Martin Luther King Jr. Day is an opportunity to give back and demonstrate the kind of community commitment that is the legacy of its namesake.

The pandemic makes some traditional volunteering more complicated, though there’s still lots you can do. Here are some of the best events and volunteer opportunities this year in the Philadelphia area:

» READ MORE: Things to do in Philly this weekend: Our weekly events calendar will keep you busy

Talks and events

Eastern State Penitentiary’s MLK Day Commemoration

This year, Eastern State Penitentiary is hosting an MLK Day Commemoration with a day of free virtual programming that you can check out via Facebook stream or through Zoom. Activists, artists, students, and educators will read and discuss selected portions of Dr. King’s 1963 “Letter from Birmingham Jail” in 30-minute sessions, and share art, music, and poetry honoring his legacy. (Jan. 18, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., virtual,

National Constitution Center’s Civil Rights Movement Classes

During the week of MLK Day, the National Constitution Center will mark Dr. King’s impact with free online classes focusing on the civil rights movement (register for sessions online, or watch live via YouTube). Throughout the week, Classes will explore the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and the Warren Court. Classes are organized by age groups ranging from middle school to high school and college, as well as an all-ages session. (Jan. 18-20, various times, virtual,

African American Museum in Philadelphia’s MLK Weekend Celebration

The AAMP is going virtual with its MLK Day celebration this year with a long weekend full of free events (you can register to attend events online, or follow along on its Facebook page). There will be screenings: Shuja Moore’s third episode of Walkies, a documentary series about finding a successful life after prison (Jan. 16, 3-4:30 p.m.), and John Lewis: Good Trouble (Jan. 18, 12:30 p.m.); a “Transcribe-A-Thon” of records from the Freedmen’s Bureau (Jan 16, 11:30 a.m.-noon); a discussion of Black Americans’ roles in supporting new Americans (Jan. 17, 3-4:30 p.m.); a lecture on 20th- and 21st-century African American art by Nicole Fleetwood (Jan. 18 3:30-5 p.m.); a reading from Philadelphia poet laureate Trapeta Mayson (Jan. 17, 3 — 4:30 p.m.); virtual tours of the AAMP’s Rendering Justice exhibit; and more. For the littles: MLK mornings (ages 6+, 10 a.m.-noon, Jan. 16-18) of readings and Dreamline workshops (crafts, discussions) led by youth mentors (Jan. 16-18, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, virtual,

MLK Weekend at the Museum of the American Revolution

The Museum of the American Revolution celebrates the holiday weekend with virtual and in-person programming honoring Dr. King’s life and legacy. Virtual events include performances from the Philadelphia Jazz Project inspired by Dr. King (available to view on YouTube), and an online tour exploring the story of Ona Judge, a woman who was enslaved at George and Martha Washington’s Philadelphia home. A contactless “discovery cart” dealing with Judge’s story is also available to view in person. (Jan. 16-18, various times, virtual and in-person,

The Philadelphia Orchestra’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Tribute Concert

The Philadelphia Orchestra pays tribute to the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. with musical performances and interviews with notable locals (RSVP online). Led by director Yannick Nézet-Séguin, the program includes performances of “Lift Every Voice and Sing” and “Go Tell It on the Mountain,” as well as interviews with the likes of Pa. State Rep. Jordan A. Harris, the Rev. Mark Tyler of Mother Bethel A.M.E. Church, and Harriett’s Bookshop owner and founder Jeannine Cook. (Jan. 18, 7 p.m., virtual,

MLK 2021 volunteering opportunities

The Greater Philadelphia Martin Luther King Day of Service

If you’re looking to volunteer for a good cause on King Day this year, the 26th annual Greater Philadelphia Martin Luther King Day of Service has more than 100 virtual and in-person opportunities. From career and arts workshops to performances and cleanups, there’s no shortage of options to better yourself and your community. If you’re going to an in-person event, remember to follow current health and safety guidelines. (Through Jan. 18, various times, virtual and in-person,

Some of the opportunities this year:

I Love Thy Hood MLK Day of Service Cleanup

Help clean up Philly with I Love Thy Hood’s MLK Day cleanup event, which takes places in Germantown (5700 Greene St.) over the holiday weekend (sign up on online to participate, and you’re encouraged to wear orange if you go). You can bring your own cleanup gear, but gloves, masks, trash bags, and refreshments will be provided to volunteers. Or, you can make a donation instead. (Jan. 17, 10 a.m., in-person,

Other volunteering opportunities, all through

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