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Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day 2022: What to do, places to be, things to see in central Indiana

Local colleges, organizations, museums, and cities are hosting panels, volunteering opportunities, free admissions, and more for the federal holiday.
The life and activism of Martin Luther King, Jr.
Posted at 2:21 PM, Jan 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-13 13:39:54-05

INDIANAPOLIS — There are many ways to honor Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on Monday, Jan. 17 with community involvement.

The third Monday in January honors the life of the late civil rights activist, who is perhaps most known for his leadership in nonviolent protest of racism in America.

Dr. King notably took the nonviolence approach when he led the 1965 Selma to Montogomery march, the 220-mile "March Against Fear" from Memphis, Tennessee to Jackson, Mississippi in 1966, and the Montgomery Bus Boycott that lasted 382 days in 1955.

Here in Indianapolis and across central Indiana, Hoosiers can use the federal holiday to learn from Dr. King's legacy, help those around them, and celebrate community.

Local colleges, organizations, museums, and cities are hosting panels, putting together volunteering opportunities, offering free admissions, and more. Here's a list of things to do and places to be to get involved.

Thursday, Jan. 13

  • The Indiana Civil Rights Commission and the Indiana Black Expo, Inc. host their 31st Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Indiana Holiday Celebration on Thursday starting at noon. Held at the Indiana State House, the celebration includes Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb and other elected officials and an award ceremony to recognize five people across the state for their contributions.
  • Starting Thursday evening, the Indiana Civil Rights Commission and Downtown Indy will display a video tribute for Dr. King asking, "What are you doing for others?" on Monument Circle. The presentation will play every evening through Monday at 6:30, 8, and 10 p.m.

Sunday, Jan. 16

  • Visit Newfields for its "MLK Day: Speaking Love" from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The day will include spoken word, live jazz music, storytelling, dance performances, and more. The event is free for all ages; however, reservations must be made in advance online.
  • At 6 p.m. on Sunday, the Indiana Civil Rights Commission, Downtown Indy, and Innovative will host a Wreath-Placing Ceremony at the Indiana War Memorial Soldiers and Sailors Monument. Members of the Iota Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. will carry the wreaths in an illuminating light show that the public is invited to attend.

Monday, Jan. 17

Tuesday, Jan. 18

  • Attend a keynote lecture at Purdue University in West Lafayette by David K. Wilson, the president of Morgan State University in Maryland. It starts at 6 p.m. in Stewart Center’s Loeb Playhouse. Attendance is free and open to in-person viewing and online.

WRTV Digital Reporter Shakkira Harris can be reached at You can follow her on Twitter, @shakkirasays.