Welcome to MLK2019. The Northern California Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Foundation (NorcalMLK) is excited to host San Francisco's free, annual Martin Luther King, Jr. birthday observance. Below you will find the many events and activities that make up the celebration. And, you will also find ways to volunteer and support NorcalMLK.
The theme for MLK2019 is We Are In This Together.
On April 16, 1963, a 34-year-old Martin Luther King, Jr. sat in a jail cell in Birmingham, Alabama, following an April 12th arrest that came as part of King's Southern Christian Leadership Conference's and the Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth's Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights' non-violent, protest campaign to end the long era of racism there. On the same day he was arrested, eight Birmingham clergymen, representing the country's major religious faiths, accused King and the participants of extremism and anarchy, calling his campaign "unwise and untimely."1 Concerned by this stance, King penned a letter in response, where, after a brief introductory review, he stated what to many seemed obvious:
"I am cognizant of the interrelatedness of all communities and states. I cannot sit idly by in Atlanta and not be concerned about what happens in Birmingham. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. Never again can we afford to live with the narrow, provincial 'outside agitator' idea. Anyone who lives inside the United States can never be considered an outsider anywhere within its bounds."2
Today we face another moment that calls for us to state the obvious: that we are all tied together; that what affects you affects me; and that how one treats another reflects on us all. Over the past year, we have experienced widening disparities and a continued assault on our fundamental democratic institutions from within and from without. And, deepening social and economic injustice and exclusion have strained the very fibers of our nation. This is why justice is such a vital principle for achieving a beloved community. For, true justice connotes a determined care and concern for the welfare of others, and it demands a searching honesty with our past and our present, so that we can achieve a more just future.
So, as we embark on 2019, let us all confront injustice and exclusion with a rigid determination that marks true justice and a beloved community. Because, we are in this together.
1. Clayborne Carson ed., The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr. (New York City: Grand Central Publishing, 1998), 188. To learn more about the 1963 Birmingham Campaign, see Carson, Autobiography, 170-217.
2. Carson, Autobiography, 189.
The 2019 King & Faith Lectures is an annual lecture series that presents contemporary contemplation of Dr. King, his message, and his legacy. The public programs are scheduled to begin on January 19 and are free and open to the public. Programs feature the annual Howard Thurman Homily, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Address, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Interfaith Evensong, and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Reflection. A special presentation in conjunction with the Smithsonian Museum highlights this year's events. See the lectures schedule below, and check King and Faith Lectures landing page for the latest information.
The Black & Brown Comix Arts Festival (BCAF) celebrates the creativity of people of color in the comic arts and popular visual culture and is dedicated to the notion that all audiences deserve to be subject in the culture in which we participate. Our three-day event includes a grand expo, kids activities, film screenings, panels and conversations, cosplay events and much more.
A partnership with the San Francisco Public Library, BCAF is a festival of the Northern California Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Foundation and is part of the annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. celebrations in San Francisco. In 2015 USA Today's editors and readers selected BCAF as one of the ten best art festivals in the U.S. So, join us at San Francisco's Yerba Buena Gardens, and experience the Black & Brown Comix Arts Festival!
BCAF will open on January 19 at the San Francisco Public Library.
Interested in an exhibit space? Click the 'Exhibitor' button on the BCAF2019 page.
Interested in sponsorships? See the BCAF2019 Sponsor Brochure
Follow @norcalmlk and @bcafcon on Twitter and Facebook.
Join San Francisco's labor, civic, business and community leaders at the MLK2019 Labor & Community Breakfast on Monday, January 21 from 8:00am - 10:00am at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in San Francisco. The breakfast honors the legacy of labor and community working together in the struggle for civil rights, and it honors local labor, civic and community members' collaboration in the creation of San Francisco's Martin Luther King, Jr. memorial in Yerba Buena Gardens. The memorial is the nation's 3rd largest monument in honor of Dr. King and the west coast's largest fountain. The breakfast is hosted in close partnership with the San Francisco Labor Council and is a ticketed event.
Purchase your tickets today, and subscribe to us below and follow us on Twitter @norcalmlk for more information and updates.
Each year the Foundation partners with local and regional transportation agencies to provide commemorative transportation to and from the celebration events.
Bay Area Rapid Transit annually commemorates Dr. King by partnering with the NorcalMLK Foundation in developing commemorative MLK BART Passes, which provides complementary, round-trip travel to the MLK Celebrations.
If you live in or near San Francisco, register for MLK2019 Muni Commemorative Passes. San Francisco's Municipal Transportation Agency commemorates Dr. King by providing annual passes through NorcalMLK and via complementary shuttle service during the annual march/parade.
If you live on the peninsula, consider catching the Caltrain NorcalMLK Celebration Train. NorcalMLK and Caltrain are dedicated to continuing the legacy begun by the late Coretta Scott King by providing special, free commemorative MLK train service for south Bay and peninsula celebrants.
Live in Marin? Take the MLK2019 Freedom Ferry. Since 2004 the Golden Gate Transportation Authority has partnered with the NorcalMLK Foundation to provide complimentary service to the MLK Celebration events.
For each of these services, hurry and register as the number of complimentary passes is limited.
Join thousands in honoring the Selma, Alabama, to Montgomery, Alabama marches and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 by experiencing the MLK2019 commemorative march/parade from San Francisco's Caltrain Station to Yerba Buena Gardens. The march begins at 11:00am on Monday, January 21, and participants are encouraged to arrive early. The 1.5 mile journey crosses the Lefty O'Doul Bridge and stops at Willie Mays Plaza at AT&T Park to commemorate the crossing of the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, a symbol of violence and victory in the civil rights movement.
Groups can register and march together at the MLK2019 March page.
At the conclusion of the march, in partnership with the San Francisco Interfaith Council, an interfaith commemoration will bring together the region’s faith leaders to commemorate the vision of Dr. King and to lead participants in a spiritual reflection of his message.
The marquee event of the celebration day brings our theme to life and features an exciting program of talent and personalities in honor of the life of Dr. King. Stay tuned for updates on special guests and performers.
Featuring SFEnvironment, The San Francisco Chapter of The Links, Incorporated, the American Red Cross, San Francisco Aids Foundation BBE program, along with numerous special programs and services, the MLK2019 Health and Wellness Festival brings together the region’s health providers for a one-day event of free services and exciting activities during the MLK celebration. The goal is to promote health, wellness, sustainability, and preparedness as essential elements of fair, just, and vibrant communities.
If you are interested in a vendor space, download and complete our vendor application, and pay directly online, and the NorcalMLK team will contact you with your table location. Follow us @norcalmlk and here for updates.
Enjoy an afternoon of live taping with the show I Remember That Song, with host, Gerry Dove, and the team of guests, featuring Russell Gatewood and DJ Flash of "The World Famous Rick & Russ Show" and radio personality Antoine Davis. Live music and the latest cuts will be featured on the lawn in Yerba Buena Gardens. Follow us on Twitter @norcalmlk for updates on special guests.
The Liberation Film Screenings (LFF) are dedicated to bringing short-format cinema and human interest documentaries to the public through innovative programs designed to engage new and diverse audiences.
2019 marks the ninth annual program and will feature human interest and civil rights documentaries and conversations. A partnership with California Newsreel, the screenings are free and open to the public with limited theater seating on a first-come first-served basis.
LFF scheduled screenings in the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater and Screening Room, and the Freedom Theater at the Museum of the African Diaspora will be posted on the film screening landing page.
Check the LFF landing page for the screening titles and schedule, and subscribe below, or @norcalmlk on Twitter, for the latest information.
Each year thousands of hours of planning and hundreds of thousands of dollars are required to provide, free of charge, the many events and activities in honor of Dr. King in San Francisco. With your gifts we are able to create free events and festivals, such as the Black & Brown Comix Arts Festival and the Liberation Film Festival. Attendees can receive free health and wellness testing and information, free admission to area museums, and complimentary transportation from throughout the Bay Area.
So, donate a tax-deductible gift to the NorcalMLK Foundation. Your financial support will help to unlock the great promise in us all.