- This event has passed.
Join us for the 21st Annual Detroit MLK Day Rally & March in honor of the actual historic legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (Jan. 15, 1929-April 4, 1968).
Our Executive Director, Nancy Parker, and our Community Legal Advocate, Sonja Bonnett, will both be speakers at this event.
This year’s event comes amid a heightening struggle for labor rights and against imperialist war across the United States and the world.
Our invited speakers include Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib and UAW International President Shawn Fain. The event will be co-chaired by Aurora Harris, lecturer in African American Studies at the University of Michigan-Dearborn and Abayomi Azikiwe, editor of the Pan-African News Wire.
The rally and march will feature other speakers and artists including Atty. Nancy Parker, Executive Director of the Detroit Justice Center and Wardell Montgomery, Detroit poet and songwriter.
The rally and march will highlight speakers and artists from the Detroit area reflecting the wealth of community organizers and cultural workers in southeastern Michigan. A broad coalition of these social forces is very much needed in the coming year to meet the challenging facing the people of the city, the country and the globe.
Beginning in 2004, the Michigan Emergency Committee Against War & Injustice (MECAWI) held the first MLK Day Rally & March in downtown Detroit. The following year the Detroit MLK Committee was formed bringing in veteran civil rights and social justice activists as well as younger generations of organizers and artists.
Since 2019, the gathering has been held at the Historic St. Matthew’s-St. Joseph’s Episcopal Church located on Woodward Ave. at Holbrook. This venue encompasses the first independent African American Church in the city of Detroit dating back to the mid-19th century.
The current period has been characterized by widespread strikes in various sectors of the economy including unions representing autoworkers, heath care practitioner, writers, actors, entertainment workers, educators and service employees. During the last few months, Detroit has been labelled “Strike City” because of the work stoppages involving tens of thousands of workers.
We will honor the increasing militant posture of working people, a tradition in which the city was built upon. Labor unions are encouraged to participate in this event along with their rank-and-file members to symbolize the necessity of organizing and mobilizing the majority of people in order to achieve genuine democracy and economic rights.
In addition to labor activism, we will acknowledge the antiwar and peace traditions of Dr. King, who was martyred in Memphis, Tennessee during his intervention in a sanitation workers’ strike in early 1968. Dr. King in the previous year, 1967, came out strongly against the U.S. genocidal war in Vietnam.
Today we are facing yet another genocidal war against the people of Gaza in Palestine. Thousands have been killed including many children utilizing bombs and other weapons supplied by the U.S. government.
Instead of ending the war in Palestine and Ukraine, the current administration is demanding over $100 billion more for military adventures and containments from the Middle East and Eastern Europe to the Asia-Pacific and the southern border areas with the U.S.
We are rallying and marching for a cessation of militarism and economic exploitation. What is needed is a society where all people are guaranteed housing, clean water, food, energy, quality education and the right to equality and self-determination.
You can contribute to the costs for this event by sending a donation to the Detroit MLK Committee at 5920 Second Ave., Detroit, MI 48202.