New Pittsburgh Courier

Commemorate Martin Luther King Jr. in Pittsburgh with these family-friendly opportunities

Martin Luther King Day anniversary concept. American flag against black wooden background

Photo: Getty Images

The late Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. left a principal legacy for the civil rights movement before his assassination. As an activist and educator, we honor his memory on Jan. 17 this year.

 In 1956, Dr. King spoke to youth groups at the Ebenezer Baptist Church in the Hill District during his visit to Pittsburgh. He returned to the city again in 1958, visiting Central Baptist Church. Dr. King visited Pittsburgh several times during his time as an activist and preacher. On Jan. 17, we honor his legacy and significant impact on the local community and beyond.

Whether you want to support a local organization, get involved with a sports event, or want to spend a relaxing afternoon filled with delicious delicacies and live jazz, we’ve gathered events and community outreach opportunities around town to commemorate and remember the late Dr. King.

Celebrate MLK this year at events and volunteer opportunities in The Burgh.


Black & Jewish Histories of the Hill Region


Learn about the overlapping history between Jewish and Black communities in the Hill District during this interactive webinar hosted by Repair the World. The virtual event runs Jan. 13 from 6-7:30 p.m. and will focus on the diaspora, history, cultural, and social shifts that impact these communities. Participating panelists include Njaimeh Njie, Terri Baltimore, several leaders from the local Jewish community, with moderation by D.S. Kinsel, the co-founder of BOOM Concepts.


Free Community Day at the Pittsburgh Glass Center


Join the Pittsburgh Glass Center between 10 a.m. – 4 p.m on Jan. 17 for a free day of glass making. Learn about the glassblowing and flameworking process with the family in this hands-on and teamwork-oriented activity. Bring a book to contribute to the local Little Free Library!


Volunteer at Amachi Pittsburgh


About 8,500 children in Allegheny County have incarcerated parents. Amachi Pittsburgh helps educate and raise awareness for children with incarcerated parents. The organization helps build youth confidence and prevents them from entering the criminal justice system by providing them with the essential tools and resources they need to succeed. They accept monetary donations and are always looking for mentors and ambassadors to be a part of its mission.


Give Me Liberty: East Liberty Celebrates MLK Day at the Kelly-Strayhorn Theatre


Celebrate the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. at the Kelly-Strayhorn Theatre in East Liberty. Join for engaging activities and performances with themes that focus on social justice and pay homage to Dr. King between 1-4 p.m. This event is in collaboration with the BOOM Concepts museum, along with Women of Visions, and several other local organizations and nonprofits. Support local arts, culture, and the ongoing fight for social justice during this family-friendly event!


Annual M.L.K.Jr., Tea & Jazz Event


Divine Delectables, a catering company run and founded by Paulette Blanks, will host the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Tea & Jazz Event between 1-4 p.m. on Jan. 17. Mingle with like-minded attendees while you enjoy live jazz and delicious food at the Triveni Center, just a 20-minute drive from Pittsburgh!


2022 MLK Day Basketball Mini-Camp


If you’re looking for something to keep your little ones occupied and glassblowing sounds a little intense, join the 2022 MLK Day Basketball Mini Camp. Every Monday at the Monroeville Sports Center (PRO+SPORTS Monroeville), this event hosts skill-building exercises, games, and instructions by professional coaches for children between kindergarten to 12th grade.


Learn About Food Insecurity with Contemporary Craft


Aside from his activism to further rights for Black Americans, Dr. King was an outspoken advocate for ending poverty and food insecurity. His wish was “that people everywhere can have three meals a day for their bodies, education, and culture for their minds and dignity, equality and freedom for their spirits.” According to Contemporary Craft, over 521,750 children in Pennsylvania experience food insecurity. On Jan. 17, join the art gallery for a free day to explore and understand the roots of food insecurity through art. Learn about how modern agricultural practices, income, racial inequality, climate change, and several other factors affect communities’ ability to access affordable and healthy food at the Food Justice: Growing a Healthier Community through Art exhibit that runs until March.