The Youth Call to Service and 39th Annual Madison/Dane County MLK Day Observances will proceed as planned today.

39th Annual Madison & Dane County MLK Day Observance

One of the Little Rock Nine

Monday, January 15
5:00 PM Freedom Songs | 6:00 PM Program
Overture Center for the Arts

Martin Luther King, Jr. Coalition

Hosting the official City of Madison & Dane County MLK Day Observance and other community events to honor the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday since 1986.

About The King Coalition

The King Coalition was established in the fall of 1985 as a community group to plan the official City of Madison and Dane County observance of the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday along with other events to commemorate the life and accomplishments of Dr. King. The Coalition consists of representatives from religious communities, organized labor, the UW-Madison, United Way, peace groups, service organizations, city and county government, and other individuals committed to equal rights and justice for all people. Coalition activities are made possible through public and private financial sponsorship, in-kind, and volunteer support.

39th Annual Madison & Dane County MLK Day Observance: January 15, 2024


5:00 PM – Freedom Songs Sing-Along | 6:00 PM – Program

Overture Center for the Arts, 201 State Street


Welcoming Terrence Roberts

Terrence Roberts made history as one of the “Little Rock Nine.” He attended segregated elementary, junior, and high schools until 1957, when he volunteered to help desegregate Little Rock Central High School. His first attempt to enter the school was stopped by the Arkansas National Guard and an angry mob of 400 people. A second attempt several weeks later was met with a mob that had grown to 1,000 people. The next day, President Dwight Eisenhower federalized the Arkansas National Guard and dispatched members of the 101st Airborne Division to accompany the students to school for the remainder of the year.

Dr. Roberts went on to a successful academic career that included earning a PhD. He and the other Little Rock Nine were awarded the Congressional Gold Medal by President Bill Clinton. 

The program will also feature the MLK Community Choir and presentation of the 2024 MLK Humanitarian Awards by Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway and Dane County Executive Joe Parisi.

39th Annual Madison & Dane County MLK Day Observance Program Participants

Ashzianna Alexander
Mathias Lemos Castillo
Dr. Jack E Daniels III
Dr. Jack E Daniels III
Dr. Jack E Daniels III
Dr. Jack E Daniels III

Congratulations 2024 Madison & Dane County MLK Humanitarian Award Honorees!

Ashzianna Alexander
Mathias Lemos Castillo
Dr. Jack E Daniels III

Join the: MLK Community Choir


The MLK Community Choir has been an integral part of the official Madison & Dane County King Holiday Observance for many years. The Choir is unique in bringing together community members regardless of musical background for the purpose of performing at this event. It is directed by acclaimed musicians Leotha and Tamera Stanley. No audition is required. To join the Choir community members simply need to attend two rehearsals:

Thursday, January 11 at 7:00 PM | Saturday, January 13, 11:00 AM. Both rehearsals are at Mt. Zion Baptist Church | 2019 Fisher Street


MLK Free Community Dinner: January 12, 2024


4:30 – 7:00 PM | Gordon Dining & Event Center, 770 W. Dayton St.


Kick-off the King Holiday weekend with fellowship and the annual MLK Free Community Dinner. Dinner served buffet style will include fried and baked chicken, mac n’ cheese, mashed potatoes and gravy, vegetables, sweet potato pie, and more. Join us and share a wonderful meal with friends, old and new, in Dr. King’s spirit of brotherhood and sisterhood!

MLK Ecumenical Service: January 14, 2024


4:30 – 6:00 PM | Fountain of Life Church, 633 W. Badger Rd.


Join us to promote the “beloved community” through spiritual inclusivity. The MLK Ecumenical Service joins people together from diverse religious traditions, socioeconomic statuses, ethnicities and political beliefs in the spirit of brotherhood/ sisterhood to honor Dr. King’s dream of social justice and equality. It also seeks to develop the “beloved community” through spiritual inclusivity and recognition of our shared humanity.


MLK Youth Call To Service: January 15, 2024


12:00 – 5:00 PM | Madison Central Library


The King Coalition, in partnership with the Urban League of Greater Madison, City of Madison, Dane County, MSCR, Madison Out of School Time (MOST), Madison Public Library, and others is pleased to invite middle school youth to attend the MLK Day Youth Call to Service. Engaging workshops, lunch, and an event t-shirt will all be provided at no cost.

Registration is limited to youth groups serving middle school youth. Space is limited. For more information, please contact Andrew Schilcher at [email protected].