FYIDC: Paying Tribute To Dr. King

The district welcomes with open arms, and many events, a memorial dedicated to Jr. and his efforts towards racial equality.
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The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. memorial before its completion. (photo by Gediyon Kifle, courtesy of the MLK Memorial Foundation)

With the help of thousands of community and political leaders, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. led the Civil Rights Movement beginning in the 1950s, in hopes that racial equality would resonate throughout the country.  In honor of his efforts and dedication to equality and freedom, a memorial has been built on the National Mall at 1964 Independence Avenue, SW. The street number of the memorial represents the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  The district is proud to be the home of this new memorial, and many events will be held in honor of this monumental dedication.  Here’s a list of events and specials . that will help keep you remembering the legacy of Dr. King.

Official Events

Monday, August 22nd
The Opening
The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. memorial will officially open to the public through Thursday, August 25th.  Visitors may report to the intersection of West Basin Drive, SW and Independence Avenue, SW for the memorial viewing.

Wednesday, August 24th
“Honoring Global Leaders for Peace” dinner
In honor of the men and women who continue Dr. King’s goals and dreams, a dinner will be held at the National Building Museum, 401 F Street NW. With a theme of “democracy, justice, hope and love,” guests at this international gala dinner will have the opportunity to hear the stories of and socialize with some of the nation’s leaders who are dedicated to pursuing global peace and equality.  This formal dinner will be held from 6-9 PM.  Invitation only.

Thursday, August 25th
“Honoring Past, Present and Future Pioneers” luncheon
To celebrate the work of thousands of Civil Rights Movement leaders, those who continue efforts of equality today, and the people dedicated to continuing this work into the future, a luncheon will be held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, 801 Mt. Vernon Place, NW.  From 12-2PM and for just $85 per seat, guests will not only enjoy a delicious lunch, but also sit among honorable leaders of equality.  The attire for this luncheon is business.  Ticket availability is limited, click here to purchase your tickets.

The official logo for the creation of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. memorial. (photo courtesy of Sara Neumann, Susan Davis International)

“Partners in the Dream” expo
Beginning on Thursday, August 25th from 3-8 PM, the Walter E. Washington Convention Center will be holding a public expo, portraying the life and work of Dr. King.  This free event will feature information booths, performances and a tribute to the legacy of the civil rights leader.  The expo will be held for three additional days: Friday, August 26th, 9 AM- 7 PM; Saturday, August 27th, 9 AM- 5 PM; Sunday, August 28th, 2:30-6 PM.

“The Message in the Music” concert
If you love folk music, this is the event for you.  For a night of entertainment, a concert will be held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center from 8-10 PM.  The cocktail event will feature musical performances mirroring the songs and melodies of the Civil Rights Movement that promoted hope, peace and strength.  Tickets for the concert are limited and priced at $65 and $100.  Tickets can be purchased here.

Friday, August 27th
“Women Who Dare to Dream” luncheon
Although many men contributed to the success of the Civil Rights Movement, much of the accomplishments of the movement could not have been achieved without the help of thousands of women who were equally dedicated to the idea of change.  From 12-2 PM at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, a luncheon will be held in honor of the women who believed in Dr. King’s dream enough to be a part of the movement.  The attire for this event is business.  Limited tickets are $85 and can be purchased here.

Saturday, August 27th
“The Celebration” dream gala
Leadership donors, dignitaries and supporters will come together for this black-tie event to celebrate the completion of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. memorial.  For $125 or $250, you can join these honored guests for a reception from 6-7 PM and dinner from 7-10 PM at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. Limited tickets can be purchased here.

Sunday, August 28th
Pre-dedication Musical Tribute
Let the official dedication begin!  The big day for the memorial will kick off at 10 AM at West Potomac Park for a musical concert.  The free concert will pay tribute to the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  Concert and memorial coordinators suggest loose-fitted clothing and comfortable shoes to accommodate the warm weather.  Open to the public, this event is perfect for the entire family to celebrate the life of Dr. King.

The Official Dedication Ceremony
Beginning at 11 AM, immediately following the pre-dedication concert, the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr memorial will be officially dedicated.  Names of those dedicating the memorial have not been releasd yet, but check back as the date nears.  This free event begins at 11 AM at West Potomac Park.

Concert on the Mall
The celebration continues! From 2-4 PM at West Potomac Park, a free concert will be held after the official dedication of the Dr. King memorial.  Names of musical performers to be released soon.

Local Events and Specials

Dedications at the National Archives
The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom is one moment in history that many remember Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for most.  From Monday, August 1st through Wednesday, August 31st, the National Archives will be holding a document display of the program of the march from 10 AM- 7 PM.  This month-long opportunity is free and open to the public at the National Archives Building, 700 Pennsylvania Avenue NW.  The museum also has a film screening event to continue its tribute to the late Dr. King’s work.  On Saturday, August 26th and Sunday, August 27th, a screening of the 1964 documentary, The March, will be shown for 12 PM.  The documentary goes back to the day of the famous March and gives viewers an eye-opening look at the monumental “I Have a Dream” speech.  This event is also free and open to the public, so it’s perfect for the whole family.

The Odyssey will provide scenic views of the MLK memorial, lunch and dinner to celebrate the official dedication week. (photo courtesy of Linda Heiss, Associates, Inc.)

Dr. King Memorial Dedication Cruises
Get ready to set sail.  On Wednesday, August 24th and Thursday, August 25th The Odyssey will offer lunch cruises in honor of Dr. King.  From 12-2 PM, guests will enjoy an afternoon of “Civil Rights inspired” food, music and live entertainment from this monumental era and special narration, highlight the achievements and hard work of Dr. King.  Boarding will begin at 11:15 AM.  The whole family is invited for $51.90 per adult and $25.95 per child.  If you can’t make it for lunch, try some dinner.  On Wednesday, the 24th, only, DMVers are invited to enjoy dinner, $94.90 per person, on the Odyssey to continue the dedication from 7-10 PM.  Boarding will begin at 6:30 PM.  To reserve for lunch and/or dinner, click here.

The Spirit of Washington cruise ship will also be participating in honoring the civil rights leader.  For both lunch and dinner on Wednesday, August 24th and Thursday, August 25th.  Boarding for lunch will begin at 11:30 AM, and will cruise from 12-2 PM.  For $41.90 per adult at $20.95 per child, you and your family and friends can experience Civil Rights era music, food and entertainment.  The dinner cruises will board at 6:30 PM and cruise from 7-10 PM.  Tickets for both dinner cruises are $74.90 per person.  For online reservations, click here.

Chevrolet’s Table of Brotherhood Project
A huge sponsor of the MLK memorial site, donating over $10 million to its construction, General Motors’ Chevrolet has asked people around the world to join the Table, “in the spirit of brotherhood and nonviolence.” Beginning Saturday, August 6th at Morehouse College in Atlanta and ending at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center on Friday, August 26th, the four-city tour of the Table of Brotherhood Project will feature special guests, still to be announced and unity for event-attendees.  Chevrolet invites people around the world to participate in this table at its Table of Brotherhood website where shared ideas and viewpoints on dreams, equality, and favorite MLK quotes are featured on the discussion board.  To learn more information about the Table of Brotherhood and to read updates on the special guests and features for the event on August 26th, click here.

Martin Luther King Jr. Inaugural Health Summitt

Dr. King strongly believed that part of racial equality meant the health status of all the nation’s people needed to be improved as well.  In honor of this nation-building idea, The Institute for the Advancement of Multicultural and Minority Medicine (IAMMM) will be holding a two-day conference starting on Monday, August 22nd at 7:30am at the Willard Intercontinental Hotel, 1401 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW.  The summit will feature guest speakers and medical professionals, including Honorable , MD, MPH, the Assistant Secretary for Health of the US Department of Health and Human Services.  The sumitt will present progress reports, future mandates and result-driven models that reflect Dr. King’s push for racial and medical equality.  Registration for this event is $500.  To register, click here.

Hotel Packages

Sixteen hotels in the district are featuring hotel packages, specialized for the Dr. Martin Luther King memorial dedication celebration.  The rates of each hotel vary, but guests at each hotel will be given exclusive tickets to the Dedication Day ceremony.  Hotels featuring this deal are:

As the dedication celebration approaches, more events are subject to come up.  Check back for any new events or updates for the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. memorial dedication celebration.

To find out more about the dedication, visit the official website.

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