Past Celebrations

News and Local Coverage of the MLK Holiday Celebration


In the place of a traditional commemorative program held in Heritage Hall, the Committee partnered with Lexington born film maker, Joan Brannon to create the documentary, Fire and Heart: A Blueprint for Liberation. The documentary examines racial justice and healing discourse for Black people in Kentucky and  includes clips from past MLK Lexington celebrations. It invites the voices of activists and community members currently involved in the movement to share their experiences with direct action, protest, and to discuss the need for healing from racial trauma within the Black community. Featured storytellers are: Jecorey Arthur, Hannah Drake, Chester Grundy, Ann Beard Grundy, Keturah Herron, LeTonia Jones, Sadiqa Reynolds, and Sarah Williams. Additional creators of the film include, LaShelle Allen (music) and Nzingha-Beverley Sweeney-Sheppard (visual art).

Official Film Trailer: 
To watch the documentary, visit:



On  January 20, 2020 the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Program Committee celebrated the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Hosting our traditional  Freedom March and the commemorative holiday program. This powerhouse celebration featured a keynote address entitled "The Fierce Urgency of NOW!" by Reverend Delman L. Coates, PhD, Senior Pastor of Mt. Ennon Baptist Church in Clinton, MD, and musical performance by the brilliant singer/composer DONNIE with his sextet of musicians featuring our own Rae'Shawna Campbell, Cole Campbell, Courtney Campbell, Kenneth Payne, Christopher Phillips, and Shon Willis. Following the program, there was a free showing of The Green Book at the Kentucky. 

To view a recording of this event, visit: 





Celebrations around Kentucky honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

MLK Day Celebration to Feature Anti-racism Writer, Educator Tim Wise



MLK Holiday Celebration Features Rev. Otis Moss III, Annual March Jan. 16

Martin Luther King Jr. Day Events

Snapped: MLK Day Freedom March



Danny Glover to Speak at City's King Celebration

Danny Glover says his Lexington speech will frame King’s legacy amid today’s issues

Actor Danny Glover Speaking At King Day Event In Lexington 

Lexington’s MLK Day to Feature Danny Glover


Merlene Davis: It takes courage, on MLK Day and every day, to make the world better

Lexington Celebrates Martin Luther King Jr.



Annual MLK march held in downtown Lexington

Kentucky Celebrates King's Legacy

Tom Eblen: Founder of Sweet Honey in the Rock brings love of song, social change, to MLK Day celebration


Jeff Johnson to Address MLK Day Crowd

'UK at the Half' Highlights Upcoming Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Celebration

Tom Eblen: MLK Day speaker says we can learn from King's leadership


Other coverage on the National Day of Service and the Martin Luther King Jr. Day Holiday Celebration activities:

Governor Urges Kentuckians to Volunteer


Past Celebrations

2015: Keynote Speaker, Mrs. Susan L. Taylor

2014: Keynote speaker, Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon

2013: Keynote speaker, Mr. Jeff Johnson

2012: Keynote speaker, Dr. Marc Lamont Hill

2011: Daniel Beaty

2010: Dr. Julianne Malveaux

2009: The American Spiritual Ensemble

2008: Keynote speaker, Dr. Freeman A. Hrabowski, III

2005: Comments by, Dr. Kumble Subbaswamy, Provost, University of Kentucky

2005: Cultural Presentations: River City Drum Corps

2005: Keynote speaker, Terrie Williams, part 2

2005: Keynote speaker, Terrie Williams, part 1

2004: Keynote speaker, Ron Dellums

2003: Keynote speaker, Susan L. Taylor

2002: Keynote speaker, Mr. Ossie Davis

2000: Keynote speaker, Dr. Na'im Akbar

2000: Opening Theme by "Three Sisters"