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30th Annual MLK Celebration
January 12, 2017

Please join us for the annual King County Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration. Now in its 30th year, the MLK Celebration recognizes the impact that Dr. King had on our community and our nation, and reminds us to keep striving toward his dream of equity and justice. As stated on the 2017 King County MLK Calendar:

America owes a debt of justice which it has only begun to pay. If it loses the will to finish or slackens in its determination, history will recall its crimes and the country that would be great will lack the most indispensable element of greatness -- justice.

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The 2017 Celebration will be held at noon on Thursday, Jan. 12 at the 5th Avenue Theatre, 1308 Fifth Ave. in downtown Seattle. If you can't be there, King County TV will have replays of the event, and we'll be sharing photos and thoughts via the county's social media streams.

Come help us mark three decades of keeping Dr. King's dream alive!

Alexs Pate

Alexs Pate
Photo courtesy Innocent Classroom

Keynote Speaker

Alexs Pate, author, professor, and founder of the Innocent Classroom program for K-12 educators will present the celebration's keynote address. Innocent Classroom focuses on ending educational disparities by closing the relationship gap between educators and students of color.

Pate launched Innocent Classroom in 2012 with a vision to rebuild teacher-student relationships in school districts with some of the nation's widest gaps in achievement. Since that time, more than 2,300 educators in 170 schools and programs have participated in Constructing the Innocent Classroom workshops.

Musical Performers

This year's event will also include a musical performance by the Seattle Women's Steel Pan Project , a multi-generational, multi-ethnic women's Caribbean steel drum band dedicated to creating a space for women and girls in music through arts education.

The project, based out of the Martin Luther King Community Center in Seattle, started in 2013. Oriana Estrada provides administrative direction, and Michael Shantz is the artistic director for the project. The women who currently make up the group come from a variety of musical and artistic backgrounds.

Seattle Women's Steel Pan Project

Photo courtesy Seattle Women's Steel Pan Project


2017 MLK Calendars

Once again in 2017, King County will produce a limited-edition calendar featuring a quote from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The calendar is a daily visual reminder of our county's namesake and his work to advance equity and justice for all.

This year's calendar also features the work of a local artist, Yeggy Michael. Learn more about the artist, and see more of his artwork, at

Calendars were sent to distribution points the week of December 5. If you were didn't get one, please see the information below.

Employees in downtown Seattle
There are a few calendars left for pickup at DES/HRD, Suite 553 of the Administration Building. See Kimberly Robinson, Jeremy Rivera, or Paula Harris-White.

Employees outside downtown Seattle
Calendars were sent to distribution points in early December.

A very limited number of calendars will be available to the public at the annual MLK Celebration on January 12 on a first-come, first-served basis.


MLK Day of Service

Instead of taking MLK Day off, you can honor Dr. King's legacy with a day of service to your community. The United Way of King County is organizing volunteers for the 2017 MLK Day of Service. Projects will be offered from Jan. 12-16. For more information on volunteering, visit the UWKC website .