Knoxville honors Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King Jr. during a public speech.

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – From the arts, service projects to community discussions, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. events will be plentiful in Knoxville as city leaders take time to talk about the slain civil rights leader’s message.

The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Commission in Knoxville is offering several events that are free to the public and free of charge.

On Monday, the Martin Luther King Parade, which pays tribute to the life and works of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. will stretch from the Tabernacle Baptist Church on Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue to Greater Warner A.M.E. Zion Church in Burlington.

A highlight of the Martin Luther King Celebration is the annual leadership symposium, which provides a forum for social justice issues.

The keynote speaker at the leadership awards luncheon is the honorable Cruz Reynoso, a former Justice of the California Supreme Court and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom. WATE 6 On Your Side Anchor Tearsa Smith will emcee the event.

A youth symposium will also take place at Austin East High School. This year students will have the opportunity to participate in an oratorical contest along with a community service project to benefit the Volunteer Ministry Center, an organization that provides permanent housing for homeless.

Celebrations finish with a tribute by the Knoxville Symphony Concert called “A Night with the Arts” at the Tennessee Theatre. The event will also include singers, actors, dancers, poets, an original Martin Luther King, Jr. theatrical production, Martin Luther King Holiday Celebration Choir.

2015 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration Events

  • Wednesday, January 14, 12:00 p.m.
    Interfaith Prayer Service, First Presbyterian Church
  • Thursday, January 15, 8:30 a.m.
    Leadership Educational Symposium, Marriott Hotel
  • Thursday, January 15, 12:00 p.m.
    Leadership Awards Luncheon, Marriott Hotel
    (Ticketed event)
  • Friday, January 16, 6:30 p.m.
    Community Forum, Beck Cultural Exchange Center, Inc.
  • Saturday, January 17, 8:30 p.m.
    Teacher In­‐Service Training, Beck Cultural Exchange Center, Inc.
  • Saturday, January 17, 8:30 a.m.
    Youth Symposium, Austin East High School
  • Saturday, January 17, 1:00 p.m.
    Race Against Racism, YWCA Phyllis Wheatley Center
  • Monday, January 19, 10:00 a.m.
    Memorial March Parade, Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue
  • Monday, January 19, 11:45 a.m.
    Memorial Tribute Service, Greater Warner Tabernacle AME Zion Church
  • Monday, January 19, 6:00 p.m.
    A Night with the Arts and the Knoxville Symphony Chamber Orchestra, Tennessee Theater
  • Event continues through February 28
    Gallery of Arts Tribute, Beck Cultural Exchange Center, Inc.

For more information visit

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