Monday is Martin Luther King Jr. Day, which Philadelphia celebrates with a citywide service event that draws tens of thousands of volunteers to pitch in on hundreds of projects.

Other events are held throughout the area to educate people about the civil rights icon and honor his legacy. If you haven't yet planned how to spend MLK Day, but want to serve or learn, here's a last-minute guide to what's happening around the city and how to get involved.


The nonprofit Global Citizen organizes the local day of service, which organizers say is the largest in the country and expected to involve 145,000 volunteers this year.

The MLK Day of Service website lists hundreds of volunteer opportunities across the region; you can browse projects, see which efforts still need volunteers and sign up online.

Girard College serves as a hub for many projects; other types of volunteer opportunities include indoor and outdoor clean-ups, packaging meals and advocacy. The Department of Parks and Recreation has a list of playgrounds, parks and rec centers seeking MLK Day volunteers.

This year's day of service is particularly devoted to education; a centerpiece effort is the Free Library's "Read by 4th" literacy initiative.

LEARN (and donate)

Some of Philadelphia's major cultural institutions are offering special exhibits, discounts and programs Monday. If you want to give while you learn, some of the institutions are also collection sites for various fundraisers, so even if you're taking part in a service project, you can still help those in need.

• At the National Constitution Center, which is offering $5 admission, a full slate of activities honoring King is planned: A reading of King's "I Have a Dream" speech, a show dedicated to King and his legacy, crafts and more. The center is also a drop-off site for a book and school-supply drive.

• The African American Museum has reduced admission to just $2 and will have MLK-focused workshops and performances. The museum is also collecting canned goods for Philabundance and school supplies.

• Eastern State Penitentiary is holding readings of King's "Letter from Birmingham Jail." The events are free; no reservation required.

• There is free admission and activities highlighting civil rights at the National Museum of American Jewish History. The museum is also holding a book drive for The Right Books Campaign, a partner of the Philadelphia School District.

• The National Liberty Museum will screen "Brother Outsider: The Life of Bayard Rustin," a documentary about a civil rights leader who was an adviser and mentor to King.

• Visitors to the Philadelphia Museum of Art can take part in a community service project by creating art that MANNA will collect to distribute with meals delivered to those in need.


• The coalition known as POWER (Philadelphians Organized to Witness, Empower & Rebuild) is organizing a march and rally that will begin on Independence Mall and end at the Mother Bethel AME Church at Sixth and Lombard Streets. The group says the March for a Better America will call on political and community leaders to "to support the basic human rights we cherish, such as affordable housing, health care, and quality public education for all."

• For those looking for employment opportunities or advice on job searching, a jobs and opportunity fair will take place at Girard College.


Even if you haven't planned much ahead, there are still viewing and listening options around the region.

• No tickets are left for the Philadelphia Orchestra's MLK tribute concert, but you can listen to a live broadcast on WRTI 90.1 FM.

• At Mother Bethel, an original play called "A Balm in Gilead" will be free and open to the public.

• Philadelphia Magazine and 900AM-WURD have released a social justice podcast, with a launch timed for MLK Day.


• For information or updates throughout the day, follow @mlkdayofservice or @GCitizenMLK. You can also follow reporter @JasonNark for scenes from the day.