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United Way of Lancaster County


Local nonprofits host 2024 MLK Day events

Bakari Sellers (Source: Provided)

Organizations in Lancaster County are gearing up to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day this coming Monday, Jan. 15.

The federal holiday commemorates the birth of the civil rights leader, who won the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to end segregation in the U.S. and secure equal treatment under the law for all.

Among this year’s events are the following:

The 44th annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commemoration

  • When: 5 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 14
  • Where: Trinity Lutheran Church, 31 S. Duke St.
  • Cost: Free (Free-will donations accepted)

Hosted by NAACP Lancaster branch, this evening service, titled “Lift Every Voice,” will feature gospel music, spoken word pieces and more. The keynote speaker is the Rev. Roland Forbes, pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church; the minister of ceremonies is the Rev. John Knight.

The 36th annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Breakfast

  • When: 7 to 10 a.m. Monday, Jan. 15 (7 to 8 a.m.: Registration & networking; 8 to 10 a.m.: Breakfast & Program)
  • Where: Student Memorial Center, Millersville University
  • Cost: $75 in person, $25 livestream (Pay-what-you-will option available; minimum $25 suggested)

This keynote speaker at this year’s breakfast is Bakari Sellers, a civil rights activist, attorney, politician and media figure. He will speak on “Activating the Promise of Democracy.”

The son of Civil Rights Era leader Cleveland Sellars, Bakari entered the South Carolina legislature at age 22, becoming the youngest Black state official in the country, and serving from 2006 to 2014. He is a CNN analyst and the author of a memoir, “My Vanishing Country” and a children’s book, “Who Are Your People?”

Hosted by Community Action Partnership of Lancaster County, the MLK Breakfast benefits CAP’s Crispus Attucks Community Center. It is the center’s largest fundraiser, annually providing close to one-third of its total budget.

The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Children’s Celebration

  • When: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday, Jan. 15
  • Where: YWCA Lancaster, 110 N. Lime St., Lancaster
  • Cost: Free, but registration is recommended

YWCA Lancaster invites children and their caregivers to celebrate King with readings, interactive activities and snacks. There are two book sessions, depending on age:

  • 10 to 11 a.m. (Toddlers to Pre-K): “This Little Voter” by Ann Bonnie, read by 2023 Woman of Achievement Stephanie Thomas.
  • 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. (School-age): “Who Are Your People?” by Bakari Sellers, read by state Rep. Ismail Smith-Wade-El.