Many events are happening this weekend around Evanston in recognition of Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday.

Here’s a list, compiled by the YWCA Evanston/North Shore and Northwestern University:


10 – 11 a.m. Let’s Talk: What Do MLK’s Words Say to Us Today?
Talk with others from the community about what those words can mean for us today.  Join the conversation at the YWCA Evanston/North Shore, 1215 Church St. 

10 a.m. – 2 p.m. NU’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service 2012
In recognition of the community-building work accomplished by Dr. King, Northwestern students will leave by bus to engage in service projects and neighborhood events in the Evanston and greater Chicago communities. It’s a day to reflect on his message of activism, and to put that inspiration into action.

Noon Evanston Day of Celebration Honoring the Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  
Fleetwood-Jourdain Theatre and Community Center, 1655 Foster St., will celebrate the legacy of Dr. King through music, dance and excerpts from his speeches. Guest speakers include Alderman Delores A. Holmes; Rev. Kenneth Cherry; former Evanston Mayor Lorraine H. Morton; and Jeanne Sparrow of WCIU television.

7 p.m. “Nurturing the Human Spirit for a World Made Whole”
The Unitarian Church of Evanston, 1330 Ridge Ave., hosts a jazz concert, featuring the renowned Junior Mance Quartet. Ticket information online.


9:15 – 10:15 a.m. “Talking about Race – It’s Not as Hard as We Make It”
First United Methodist Churchat 516 Church St., holds the second installment of  its three-part talking about race series for its adult members, facilitated by YWCA Racial Justice Manager Eileen Hogan Heineman. 

10:30 a.m. “Come! Open Your Heart: Dr. King, Vatican II and the 21st Century”
St. Nicholas Catholic Parish, 806 Ridge Ave., in Oldershaw Hall, the building at east end of parking lot.

3 p.m. “The Interrupters”
PeaceAble Cities: Evanston, the Evanston Public Library, and Family Focus will present a showing of the documentary about Chicago’s CeaseFire and its outreach workers who take to the streets to prevent violence, followed by a community conversation. The event takes place at Family Focus, 2010 Dewey Ave.

4 p.m. Author Amina Gautier reads from “AT-RISK
Gautier, the winner of the 2011 Flannery O’Connor Short Fiction Award, explores the lives of young African Americans “at risk from themselves, their families, and their friends”? in the community meeting room at the Evanston Public Library, 1703 Orrington Ave.

5 p.m. – Concert: The Brotherhood Chorale of the Apostolic Church of God
The 180-member male choral group performs traditional and contemporary gospel and jazz arrangements at the Music Institute of Chicago, 1490 Chicago Ave. Admission is free, donations will  benefit the William Warfield Scholarship Fund.


8-9 a.m. Let’s Talk: What Do MLK’s Words Say to Us Today?
Talk with others from the community about what those words can mean for us today.  Join the conversation in the Chinnock Lounge at the McGaw YMCA, 1000 Grove St.

9 a.m. – Noon Faith in Action Assembly
Join members of Grace Lutheran Church, 1430 South Blvd. in Evanston, to attend the assembly, where people of faith will gather to call on the governor and members of the Illinois General Assembly to act for affordable housing, job opportunities for people with felony records, and education funding and a responsible state budget. For info contact: Pastor Daniel Ruen,   

11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Diverse Evanston Walking United (DEWU)
Youth Organization Umbrella sponsors performances by youth across the city promoting nonviolence  from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Music Institute of Chicago 1490 Chicago Ave, followed by a march to the McGaw YMCA, 1000 Grove St., for a panel discussion from 1:30-3 p.m.

11:30 a.m. Annual Interfaith Community MLK Celebration/Convocation
Events include an 11:30 a.m. march from First Presbyterian Church at  1427 Chicago Ave., to Second Baptist Church, 1717 Benson Ave., followed by a noon convocation, with the Rev. Dr. Raymond Hylton, senior pastor of  First Presbyterian Church, as the guest preacher.

Noon. NU MLK Observance at Pick-Staiger Concert Hall                                                                         This event will include remarks by Northwestern President Morton Schapiro plus a keynote address by Dr. Benjamin S. Carson, Sr., a professor of neurosurgery, oncology, plastic surgery, and pediatrics at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, who will share his journey from poverty to realizing his boyhood dream of becoming a doctor. The program will include performances by Northwestern’s Small Jazz Ensemble, and the Alice Millar Chapel Choir. Lobby doors will open at 11:15 a.m., and the hall opens for seating at 11:30 a.m. General seating will be on a first-come, first-seated basis.

7 p.m. NU Campus MLK Observance Musical
This event at Alice Millar Chapel, 1870 Sheridan Road, includes performances by several of NU’s a capella student groups and keynote speech given by Tim King, founder, president and CEO of Urban Prep Academies.

7 – 8 p.m. Let’s Talk: What Do MLK’s Words Say to Us Today?
Talk with others from the community about what those words can mean for us toda at St. Nicholas Church, 806 Ridge Ave.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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