CHARLESTON, SC (WCBD) – The YWCA Greater Charleston is planning their annual celebration of the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The 47th Annual Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration is one of Charleston’s longest running events, predating Spoleto Festival USA and other well-known local events.

The MLK Business and Professional Breakfast was added in January 2000 in partnership with former Charleston Mayor Joseph P. Riley, Jr. and the City of Charleston.

Today, the celebration is the largest tribute to Dr. King in South Carolina, attracting an estimated 30,000 celebrants each year.


Sunday, January 13 | MLK Area Worship Services at 3 PM at houses of worship across the tri-county

Thursday-Friday, January 17-18 | MLK Racial Equity Institute, held at the College of Charleston’s North Campus at 9 AM both days; this two-day workshop will be led by an organization nationally recognized for helping communities address institutional racism

Saturday, January 19 | MLK Youth Poetry Slam held at the Charleston County Library downtown at 2 PM; it will be emceed by Charleston Poet Laureate Marcus Amaker and opened with a live performance by hip-hop artist & activist Benny Starr

Sunday, January 20 | MLK Ecumenical Service held at Morris Street Baptist Church at 4 PM; the keynote speaker will be Bishop Samuel L. Green, Sr., presiding bishop of the 7th Episcopal District of the AME Church

Monday, January 21 | MLK Day Parade held in downtown Charleston at 10:30 AM; the parade marshals will be SC Senator Marlon Kimpson and SC Rep. Marvin Pendarvis, and the parade will be live-streamed by WCBD News 2

Tuesday, January 22 | MLK Business & Professional Breakfast (capstone event) held at the Charleston Gaillard Center at 7 AM; the keynote speaker will be Cynthia Bramlett Thompson, a vice president of Spoleto Festival USA and former chair of Girl Scouts USA