The City of Iowa City has partnered with the University of Iowa and other local groups to create the 2021 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration of Human Rights.

The celebration is made up of several socially-distanced or virtual events, volunteer opportunities, and more that serve to unite the community in a way Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. strived for, but with full COVID-19 precautions taken. 

To see a full list of celebration events being organized on and around Martin Luther King Jr. Day, visit, or follow the Facebook event. Below is a list of events that the City's Equity and Human Rights Office, the Iowa City Public Library, Parks and Recreation Department, and the Senior Center have helped make possible. 

MLK Online Program with Corridor Guests

7 to 8 p.m. Monday, Jan. 18, 2021

The program, titled "We the People: Protest and Peace," is hosted by the ICPL. It will feature musicians and speakers, as well as a short service to honor Dr. King's legacy. It offers a chance to connect as a larger community with his message. You can register for the event online. 

Senior Center: The 1619 Project

11 a.m. Fridays, Jan. 8-Feb. 26, 2021

This series of classes aim to educate area seniors about the consequences of slavery and the contributions of Black Americans by putting both at the very center of our national narrative historically. The course uses The New York Time Magazine's 1619 Project as its basis. Registration required; call 319-356-5220 to sign up.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Youth Summit

1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021, and 1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 30, 2021

The Iowa Dr. King Youth Summit invites youth, sixth grade through 12th, to participate in two Saturday sessions on Dr. King’s vision for the future. Both of the interactive sessions will include workshops on “What Would Dr. King Do,” “Black Youth as Agents of Change” and “Versus: Dr. King and Malcolm X.” Youth will join in games, conversations, and skill building to create change in our  communities. Registration for the summit can be done online. 

Day of Service projects

There are three, unique options for someone to take part in the Day of Service: an at-home service project, a food drive drop-off, and an in-store purchased donation at local grocery stores. Learn more about each at

For more information about the City's involvement with Martin Luther King Jr. Day events, visit

Date of publication

Thursday, January 07, 2021