By Dee Ford Byas

Plenty of events are planned throughout the month in Arizona for those looking to honor the memory of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and the legacy he leaves behind.

From Phoenix to Scottsdale and Chandler, month long happenings include virtual and in person programs taking place at various locations statewide commemorating the man whose push for equality and civil rights endeavors were noticed worldwide to affect much needed change.

The following is a rundown of some local events and community service programs.

Setting the tone for valley wide events is the 36th Annual Arizona Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Living the Dream Celebration, which is scheduled as a virtual program for 11am, Friday, Jan. 14, online at phoenixaz. See for more details about the event and honorees. The theme for the virtual youth event is: “If Dr. King were alive today…” Videos, poetry, music, performances, book/social justice art showcases, plus a workshop will be featured at the annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. youth celebration, from 2-4pm, Saturday, Jan. 15, via Zoom. RSVP for the children’s event to receive a link at

The International Jazz Day Arizona Foundation and Arizona Talking Drum Performance Studio Network presents a host of activities such as storytelling, spoken word, and music including “Dear Martin,” at 7pm Jan. 14, at South Mountain Community College, 7050 S. 24th St., Phoenix. See Eventbrite for tickets by searching for “Dear Martin.”

On Monday, Jan. 17, various locations will recognize the “National MLK Day of Service” for the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday as an “official day of service,” to not only honor the civil rights icon’s lifetime work and achievements but is an annual opportunity for Americans countrywide to volunteer to make “communities more equitable,”

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