MEMPHIS – The National Civil Rights Museum has pivoted to present King Day: An All-Day Hybrid Celebration, Jan. 17.
The National Civil Rights Museum, located at the historic Lorraine Motel where civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated, gives a comprehensive overview of the American Civil Rights Movement from slavery to the present. Since the Museum opened in 1991, millions of visitors from around the world have come, including more than 90,000 student visits annually.
Due to the surge in COVID cases, the museum is foregoing its courtyard entertainment, resource stations and children’s activities where people would gather in close proximity. Guests are required to wear masks. Sanitation stations will be posted throughout the experience.
“We never miss an opportunity to celebrate Dr. King and all he has meant to us, COVID or not. This year’s celebration reaches visitors coming to the museum and those joining virtually around the world in paying tribute to the man known as the greatest humanitarian who ever lived,” said Faith Morris, chief marketing and external affairs officer.
The virtual portion of the celebration will feature musical performances by Memphis musicians Garry Goin, TykeT, Karen Brown, and many more. Museum educator and historian Ryan Jones will spin the turntables as DJ Thriller in a special salute to King’s life and legacy. Spoken word artist Carin Malone aka Writeous Soul, will deliver a tribute to the civil rights leader. The virtual event is free and can be watched starting at 8 a.m. CST.
For young virtual viewers, museum educator Dory Lerner will present ideas for children and families to remember King, his character and the virtues he taught around love, peace and justice.
To access the virtual program link, participants can register https://www.civilrightsmuseum.org/king-day.
In person admission to the museum is free, but limited from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. The museum has been at limited capacity to uphold health and safety protocols. Guests must reserve museum passes online at Kingday.org.
“In keeping with Dr. King’s service to mankind, we dedicate this King Day to Double V – Vaccines and Voting. We encourage everyone to do their part in protecting themselves and those around them,” Morris enthusiastically expressed. “Get Vaccinated. And, let your voice be heard. Vote. Happy birthday, Dr. King.”
Highlights for the holiday:
- In person and virtual tours throughout the day.
- Musical performances, special announcements and recorded speeches by King from the main stage outdoors.
- “Double V,” an emphasis is on vaccines and voting to address vaccine hesitancy and voter apathy, two issues that are particularly adverse for communities of color in the U.S. and globally.
- Through the Communities for Immunity project, the museum will share online resources and a survey to gauge response to the urgency of COVID and getting vaccinated, at https://civilrightsmuseum.sitewrench.com/communities-for-immunity.
- Food drive benefitting the Mid-South Food Bank, the museum is requesting that guests bring canned good donations to help feed the growing number of hungry families in the Mid-South.
- Annual blood drive with Vitalant to help with the critical shortage. Anyone donating blood receives a free admission pass for up to four people any day in 2022.
Free holiday admission on King Day was funded by FedEx. Supporting sponsors include Tennessee Arts Council, Starbuck Foundation and Southland Casino Racing. The event hashtag is #KingDay2022.
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