'Dream is still alive': Thousands volunteer across the Triangle to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

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Monday, January 16, 2023
Thousands volunteer across the Triangle to honor MLK
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Organizations and churches across the Triangle hosted several events to honor, remember and celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Organizations and churches across the Triangle hosted several events to honor, remember and celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Below, you'll find coverage of some of those events:

Martin Luther King Memorial March

For the 42nd year, there was a march through the streets of Downtown Raleigh. People were following in King's footsteps and calling for a more just world.

"I think we just have to stay focused and continue to talk to each other," said Eddie Lambert.

Hundreds of people gathered in front of the State Capitol Building in Raleigh on Monday morning to take part in the annual march.

Book Harvest Dream Big MLK Day Book Drive and Community Celebration

This annual event took place at Durham Central Park at 1 p.m. The event is all about building community and setting up the next generation for a brighter future.

Anywhere from 30,000-50,000 books were donated for the event.

"We're just spreading the love of early literacy to get books in hands in the young children," author Kashama Lee-Hentry said.

Food drive at Marbles Museum

Sororities, fraternities, and families came together at Marbles Museum for a food drive.

"It's always good to give back and it helps people less fortunate than us," said Raleigh resident Emery Hamilton.

More than 240,000 meals were packaged up and the volunteers are lending a helping hand beyond North Carolina's borders.

The items are being sent to folks facing food insecurities in the Philippines and Nicaragua.

"Our reach, it's not just here in North Carolina. It goes way beyond this and we're here to make sure that we're not saturating Wake County, but all the way across the United States and into other countries," said President of the Delta Sigma Theta Raleigh Alumni Chapter Lillian M. Davis.

Chavis Park Community Center

This event was a call for unity in the community. All based on the message Dr. King made so popular so many years ago.

"To have this turnout means that Dr. King's dream is still alive, and it is not only his dream, it is all our dreams that are here," Devone Young said.

The 43rd Annual Triangle Martin Luther King, Jr. Interfaith Prayer Breakfast

The 43rd Interfaith Prayer Breakfast in Durham returned in person this year with hundreds of people packing in the Sheraton Imperial Hotel.

This was a time for leaders all through the Triangle to speak on how Dr. Martin Luther King's words and purpose live on in our communities.

Full story here.

If you didn't get a chance to participate in any of the events so far, there are still more opportunities in the coming days.

Upcoming events

January 18

You Won't Break My Soul: King Jr., Queen Bey and a Legacy of Renaissance in the South, Raleigh

Hosted by NC State University, this is a lecture by keynote speaker and Grammy Award nominee Pierce Freelon, that will explore the living legacies of Black southern renaissance movements. This free event begins at 3:30 pm.

January 20

March Like Martin: Move!, Raleigh

This student-led demonstrative march presented by the African American Cultural Center and Multicultural Student Affairs at NC State University will assert the need for movement - a movement that eliminates barriers and obstacles toward justice, equity and ultimately liberation. The march will begin at 12:30 pm.

February 4

NC MLK Black History Month Parade and Block Party, Durham

This annual event kicks off at 12pm along Fayetteville Street. The Block Party features music, food trucks, bounce houses, face painting, and more.

LISTEN: Dr. King's Dream Speech in Rocky Mount in November 1962


Oxford pastor inspired by boyhood meeting with Dr. Martin Luther King, honors him in speech


2023 MLK Jr events that have concluded

Friday, January 13



The Town of Cary's annual MLK Celebration includes presentations, films, performances, and more. The observance concludes with an MLK Day of Service at Good Hope Farm.

Saturday, January 14


The Town of Carrboro's MLK Day event is from 1 to 3 p.m., at Carrboro Century Center, 100 N Greensboro Street.

Guest speakers include U.S. Rep. Valerie Foushee.


2023 MLK Jr. Holiday Step Show

4:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. at Sanderson High School, the step show features high school, middle, and elementary school students, as well as area dance teams. This is a ticketed event.

Morning Events


MLK Unity March & Prayer Rally

Prayer begins at 8 am at the Apex First Baptist Church. The march begins at 9 am.


MLK Celebration Breakfast

The breakfast begins at 8:45 am and features keynote speaker Justice Anita Earls from the NC Supreme Court.