Chicago celebrates life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with numerous acts of service, commemorations

Martin Luther King Jr. Day
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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- There were a number of commemorations and ceremonies honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in the Chicago area over the weekend, and they are continuing Monday to mark the MLK holiday.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. would have been 93-years old Saturday.

"We thank God for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Can somebody just shout out, 'Happy birthday, Doctor!'" said Fr. Mike Pfleger of St. Sabina Catholic Church, at the beginning of Sunday's Mass honoring Dr. King.

"We thank the real Martin, the one that was bold and courageous, the one that was radical and uncompromising, the one that spoke truth and love and justice, and the one that believed the most powerful weapon we have is love."

The celebration at St. Sabina Catholic Church was filled with music, prayer, and calls for peace. This year's guest speaker was Marc Lamont Hill, a professor at Temple University.

"We must stand out. We must speak out. In King’s tradition of courageous action," Hill said.

On Monday, there’ll be a number of service events taking place in Dr. King’s honor.

The City of Chicago is hosting a COVID vaccination event from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. as part of the King Day of Service at 535 E. 35th Street in the Bronzeville neighborhood.

Additionally, there will be various service clean-ups at Cook County Forest Preserves; and speeches and rallies, including one calling on the U.S. Senate to honor Dr. King’s legacy by passing voting rights legislation. Speakers will include Rev. Jesse Jackson of Rainbow PUSH and Frank Chapman of the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression.

Professional basketball player Jabari Parker will host a MLK Day of Impact surrounding mental health, wellness, healing and keeping the MLK dream alive for high school males throughout Chicago. And the Chicago History Museum is hosting a MLK Day family event that will include a youth poetry workshop, musical performance, and panel discussion.

Meanwhile, Cradles to Crayons will be having a service day, inviting people to donate new and like-new winter clothing for children in need. There are 35 drop-off locations in the city and suburbs.

Items donated will be distributed to children experiencing clothing insecurity through Cradles to Crayons' network of service partners. Additional information on C2C’s MLK Day of Service can be found here.