

Coe College celebration

• What and when: Musical performance by Blake Shaw 8:30 to 9 a.m. followed by remarks, workshops and community service 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday

• Where: 1220 First Ave. NE, Cedar Rapids

Common Grounds: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration

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• What: This informal social group usually meets every Friday morning. This week, join a discussion about books, movies and media that share Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy.

• Where: Cedar Rapids Public Library, 450 Fifth Ave. SE, Cedar Rapids

• When: 9 to 10 a.m. Monday

Prayer Breakfast

• What: Mount Mercy University hosts its annual MLK prayer breakfast, featuring keynote speaker Dr. Vincent Reid.

• Where: Betty Cherry Hall, Mount Mercy University, 1330 Elmhurst Dr. NE, Cedar Rapids

• When: 9 a.m. Monday

African American Museum of Iowa celebration

• What: $1 admission, with an activity booklet for children and a wall of reflection for adults and older youth.

• Where: 55 12th Ave. SE, Cedar Rapids

• When: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday

Hellbound Train Resurrected

• What: Howard University film professor S. Torriano Berry will present the 1929 silent film “Hellbound Train,” one of America’s earliest black religious films, which he resurrected after it was rediscovered in tattered fragments in a vault at the Library of Congress.

• Where: Cedar Rapids Public Library, 450 Fifth Ave. SE, Cedar Rapids

• When: 10:15 to 11 a.m. Monday

Non-Violent Protest Mixed Media Art

• What: Make art from no-violent protest print media, learn about the history of the civil rights movement, resources to connect to this period of American history and contemporary artists who continue the work.

• Where: Cedar Rapids Public Library, 450 Fifth Ave. SE, Cedar Rapids

• When: 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monday

Voices From Our Beloved Community: Call and Response Dr. MLK Jr. Day Celebration

• What: A community meal will be followed by presentation of the Dr. Percy & Lileah Harris “Who Is My Neighbor?” Award to McKinley Middle School teacher Molly Lamb and Xavier High School student Haley Cummings, music by area choirs, readings by Diamond Roundtree, Zette St. Charles and Caleb Rainey and a performance by the Washington High School Step Team.

• Where: St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, 1340 Third Ave. SE, Cedar Rapids

• When: 5 to 6 p.m. meal, 6:30 p.m. service, Monday

Coralville

Martin Luther King Jr. Day Observance

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• What: A public reading of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, with representatives from local government, library partners, and community groups reading. The library will be open throughout the day, and patrons will be invited to share their dreams for a more just and peaceful world at the Annie Gill Craft Table.

• Where: Coralville Public Library, 1401 Fifth St., Coralville

• When: 5 to 6 p.m. Monday

King in the Wilderness

• What: A free public screening of the documentary “King in the Wilderness,” which examines the last three years of Dr. King’s life.

• Where: Coralville Center for the Performing Arts, 1301 Fifth St., Coralville

• When: 2 to 4 p.m. Monday

Iowa City

Unity March

• Where: Begins at United Action for Youth, Eastdale Plaza, 1700 S. First Ave. #14, Iowa City, and ends at Mercer Park, 2701 Bradford Dr., Iowa City

• When: 9 a.m. Monday

Day of Service and Celebration

• What: Participate in service projects around town, followed by a celebratory program including entertainment, a keynote speaker and free lunch.

• Where: Mercer Park Aquatic Center, 2701 Bradford Dr., Iowa City

• When: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday

• Register to participate: volunteer.unitedwayjwc.org

Annual MLK Celebration

• Where: Bethel AME Church, 411 S. Governor St., Iowa City

• When: 2:30 p.m. Monday

Additional events hosted by the University of Iowa MLK Human Rights Week, the Beloved Community Initiative and other groups will happen in Iowa City throughout the week. Find more details at mlk.uiowa.edu and facebook.com/belovedcommunityinitiative.

Marion

Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration and Panelist Discussion

• What: Eastern Iowa candidates that sought public office in 2019 will share their platform and why they ran for office.

• Where: Marion Public Library, 1095 Sixth Ave., Marion

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• When: 6:30 to 8 p.m. Monday

Mount Vernon

Day of Service

What: Sew heart pillows for UI cardiac surgery patients. Open to Cornell and local community members.

• Where: Thomas Commons, Cornell College, 600 First St. SW, Mount Vernon

When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday

Candlelight Vigil

What: The vigil begins in the Thomas Commons lobby, briefly moves to the MLK Memorial tree and then to Allee Chapel for candle lighting. A brief, optional Peace Eucharist follows with MLK theology-related scripture on love and social justice.

Where: Thomas Commons, Cornell College, 600 First St. SW, Mount Vernon

When: 5 p.m. Monday

Additional events will happen in Mount Vernon throughout the week for Cornell College’s MLK Week. Find details at webapps.cornellcollege.edu/events/2020/01.

Comments: (319) 398-8339; alison.gowans@thegazette.com

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