Home History Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Chicago on MLK Day 2023

Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Chicago on MLK Day 2023

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Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr and Rev Jesse Jackson
Source: 2022 PUSH Excel Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Celebration YouTube Video Screenshot

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January 15, 2023 marks the 94th birthday of the famed Civil Rights activist Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

In 1983, President Ronald Reagan designated the third Monday in January a federal holiday in observance of MLK. This year, Chicagoans will celebrate the life and legacy of the civil rights leader on Monday, January 16.

Rainbow Push, a non-profit on Chicago’s South Side founded by Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr., will host the 33rd annual MLK celebration on January 16, 2022 at 8:00 AM. The event will take place at Marriott Marquis Chicago located on 2121 South Prairie Avenue in Chicago.

The 2023 PUSH Excel Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholarship Breakfast will bring together leaders, businesses and the community across the country to celebrate the service and legacy of Dr. King. Rev. Jesse Jackson and PUSH for Excellence will also raise funding to provide college scholarships for students in need.

If you want a list of opportunities, scholarships, grants, and fellowships delivered to your inbox every week, make sure you subscribe to our newsletter on Beehiiv.

Last year’s celebration was hosted by news anchor Felicia Lawrence and college student Josh Morris. Lawrence, a native of Chicago’s South Side, is best known for her work on “The Jam” on WCIU-TV. In addition to the MLK morning celebration, Rainbow Push also unveiled the documentary, “PUSH Excel Journey to Excellence.” The documentary was produced by Kathleen Rivera of Virtual Learning Systems, Inc.

The “PUSH Excel Journey to Excellence” documentary will also chronicle the evolution of PUSH Excel, an organization founded in 1975 by Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr. and other educators. By 1980, school districts had adopted the PUSH Excel principles to emphasize, “If my mind can conceive it and my heart can believe it, I can achieve it!”

The documentary highlighted scenes from Dr. King’s time in Chicago. Although Dr. King was born in Atlanta and did extensive civil rights work in the South, his contributions in Chicago will never be forgotten.

Dr. King wrote, “Selma, Alabama, had been our pilot city for the Voting Rights Bill of 1965, and I had faith that Chicago, considered one of the most segregated cities in the nation, could well become the metropolis where a meaningful nonviolent movement could arouse the conscience of this nation to deal realistically with the Northern ghetto.”

Dr. King moved to Chicago in 1966 to tackle discrimination in housing, employment, and education. The Chicago campaign, known as the Chicago Freedom Movement, brought together the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) and Chicago’s Coordinating Council of Community Organizations.

On July 10, 1966, Dr. King delivered a speech at Soldier Field in Chicago declaring, “This day we must declare our own Emancipation Proclamation. This day we must commit ourselves to make any sacrifice necessary to change Chicago,” the Chicago Tribune reported.

Chicago’s leaders and residents didn’t welcome Dr. King’s civil rights campaign. On August 5, 1966, a group of angry white protestors attacked him in Marquette Park as he was planning to lead a march to the Chicago realtor’s office.

To commemorate Martin Luther King Jr Day, Chicago Southsider has collected a number of events that will take place on Monday, January 16.

Register in advance to attend the MLK celebration events.

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