Madison-area events for Martin Luther King Jr. Day 2023

Find ways to get involved in your community to honor and carry forward the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with these MLK Day events in Dane County, Wisconsin.

“I Have a Dream” Scholarship Ball

A young Black man wearing a graduation cap with Martin Luther King superimposed on the top of his head with text next to it reading "37th annual Scholarship Dream Ball honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. January 14, 2023. Monona Terrace, Madison, WI."Women in Focus will host the 37th annual “I Have a Dream” Scholarship Ball and Silent Auction on Saturday, Jan. 14, at the Monona Terrace. The annual gala is an elegant evening of dinner and dancing to honor the vision and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Proceeds support the nonprofit’s college scholarship program, which helps students of color in Dane County reach their higher-education goals.

  • Date: Saturday, January 14
  • Time: 6 – 11 p.m.
  • Location: Monona Terrace Ballroom, 1 John Nolen Drive, Madison
  • Cost: $100

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MLK College Readiness and Success Summit

Poster with image of Martin Luther King and text you can find in the post below.Get a jump start on college planning by attending the 2023 educational summit in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King’s legacy and advocacy for equality. The MLK College Readiness and Success Summit is designed to help students and parents understand the college process. The Summit will also provide resources on precollege program opportunities, how to navigate the college admissions process, and scholarship opportunities. High school students of color, first-generation students, and parents are encouraged to attend. Continental breakfast will be provided. Students will have chances to win college school supplies. Space is limited.

  • Date: Saturday, January 14
  • Time: 10:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
  • Location: Madison College Goodman South Campus, 2429 Perry St., Madison

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MLK Ecumenical Service

Hosted by the King Coalition of Madison-Dane County, the MLK Ecumenical Service joins people together from diverse religious traditions, socioeconomic statuses, ethnicities, and political beliefs to honor Dr. King’s dream of social justice and equality, and to develop a “beloved community” through spiritual inclusivity and recognition of our shared humanity.

  • Date: Sunday, January 15
  • Time: 4:30 – 6 p.m.
  • Location: First Unitarian Society, 900 University Bay Drive, Madison

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Madison-Dane County MLK Day Observance

Poster with a photo of Martin Luther King orating with a portrait of Donzaleigh Abernathy
 and text reading "Welcoming Donzaleigh Abernathy, daughter of Rev. Ralph Abernathy, Goddaughter of Martin Luther King, Jr., Award Winning Actress & Writer
MLK & Ralph Abernathy:
A Personal Reflection."The 38th annual Madison and Dane County MLK Day Observance will return in person on January 16 at the Overture Center in downtown Madison. The keynote speaker will be Donzaleigh Abernathy, goddaughter of Martin Luther King Jr., daughter of Rev. Ralph Abernathy, and award-winning actress & writer. There will be a sing-in of freedom songs led by Tamera Stanley from 5:15–5:45 p.m., followed by the MLK Day Observance from 6–7:30 p.m. The event will be broadcast live on Madison CityChannel and WORT 89.9FM.

  • Date: Monday, January 16
  • Time: 5:15 – 7:30 p.m.
  • Location: Capitol Theater in the Overture Center for the Arts, 201 State St., Madison

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Wisconsin’s 42nd Tribute Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Cover for the printed program of the 2023 Wisconsin state tribute to Martin Luther King. Colored red and gold with images of Black men and women with the words "Let Justice Rule."Themed “Let Justice Rule,” the 2023 event continues Wisconsin’s annual celebration of Dr. King’s life and legacy in words and music. Program participants include Gov. Tony Evers, the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra conducted by Andrew Sewell, the Foundation of Life Praise Band, the Prince Hall Masonic Honor Guard, and the Kalaanjali Dance Company, with guest speaker Laurie A. Carter, J.D., president of Lawrence University in Appleton. Hear the event, free and open to the public, live on Wisconsin Public Radio and on PBS Wisconsin.

  • Date: Monday, January 16
  • Time: 12 p.m.
  • Location: Rotunda in the Wisconsin State Capitol, 2 E. Main St., Madison

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MLK Day Youth Call to Service

A day of empowering and inspiring content for middle school youth to explore service and activism in Dr. King’s memory! Attendees will be provided lunch and a t-shirt. Space is limited and registration is required.

  • Date: Monday, January 16
  • Time: 11:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
  • Location: Madison Central Library, 201 W. Mifflin St., Madison

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Sun Prairie Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration

Poster for the Sun Prairie MLK Day celebration for 2023 with an illustration of Dr. King and text which you can find in the post.Sun Prairie Black and African American leaders and students together to share how Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. has guided their work and leadership. There will be music and appetizers.

  • Date: Monday, January 16
  • Time: 3 – 5 p.m.
  • Location: Prairie Phoenix Academy, 220 Kroncke #130, Sun Prairie

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UW–Madison MLK Symposium – An Evening with Benjamin Jealous

Portrait of Benjamin Jealous, social entrepreneur, changemaker, and former NAACP president, with text "2023 MLK SYMPOSIUM SAVE THE DATE JAN 23"Join in community for an evening with Benjamin Jealous, a social entrepreneur, changemaker, and former NAACP president. Jealous will reflect on the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., through the lens of his work as a civil rights leader, former investigative journalist, and educator.

Date: Monday, January 23
Time: 5:30 – 8 p.m. (doors open at 5 p.m.)
Location: Shannon Hall in the Memorial Union, 800 Langdon St. (also offered online)

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