The 2023 MLK Experience: Tributes to the Civil Rights Leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The City of Toledo and The University of Toledo announced the 2023 MLK Experience to honor civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who played a crucial role in the civil rights movement in the United States.

MLK’s message of nonviolence and his efforts to promote racial equality continue to inspire people around the world to work towards creating a more just and equal society.

The two organizations hope you will join them in celebrating his life and legacy in a series of events in partnership with the University of Toledo. The Toledo Museum of Art, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, and the Human Relations Commission will also host a variety of events beginning on January 13th and culminating on January 16th with the Virtual MLK Unity Day Celebration.

The MLK Experience will kick off with a weekend of poetry and spoken word hosted by Hunter Prey on January 13 in the Lucille’s Jazz Lounge. There will be signature cocktails, poetry, spoken word, music, food, and networking. Open mic opportunities as well! The doors open at 7:00 p.m. and the show begins at 8:00 p.m. The event is open to the public. Minimum age is 21. Tickets are $10.00 for non-TolHouse members.

On January 14, the Alpha Xi Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. will host the 31st annual Scholarship Breakfast “Daring to Achieve: A Call to Challenge Stigmas and the Status Quo” featuring guest speaker Brian Dawkins, former NFL football player and Hall of Famer, from 9 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. at The Pinnacle located at 1772 Indianwood Cir. Register here – and to find more information.

On January 15, two community worship services will be held to continue the celebration. Both services can be attended in-person or virtually.

St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church at 10:45 a.m.
1502 N Detroit Ave. with Pastor James Willis. Link Viewers may watch live or recorded here:

Transformation Church at 11:30 a.m
5444 Airport Highway with Pastor Brandon Tucker
Viewers may watch live here:

Viewers may watch a recorded version here:

On January 16, join the Human Relations Commission and the University of Toledo for the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Unity Day Celebration which will be held virtually – – from 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Chuck Ealey, a University of Toledo graduate and American and Canadian football player, will join his daughter Jael Ealey Richardson in a discussion about what it means to “live the dream” to kick off the event. Keynote speaker Bree Newsome, an American filmmaker, musician, and activist, will follow. They will be joined by Toledo Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz and Dr. Gregory Postal, president of The University of Toledo.

Special performances include:

·       Thaddaeus Washington playing “Lift Every Voice” on the electric guitar

·       African drumming by J.P. Dynasty

·       The Toledo Opera

·       An original spoken word piece by Davion Desean

·       Brandon Monford playing the saxophone in front on the new Jazz Mural at the Glass City Center

·       The My5tery Music Band

·       United Vision Choir

·       TRIBE

On January 17, the Toledo African American Chamber of Commerce is hosting a meet and greet at TolHouse from 6 to 8 p.m. Free, open to members and the public. DJ, light appetizers, cash bar.

The Toledo Museum of Art will be open on Monday from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. for a day-long MLK celebration which will include guest speaker Calvin Burney Jr., Superintendent of Rise & Shine Academy, motivational speaker and Chair of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholarship Breakfast. Guests can watch a screening of the movie SELMA, go on a docent tour to learn about African American artwork and enjoy special performances by the BGSU Voices Choir.

As part of the MLK Experience this year, the Human Relations Commission is sponsoring a free cookie from Jera’s Heavenly Sweet and a free 16oz. cup of coffee from Onyx Café in the Oliver House. Patrons can receive their free cookie and coffee while supplies last on Friday, January 13th and Saturday, January 14th.