Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Celebration (Jan. 17)

January 10, 2022

The Martin Luther King Lynchburg Community Council (MLKLCC) celebrates the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on the third Monday of January.  In past years, the celebration has been a breakfast in his honor. As a result of COVID-19, MLKLCC will hold a virtual celebration on January 17, 2022 at 1 p.m. The theme of this year’s event is Dr. King’s quote, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

This year’s celebration is significant in that it marks the 60th anniversary of Dr. King’s visit to Lynchburg on Tuesday March 27, 1962. While in the city, he held a press conference emphasizing the importance of registering to vote and voters’ rights and knocked on doors in the black community encouraging voter registration. Dr. King also visited Diamond Hill Baptist, the home of Poet Anne Spencer, and Lodge of the Fishermen at Cosby Woods. He ended his visit with a speech at E. C. Glass. 

The 2022 event will include a keynote speech presented by Dr. Virgil Wood, the organizer of Dr. King’s visit to Lynchburg. Dr. Wood is a church leader, educator, and civil rights activist who has committed much of his life’s work to the struggle for economic and spiritual development among the nation’s disadvantaged. He also served as a pastor at the Historic Diamond Hill Baptist Church here in Lynchburg. Choruses from E. C. Glass and Heritage High Schools will provide entertainment. 

Each year, MLKLCC sponsors a Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Essay Contest for all Lynchburg City Schools’ junior and seniors. The first, second, and third place winners will be presented with $500, $250, and $100 awards respectively. The first-place winner will present his/her essay at the event. 

Following the celebration, a video of a reenactment of Dr. King’s 1962 speech (presented by Chris Evans) will be available for viewing, along with a virtual tour of the locations Dr. King visited while here in Lynchburg, Virginia. These locations include the historic Diamond Hill Baptist Church, the home of Anne Spencer, Lodge of the Fishermen at Cosby Woods, and E. C. Glass High School. 

For a livestream of the event, visit one of the following:

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For more information, send an email here