Numerous events are planned in Evanston this month to mark the anniversary of the birth of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Jan. 15, 1929 and the federal holiday in his honor, celebrated this year on Monday, Jan. 21.

The holiday will also impact the delivery of some city services.


Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Celebration and Evanston Unity

Saturday, Jan. 19, noon
Fleetwood-Jourdain Community Center, 1655 Foster St.

Fleetwood-Jourdain Theatre invites Evanstonians to celebrate Dr. King’s legacy through music, dance and a special guest keynote speaker. The Fleetwood-Jourdain Community Center will provide a light lunch and beverages after the program. For more information, please call 847-448-8254.

Gibbs-Morrison Reboot

Saturday, Jan. 19, 4 to 7 p.m.
Gibbs-Morrison Cultural Center, 1823 Church St.

5th Ward Alderman Robin Rue Simmons invites community members to Gibbs-Morrison Reboot. A panel discussion featuring producers RIO and Fresh will be held from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. followed by a live music performance from R&B artist Slique Jay Adams from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Refreshments will be served.

Freedom Leaves: Original Play by Senior Chole Noelle Fourte

Sunday, Jan. 20, 7 to 8:30 p.m.
McCormick Auditorium, Norris Center, 1999 Campus Drive

The story of Dom, a young African American trapped in the afterworld. Not wanting to leave, but unable to stay, Dom must navigate the space between individual agency and supernatural force to realize who or what is truly in control.

Evanston Public Library Celebration

Monday, Jan. 21, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Evanston Public Library, 1703 Orrington Ave.

Events in the Children’s Room at the library include:

  • 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Drop-in Peace Tree crafts
  • 12:45 and 1:45 p.m., film, Martin’s Big Words (Friedberg Room)
  • 1:15 and 2:15 p.m., film, March On! (Friedberg Room)
  • 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., Young, Black & Lit. YB&L will be giving away 150 children’s books featuring Black main characters  to attendees.  YB&L’s mission is to put books that center, reflect, and affirm Black children into the hands of local youth.
  • 2:40 p.m. to 3 p.m., Coretta Scott King Award Winners Storytime with Brian Wilson 
  • 3 p.m., Rev. Eddie P. Reeves, Dr. King’s “I Have A Dream” speech
  • 3:20 p.m., Community Sing led by Marlene Meyer

Diverse Communities United

Monday, Jan. 21, 2 to 3:30 p.m.
ETHS Auditorium, 1600 Dodge Ave.

Diverse Communities United is Youth and Opportunity United’s annual celebration of peace, diversity, unity, leadership, and service help in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day. This year’s theme is “Because of Them, I Can.” The youth-led event will feature performances and artwork by youth from 11 schools across Evanston and Skokie who seek to realize Dr. King’s vision today. The event is free, family-friendly, and open to all ages. A community reception will be held in the lobby outside of the auditorium immediately following the program.

Northwestern University Campus Observance: Candlelight Vigil

Monday, Jan. 21, 7 to 9 p.m.
Alice Millar Chapel, 1870 Sheridan Road

Alpha Mu Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc hosts Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr., entrepreneur, global business leader, educator, civil rights leader, NAACP Life Member, syndicated columnist, author and current President and CEO of the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA). This annual tradition includes a keynote address from Dr. Chavis, and musical performances from Northwestern student groups. A reception follows. This is a sign language interpreted event. It is free and open to the public.

Chicago inJustice

Friday, Jan. 25, 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Norris Center, McCormick Auditorium, 1999 Campus Drive

Leadership Development and Community Engagement sponsors, along with the Moran Center and Students Organizing Against Racism at ETHS, an educational program on criminal justice reform that’s open to the public. The program will be followed by a reception and action opportunities. Featured community groups include Chicago Community Bond Fund, For The People’s Artist Collective, Chicago Torture Justice Center, and No Cop Academy. Benji Hart, local educator and artist, will serve as the event facilitator.

Arts Fest

Saturday, Jan. 26
Harris Hall, Room 107, 1881 Sheridan Road

  • 6 p.m. – Lift Ev’ry Voice: fast moving slam event providing a ‘megaphone’ for Evanston’s Black student voices
  • 7 p.m. – Reception, catered by Urban Tables
  • 8 p.m. – We Shall Overcome: series of 10-minute plays on racial justice

Northwestern University Keynote Speaker: Maggie Anderson

Monday, Jan. 28, 6 to 7 p.m.
Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, 50 Arts Circle Drive

As CEO and cofounder of The Empowerment Experiment Foundation, Maggie Anderson has become the leader of a self-help economics movement that supports quality black businesses and urges consumers, especially other middle and upper class African Americans, to proactively and publicly support them. This Empowerment Experiment was chronicled in her book, “Our Black Year: One Family’s Quest to Buy Black in America’s Racially Divided Economy.”

City service changes

The Martin Luther King Holiday on Monday, Jan. 21, will lead to the following changes in city services

Refuse Collection 

No refuse or recycling collections will occur on Monday, Jan. 21. Monday through Thursday collections will occur one day later in the week than usual. Friday condo recycling collections will occur on Friday, Jan. 25.


The Morton Civic Center, Fleetwood-Jourdain Community Center, Noyes Cultural Arts Center, Gibbs-Morrison Cultural Center, Evanston Ecology Center and the Levy Senior Center will be closed on Jan. 21. 

The Robert Crown Community Center will be open for normal operations on Jan. 21. The Chandler-Newberger Center will be open for pickleball from 8:45 a.m. to noon and basketball from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. All Evanston Public Library locations will be open.

311 Center 

The City’s 311 Service Center will be open on Jan. 21 for normal hours, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.


Parking meters and downtown parking garages will be free on Jan. 21.

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