Monday, Jan. 21 is Martin Luther King Day, a federal holiday commemorating the iconic civil rights leader, whose birthday was Jan. 15, 1929. In recent years, MLK Day has become a part of President Barack Obama's nationwide initiative encouraging people to give back to their communities as a tribute to King's lifetime of dedication to public service, so it is only fitting that the president's second inauguration falls on the same day.
Martin Luther King Day will be recognized throughout the Hudson Valley through a variety of activities and events. Here's a look at where to celebrate the holiday in Westchester, Rockland and beyond.
Monday, Jan. 21, at multiple locations: Habitat for Humanity of Westchester will be conducting its 15th annual Martin Luther King Buildathon to rebuild homes affected by Hurricane Sandy. Volunteers will be working both within Westchester County as well as Breezy Point and the Rockaways. Shifts run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and donations are encouraged. Those who want to volunteer can email email@example.com to sign up and find out about specific project locations. Transportation is not provided. Info: Habitat for Humanity of Westchester, 524 Main St., New Rochelle; 914-403-4821; habitatwc.org; donations accepted
Monday, Jan. 21, in Peekskill: The Peekskill Area Pastor’s Association and Mount Olivet Baptist Church are co-sponsoring the 29th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Interfaith Worship Service. All are welcome to participate in this service, which is an invitation to the community to celebrate King's life and work. The service also will include a musical tribute by the MLK Community Youth Choir. The doors open to the public at 2:45 p.m. Info: Peekskill Middle School, 212 Ringgold St., Peekskill; 914-737-7567; mountolivetbc.org; free
Monday, Jan. 21, in White Plains: The Thomas H. Slater Center will sponsor its 20th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Unity Breakfast featuring keynote speaker, the Rev. Ian B. Straker. The breakfast begins at 8 a.m. Reservations can be made by phone or email (firstname.lastname@example.org). Info: The Thomas H. Slater Center, 2 Fisher Ct., White Plains; 914-948-6211; tickets are $35 for youth (18 and under), $45 for seniors, and $50 for everyone else
Monday, Jan. 21, in Yonkers: The Nepperhan Community Center is hosting its 27th annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Breakfast honoring Mr. Perstine “Harry” Wesley of Harry’s Shoe Repair in Yonkers as well as the Yonkers NAACP. The Rev. Marvin E. Wiley, from the Rock of Ages Baptist Church in Illinois, will be the keynote speaker. The event begins at 8:30 a.m. Info: Nepperhan Community Center, 342 Warburton Ave., Yonkers; 914-965-0203; nepperhancc.com/events; tickets are $35 in advance and $40 at the door
Monday, Jan. 21, in Spring Valley: The Martin Luther King Multi-Purpose Center and The Beacon Foundation are hosting a Unity Celebration of the Life and Legacy of King. The showcase will feature Jermaine Paul, season 2 winner of "The Voice," as well as guest speaker Brian Jones on “Facing the New Civil Rights Movement,” Jamcarr’s Ekklipse Steel Band, Chiku Awali Dancers and more. Doors open at 4:30 p.m. Refreshments will be served. Info: Spring Valley Senior High School, 361 E. Route 59, Spring Valley; 845-425-8910; martinlutherking-mpc.org; free
Monday, Jan. 21, in Garrison: The Desmond-Fish Library will present its 17th annual Martin Luther King Day observance with a potluck supper (bringing food is optional but encouraged). At 2 p.m. Monday, there will be a concert for children and families featuring The Ebony Hillbillies, one of the last black string bands in the U.S. Info: The Desmond-Fish Library, 472 Route 403, Garrison; 845-424-3020; desmondfishlibrary.org/mlk; free