Run the “I Have a Dream” 🏅 Virtual Race, See The Blackonteurs Comedy Troupe 🎭, Restore Terwilliger Blvd Forest 🌲 and more on MLK Day

Martin Luther King Jr. Day is this coming Monday, and the civil rights icon was no stranger to Portland. In 1961, he delivered a speech entitled: “The Future of Integration,” at Portland State College. A quote from that speech is as important today as it was then: ““We have come a long way toward making integration a reality, but we still have a long way to go.”

His holiday is a day of service to celebrate his legacy. In honor of King, it is observed as “a day on, not a day off,” and is the only federal holiday designated as a national day of service to encourage all Americans to volunteer to improve their communities.

How to celebrate Martin Luther King Day in Portland 2022

martin luther king in portland oregon Portland State University future of integration speech

martin luther king in portland oregon speech flyer


Jan 15, 2022

Restore Terwilliger Blvd Forest
1 pm
Tree planting event on Terwilliger boulevard in honor of MLK and his legacy, and what better way to be involved than getting some fresh air and sticking your hands in the dirt? Head online to sign you and the family up now! More info here.

Jan 16, 2022

King Clean-Up Day
10 am– 12 pm
Volunteer in the King Neighborhood with Portland Covenant Church. In place of our regular Sunday service, Portland Covenant will be leading a two-hour clean-up event for King Elementary School. We will meet at Portland Covenant Church (4046 NE MLK Jr. Blvd) at 10:00 AM and then head over to the school.
Lunch will be provided. More info here: pps.net

Jan 17, 2022

The Skanner Foundation’s Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Breakfast
9-10 am
The event brings the community together to share breakfast and celebrate the life, work, and vision of civil rights icon the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. Register for the free event.

MLK Day Volunteer Planting native trees and shrubs
starting 9 am
Lower Columbia Estuary Partnership is hosting two events to plant native trees and shrubs that benefit fish and wildlife in Vancouver and Washougal. More info here.

Smith and Bybee Wetlands Planting
10 am – 1 pm
Join Metro Parks and Nature for planting and mulching at Smith and Bybee Wetlands in North Portland from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. More info here.

Solve Oregon
Will celebrate the day with litter cleanup, planting, and restoration events from Medford to Vancouver to improve Portland’s environment and create a sense of community around our natural areas.
List of locations on the Solve Oregon website

MLK Day ON 2022 Culminating Event featuring The Blackonteurs Comedy Troupe
5-6 pm
Hosted by UP alumna Leann Johnson, The Blackonteurs celebrate MLK Day ON with its signature mix of Black triumph, struggle, & laughter! More info here: up.edu

“I Have a Dream” Virtual Races
Can be completed anytime in January 2022, even better if it’s January 17th! More details here.

World Arts Foundation’s Martin Luther King Tribute
3-5 pm
World Arts Foundation celebration will feature a historical film screening at the Hollywood Theatre. The event is free but you must reserve your tickets; donations are encouraged. For more information, more info: World Arts Foundation website.

The Vancouver Avenue First Baptist church is a community landmark and cultural gathering place in lower Albina. The church has welcomed leaders on the regional and national level, including civil rights leaders like John Lewis and Martin Luther King, Jr. In 1961, Martin Luther King, Jr., visited Vancouver Avenue First Baptist Church to deliver a speech about how making progress on civil rights required everyone’s involvement. “He helped galvanize and reinforce what we were all trying to achieve locally as well as nationally,” said Raymond Burell III, the church’s historian. “He added a layer of clarity to what the bigger mission was.”