Martin Luther King Jr. Day 2022: Here are central Pa. events honoring the civil rights leader

Many of the events have been postponed because of the inclement weather.

  • By Chris Mautner/PennLive

Martin Luther King Jr. Day falls on Monday, Jan. 17, and a number of community events will be held to commemorate the holiday, some starting this weekend. Many remain virtual due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, but a few will be held in person, including the MLK Day of Service, in which projects are paired up with volunteers.

Here is a quick rundown of the scheduled events. Note that many of the in-person events might be postponed or canceled due to any inclement weather forecast for Monday.

The NAACP Lancaster Branch will hold a virtual celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at 5 p.m. Jan. 16. Writer and activist Dr. Robert Harvey will be the guest speaker. Spoken-word poet Sir Dominique Jordan and musician Jamar Johnson will also perform. Participants should go online to register for the event via Zoom. The event will also be streamed live on the branch’s Facebook page.

The Central Pennsylvania MLK Day of Service will be held throughout the day of Jan. 17 at various locations. Please visit the website to register to volunteer for a service project or to donate funds and supplies. Project times vary and there are numerous venues to pick from near Harrisburg. Many projects are located outdoors or in large spaces with a small number of volunteers and virtual events will be offered as well. There will also be a livestream of the opening ceremony with guest speakers at the event’s website.

The 2022 MLK International Poetry and Storytelling Festival will be held at 6 p.m. Jan. 17 online. Featured artists include poets Rev. Nathanial Gadsden, Maria James Thiaw, Rick Kearns and Shenita Baltimore. Participants should register online before the event.

The fourth Annual MLK Day Anti-Racism Event will be held from 6-8:30 p.m. Jan. 17 at Grace United Methodist Church, 309 Herman Ave., Lemoyne. The commemorative worship service, entitled “One River, Two Worlds,” will feature such speakers as Rev. Jason Schwartzman of Grace United Methodist Church; Rev. Carla Christopher-wilson, Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd; and Rev. D. Marie Tribble or Restoration Community Christian Church. For more information call 717-763-7632.

The Emergency Department at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center will host a community health fair from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Central Allison Hill Community Center. 1524 Walnut St., Harrisburg. the event is free and includes ambulance tours, COVID-19 education, flu shots and more.
“Bessie Coleman: Fly! Bessie, Fly,” honoring the first African-American woman to become a licensed airplane pilot and the first American to hold an international pilot license, will be presented by actor Daisy Century from 1-2 p.m. Jan. 17 at the Cleve J. Fredricksen Library, 100 N. 19th St., Camp Hill. Seating is limited. Registration is required.

Penn State Harrisburg and PenOwl Productions will premiere a seated reading of the play “Rockers” on Youtube from noon Jan. 17 to 8 a.m. Jan. 18. The play examines relationship issues between a husband and wife as they grapple with love and loss.

The 34th annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Breakfast will be held virtually from 8-9 a.m., courtesy of Millersville University and the Crispus Attucks Community Center. The theme for this year is “The Fierce Urgency of Now” and the keynote speaker will be Aiko Bethea. Tickets are $75 for general admission and on sale at or by contacting Brittany Mitchell, or 717.299.7388 ext. 3099.

The Lancaster YWCA will celebrate the life of Dr. King with a virtual all-ages event from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Readings of one of three books — “A is for Activist” by Innosanto Nagara, “Dream March” by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson and “A Place to Land” by Barry Wittenstein — will take place each hour.
A MLK Treasure Walk, sponsored by Salem United Church of Christ in Campbelltown and the Lebanon County branch of the NAACP has been postponed due to snow predictions and will be held Feb. 5 and 6. The walk is self-guided activity with nine activity stations for children located outside of the church, 2761 Horseshoe Pike, Campbelltown. As participants follow the walk, they are encouraged to learn about and be inspired by Dr. King.

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