Week of commemorative events planned in Knoxville ahead of MLK Day


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Commission will host several events throughout the week leading up to the national holiday next Monday.

On Wednesday, the Community Evangelistic Church is holding an interfaith prayer service to bring people of our community from all faiths together in worship.

This one-hour event starts at noon and will feature leaders from a variety of faith groups and music.

A free lunch will be provided after the service.

On Thursday, the MLK Commission is hosting a leadership educational symposium at the Rothchild Catering and Conference Center from 8:30-11:30 a.m.

The morning’s activities will include a panel as well as group and roundtable discussions. It will be followed by a leadership luncheon from noon to 2 p.m. The event will be emceed by WATE anchor Tearsa Smith.

A community forum will be held on Friday, Jan. 17, in the Beck Cultural Exchange Center at 1927 Dandridge Ave. This is held in conjunction with the Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance.

A Youth Symposium will be held on Saturday, Jan. 18, at Austin East High School, including the oratorical contest presented in partnership with the Knoxville Chapter of Jack & Jill of America.

A Teacher In-Service on Saturday, January 18 will teach educators strategies educators can use to close the achievement gap as well as strategies for facing a diverse student body through the life and legacy of Dr. King. That will be held at the Sarah Simpson Professional Center at 801 Tipton Ave. from 8:30 a.m. through 2 p.m.

The YWCA Race against Racism 5k race will kick off at the YWCA Phyllis Wheatley Center at 124 S. Cruze St.

The Night with the Arts Stage Production will feature MLK Night with the Arts Original Stage Production performed by the Carpet Bag Theatre, the Knoxville Symphony Chamber Orchestra and an MLK Holiday Tribute. This will take place from 6-8 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 19, at the Tennessee Theatre in downtown Knoxville.

All this leads up to the annual Martin Luther King Day parade next Monday. The parade will be held from 8:30-10 a.m. at the Midway Chilhowee Park along East Magnolia Avenue.

Following the parade, all are invited to gather at the Overcoming Believers Church for a memorial tribute service to celebrate, commemorate and remember the life and work of King.

For more information, visit mlkknoxville.com

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