Despite coronavirus restrictions, events are scheduled throughout the region to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday.
Jewish nonprofit Repair the World and Shabbat dinner organizer OpenTable host a free virtual panel at 6 p.m. on unpacking and addressing racism in Pittsburgh’s education system in honor of Dr. King. Moderated by Benjamin Gutschow of Casa San Jose, a resource center for Latin immigrants, the panel includes Nina Barbuto, executive director of the arts and technology center Assemble, Allyce Pinchback Johnson of Pinchback Consulting and Amanda Godley of Pitt’s Graduate School of Education. To register, visit werepair.org/pittsburgh.
Poetry Unplugged returns for a fifth year of spoken word and music inspired by Martin Luther King Jr. Hosted by the August Wilson African-American Culture Center in Downtown, the virtual event starts at 8 p.m. and features poetry from writers jessica Care moore, Nikki Giovanni and others. Poet and curator Mahogany Browne serves as master of ceremonies. For tickets, $18.75, go to trustarts.org.
The Clemente Museum will host a celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day through the life of Pittsburgh Pirates legend Roberto Clemente, who used his celebrity status to serve disadvantaged Latin American and African-American communities. Presented by Doors Open Pittsburgh, the event begins at 7:30 p.m. at the Clemente Museum in Lower Lawrenceville. Register and get tickets, starting at $5, at doorsopenpgh.org.
The annual Let Freedom Sing Concert in celebration of MLK will go on digitally for its 14th year at 7 p.m. Hosted by KDKA radio host Lynne Hayes-Freeland, the concert will be broadcast live over YouTube and Facebook from the Hill District. Vocalists Anita Levels and Michael Warren, actor and spoken word artist Vanessa German and the Dr. J Piano Trio and Boys Choir from the Afro American Music Institute in Homewood will perform. An interfaith, intergenerational choir directed by Dr. Herbert Jones and made up of singers from Pittsburgh and Lexington, N.C., will conclude the performance. To watch the free broadcast, visit letfreedomsing.net. Donations will go to the Food Bank of Greater Pittsburgh and Pastor’s Pantry in Lexington.
Garfield creative hub Boom Concepts and Repair the World will host a workshop on agitational art. Led by artist DS Kinsel, the workshop will go over temporary public art, how to express your voice in your neighborhood and how to create small-scale public art. The event begins at 11 a.m. Register at rpr.world/art.
Later that day, Boom Concepts, Repair the World and Dafna Rehavia, an artist, counselor and art psychotherapist, come together in a virtual activity, “Binds and Bonds: Processing Trauma with Art.” Ms. Rehavia will discuss how to creatively use household objects and give attendees a visual tour of her art installation at Boom Concepts. The event begins at 1 p.m. To register, visit rpr.world/boom.
The Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank celebrates Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy with its ongoing campaign “Food justice is social justice.” The food bank will open its Duquesne warehouse to 30 volunteers to prepare food for distribution across the organization’s 11-county service area from 9 a.m. to noon. To register to volunteer, visit pittsburghfoodbank.org. Also, the Hindu Jain Temple in Monroeville has agreed to match donations to the food bank up to $10,000 that day at pittsburghfoodbank.org/MLK.
Oakland arts and activism organization 1Hood Media partners with Repair the World on a virtual learning and advocacy initiative for families at 9 a.m. Attendees will write letters to city officials advocating for the safety of all community members. To register, visit @RepairtheWorldPittsburgh on Facebook.
The United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania has partnered with the University of Pittsburgh Office of Child Development to increase access for children and families to books championing people of all abilities, gender, race, ethnicity and economic status. The Book Drive for Diversity is fully virtual, but you can register at uwswpa.org and select books to donate on behalf of the drive.
The United Way is also partnering with YWCA Greater Pittsburgh on forums for parents in celebration of MLK Day. The first session at 9 a.m. will focus on how to talk to children about race, led by Barbara Johnson, vice president of the Center for Race and Gender Equity at YWCA Greater Pittsburgh. The second session at 11 a.m. will focus on social media as tools for social change, led by Candi Castleberry, vice president of diversity partnership strategy and engagement at Twitter. The second session is interactive, so participants are encouraged to have their smartphones handy. To register, visit uwswpa.org.
The Kelly-Strayhorn Theater in East Liberty will celebrate the ongoing impact of Martin Luther King Jr. with its broadcast “Living the Legacy” at 3 p.m. The program will highlight the work of Young, Black & Educated, founded by Treasure Palmer and Nicholas Anglin. The local group organized 16 Black Lives Matter protests in Pittsburgh last summer. Artists Lost Culture Dance Crew and Jameelah Platt will also be featured along with performances from last year’s event from The Funky Fly Project, Balafon West African Dance Ensemble and K-Theater Dance Complex. Pay what makes you happy and register at kelly-strayhorn.org.