This year, the world will observe the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
The civil rights leader had been leading the civil rights movement for more than a decade—speaking out for equal opportunity, organizing peaceful protests and advocating for social change—when he was assassinated on April 4, 1968, at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee.
The commemoration launched on April 4, 2017, and continued throughout the year with ceremonies, speakers in Memphis, and civic and youth engagement across the country. Youth voices have joined together on a digital platform, sharing insight and stories on how King’s work is relevant to their generation today and how youth can work to advance his work.
Through MLK50, the National Civil Rights Museum has mobilized communities to act to achieve positive social change by addressing the issues King was focused on in his final years: poverty, economic equity, jobs, fair housing, peace, justice and education.
MLK50‘s events conclude on April 4, 2018, the 50th anniversary of Dr. King’s assassination.
MLK50 Symposium: Where Do We Go From Here?
April 2 – 3, 2018
Scholars, historians, policymakers and thought leaders from across the United States will convene at the MLK50 Symposium to present on the state of civil and human right issues and racial and economic equity, 50 years after King’s assassination.
Day of Remembrance
April 4, 2018
There will be daylong tributes in salute to King from the National Civil Rights Museum Courtyard in the form of dance, spoken-word performances and more. At 6:01 p.m., the exact time of King’s assassination, bells will ring 39 times at places of worship, college campuses and other institutions across the nation, to honor the number of years of King’s life.
An Evening of Storytelling
April 4, 2018, at 7 p.m.
Living icons of the early civil rights movement and today’s emerging social justice leaders will come together for an intimate look at the civil rights movement and the mobilizations and grassroots organizing happening now. MLK50‘s crowning event will explore how past activism helped laid the groundwork for current action and how new civil rights movement makers are working to advance the social justice legacy of Dr. King.
The goal of MLK50 is to help students remember—but not dwell on—history. Whether they are attending events in Memphis or participating in the classroom, MLK50 offers an opportunity for students to reflect on the past, evaluate the present and propose solutions for the future.
Written by Cassie Westrate, staff writer for Teach & Travel.
Photo Courtesy of the National Civil Rights Museum.