By Daniel Winner | AC JosepH Media Correspondent

Martin Luther King Jr. Day is right around the corner, and South Jersey is celebrating with a slew of events hosted by local organizations. Officially the Birthday of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the third Monday of January is a federal holiday that honors the work and achievements of Dr. King, a preeminent leader in the civil rights movement from 1955 until his assassination in 1968. 

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a Baptist minister, political philosopher and nonviolent activist who resisted racism and unjust laws through non-violent civil disobedience. The campaign to mark a federal holiday in honor of Dr. King began soon after his passing, but it was not until November 2, 1983 that the holiday was enacted by the 98th United States Congress and signed into law by President Ronald Reagan.

Today, MLK Day is celebrated nationwide as well some places internationally, such as Toronto and Ottawa, in Ontario, Canada; Wassenaar, the Netherlands; and Hiroshima, Japan. Observance is usually marked with a day off from work and school, and includes community gatherings that showcase performances, speeches, and educational workshops that highlight the significance of Dr. King’s role in the civil rights movement and the broader call for social justice. 

Several groups in South Jersey will celebrate MLK Day 2024, and we want to share as many of these occasions with our readers as possible to ensure that you will have an opportunity to engage with the community. This nonexhaustive list includes:

Sit In to Stand Up MLK Day of Service 2024, by Perfecting Ministries

Jan. 15, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

The Perfecting Church

274 Delsea Drive, Sewell, NJ

9 a.m. – continental breakfast

10 a.m. – SIT IN conversation with author Lisa Sharon Harper on Dr. King’s speech and book “Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community?”

12 p.m. – free haircuts and manicures

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service

Jan. 15, 8:30 a.m.

Stockton University (Galloway, Atlantic City, Hammonton, Woodbine) 

Cleanup at Farnham Park, Camden

Jan. 15, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Farnham Park

1648 Baird Blvd., Camden, NJ

(RSVP required)

MLK Family Service Day, Animal Welfare Association

Jan. 15, 12 – 4 p.m

Animal Welfare Association

509 Centennial Blvd., Voorhees Township, NJ

(Registration required)

Ocean City Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service and Ceremony

Jan. 15, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Howard S. Stainton Senior Center

18th & Simpson Ave., Ocean City, NJ

(Registration required! Please call 609-399-611 ext. 9711)

(12 p.m. ceremony will be held at the Ocean City Music Pier)

Ocean City Martin Luther King Jr. Ceremony and Soul Food Lunch

Jan. 15, 12 – 2 p.m.

Ocean City Tabernacle

6th & Asbury Ave., Ocean City, NJ

Dr. Marin Luther King, Jr., Scholarship Breakfast and Day of Service at Rowan University

Jan. 15, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Eynon Ballroom, Chamberlain Student Center, Rowan University

201 Mullica Hill Rd., Glassboro, NJ

MLK Day Art Camp, the ARTery Studio

Jan. 15, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.

The Pineland Arts Center

31 Fairview Rd., Medford, NJ

(Registration is $35, for ages 5-11)

MLK Jr. Day Camp

Jan. 15, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Markein Arts Center

104 Walnut St., Haddonfield, NJ

(Registration is $65, for ages 5-12)

SisterHood Incorporated MLK Day of Service

Jan. 15, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

SisterHood, Inc.

402 York St., Burlington, NJ

Honoring Resilience: MLK Day and A Screening of “The Color Purple”

Jan. 15, 5 p.m.

AMC Cherry Hill 24

2121 Route 38 Cherry Hill, NJ

(Tickets at the door)

NAACP Martin Luther King Jr. (MLK) March in Atlantic City

Jan. 15, 10 a.m.

MLK School Complex

1700 MLK Blvd., Atlantic City, NJ

(Registration required. Information can be found on flyer above)

Gloucester Township’s Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service

Jan. 15, 8:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Charles W. Lewis Middle School

875 Erial Rd., Blackwood, NJ

(Registration required, available at the door)

Acenda Integrated Health and the Gloucester County NAACP Day of Service

Jan. 15, 12 – 2 p.m.

Acenda Integrated Health

42 Delsea Dr., Glassboro, NJ

(This is a volunteer event, where participants will be packing winter bags for the community. Light refreshments will be served. For registration, contact Loretta Winters

EDITOR’S NOTE: Daniel Winner has a double major in Religious Studies and Japanese from Penn State University and has traveled internationally to the Far East on several occasions. His insights on Buddhism and Asian culture give a unique view of historical and modern trends. He will be serving as a contributor for Front Runner New Jersey.

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