Fifteen Ways to Remember Martin Luther King Jr. in Metro Denver

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Colorado was one of the first states to make Martin Luther King Day a state holiday, and Denver's annual march/parade in his honor — known as the Marade — is one of the largest commemorations in the country. The theme for this year’s Marade is “Remember, Celebrate, Act – A Day On, Not A Day Off: The Promise of Democracy.” And there will plenty of events honoring MLK today, not just in Denver but also in Boulder and Aurora. Here are just some of the ways you can honor Martin Luther King today and in the days ahead, presented in chronological order.

1. The Promise of Democracy: Breaking Barriers and Borders
Aurora Municipal Center parking lot
Monday, January 18
At 7:30 a.m. participants will gather at the east side of the Aurora Municipal Center and travel to the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Library at 9898 East Colfax Avenue for a wreath-laying ceremony, then head to the Marade start at Denver City Park.

2. Dr. Martin Luther King Annual Marade
City Park to Civic Center Park
Monday, January 18
Tens of thousands of people will march in the Marade, one of the largest events in the nation commemorating the civil rights leader; last year the event attracted 68,000 people. Activities start at 9 a.m. at the I Have a Dream Memorial statue on the south side of City Park near East 17th Avenue and the Esplanade, when students from Martin Luther King Jr. Early College will other pre-Marade events ranging from the running of the ceremonial torch to a performance by the Drumline and Step Team. Invocations from community religious leaders and welcomes from Colorado senators Michael Bennett and Cory Gardner will follow, and at 10:15 a.m., the Marade will travel down East Colfax Avenue, ending at Civic Center Park. Here's the Marade route.

3. Rocky Mountain Peace & Justice Center Rally
Boulder County Courthouse, Pearl Street Mall
Monday, January 18
At 11:30 a.m., the Rocky Mountain Peace & Justice Center will hold a rally/march in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 
4.  District Attorney Forum and Community Discussion
Trinidad Methodist Church, 1820 Broadway
Monday, January 18 
Organized by the Denver Justice Project, the D.A. Forum immediately follows the Marade at Trinity United Methodist, 1820 Broadway; doors open at 12:30 p.m.; the program starts at 1:30 p.m. Four candidates for Denver district attorney will speak, and Alexander Landau of the Denver Justice Project says that he and other advocates of justice system reform "see this particular election as an opportunity to transform the Denver DA office into a vehicle geared towards community prosperity." The group is grieved, in particular, by the total absence of indictments of "law-enforcement personnel for felony excessive force or homicide" under the current DA, he says.

5. Groundworks MLK Day of Service Neighborhood Energy Outreach
Zion Senior Center, 5151 East 33rd Avenue
Monday, January 18
Groundworks is a local non-profit that focuses on energy efficiency and community development. For this event, volunteers will go door to door in north Denver offering to provide free, minor energy retrofits to homes — changing out old lightbulbs with energy and money-saving compact fluorescent bulbs, for example. Says Dele Johnson of Groundwork: "Shelter is considered a basic human right no matter what your race, creed, color, ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation. So when we do our energy outreach to offer residents our free services, we are working to help everyone we come in contact with save money on energy bills and keep their homes properly insulated, comfortable, and efficient." Volunteers who've signed up meet at 1 p.m. at the Zion Senior Center, 5151 East 33rd Avenue, and work until 4 p.m.

6. Showing Up for Racial Justice/1000 Voices Workshop
St. John's Episcopal Church, 1419 Pearl Street, Boulder
Monday, January 18
From 2 to 4 p.m., the Boulder Chapter of Showing up for Racial Justice and Nii Armah Sowah of the 1000 Voices Project will present a workshop on contemporary racial justice work; the event will feature African singing as well as discussion. 

7.  Dinner for Those Who Hunger
VOA Sunset Park Senior Center, 1865 Larimer Street
Monday, January 18
Drawing inspiration from King's 1966 speech at the Chicago Freedom Rally, in which he articulated his vision for the Poor People's Campaign, this service opportunity will provide meals for upwards of 20,000 people. A joint effort of the MLK Colorado Holiday Commission and Volunteers of America, this event starts at 3 p.m. at the VOA Sunset Park Senior Center. Register here.

8. Peers Building Justice on Martin Luther King Jr Day Alfalfa's Community Room, 1651 Broadway, Boulder
Monday, January 18
Peers Building Justice, a youth-led group that aims to reduce violence and oppression in the community, will meet from 4 to 6 p.m. at an event exploring racial justice through arts-based projects and engagement. 

9. Toward Right Relationship With Native Peoples Project
Boulder YWCA, 222 14th Street
Monday, January 18
From 5 to 7 p.m., Toward Right Relationship with Native Peoples Project will conduct a workshop tracing the historic and ongoing impacts of the Doctrine of Discovery, the 15th Century justification for European colonization. 
10. Rodeo of Champions
National Western Complex
Monday, January 18
When Howard Vern of the MLK Colorado Holiday Commission launched the Rodeo of Champions in 2006, he soon received a phone call from Coretta Scott King. "Really?" she asked, "a rodeo?" Vern's response: "When in Rome." The rodeo, organized in partnership with the National Western Stock Show, features world-class African-American steer wrestlers, bronco wrestlers and other rodeo wranglers. It starts at 6 p.m. at the National Western Stock Show Coliseum at 4655 Humboldt Street.

11. Dr. Modupe Labode on Martin Lutherer King's Legacy
Museum of Boulder, 2205 Broadway, Boulder
Monday, January 18
From 7 to 9 p.m., Motus Theater will welcome Dr. Modupe Labode, a former lead historian for the Colorado Historical Society and African American history scholar, who will be speaking on MLK's legacy and its links to Colorado; the evening will include a poetry/hip hop performance. For more information, contact Motus Theatre at 303-551-3771.

12. Voices for MLK
Laughing Goat Cafe, 1709 Pearl Street, Boulder
Monday, January 18 
A group of students from Boulder High School will hold an open mic and poetry night from 7:30 to 9 p.m., sharing written and visual poetry inspired by martin Luther King Jr. For more information on the Boulder events, visit BoulderHumanRights.com.

13. Dr. King: A Dream Unfulfilled
Foote Gallery, Loveland Museum Gallery
Thursday, January 21
In partnership with the Loveland MLK Committee, the Loveland Museum/Gallery will present a free Thoroughly Historic Thursday program starting at 5:30 p.m. that honors Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. George Stevens, a member of the Loveland MLK Committee, will juxtapose the words of MLK with poetry and music reflecting the past realities for African Americans and the harsh realities of continuing racism. The reading of Dr. King’s most famous speech, “I Have A Dream,” will be followed by a question and answer session. For more information, call 
14. "I'm Not a Racist...Am I?"
Community College of Aurora, 16000 East Centretech Parkway
Presentation at 11 a.m. follows MLK commemorative breakfast.

15. Dr. Eddie Moore Presentation and Forum on MLK
Community College of Aurora, 16000 East Centretech Parkway
Aurora concludes its thirtieth annual MLK commemorative activities with this presentation on history and racism.

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