Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day, but the festivities continue all week.
29th annual unity breakfast. All are welcome as community members join at The Vineyard Church to celebrate Dr. King.
WHEN: 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. today.
WHERE: The Vineyard Church, 1500 N. Lincoln Ave., Urbana.
Motorcade and church service. The procession will wind through Danville, pause for a short ceremony at the King monument and end at St. James United Methodist Church for a celebration service.
WHEN: The procession starts at 10:30 a.m. today. The service begins at 11:30 a.m.
WHERE: Starts at Main and Logan streets in Danville.
The University of Illinois will sponsor several lectures throughout this week in Champaign-Urbana, including talks on the civil rights movement and social and economic class dynamics. Among them:
Tuesday: "Freedom Rider" from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., The Art Theater.
Thursday: "What is the Civil Rights Movement?" from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts.
See go.illinois.edu/mlk for more events.
Day of Service
WHEN: 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. today.
WHERE: Urbana Civic Center, 108 E. Water St.
WHAT: Participants will celebrate King's legacy with performances, discussion and volunteer activities during a youth-focused event at the Urbana Civic Center.
"A lot of people don't know that this was always intended to be not just a commemoration day but also a day of service," said organizer Libby Tyler. "We like to think of it as a day on, not a day off."
The event will kick off with an Urbana High School choir performance, followed by a presentation of the local history of the civil rights movement. In the afternoon, participants will be able to do some on-site volunteering — packaging for a food pantry, making Valentines for veterans and making blankets, Tyler said.
"It's very important for our youth to understand that history and to be involved in that way," she said.
WHEN: 1 to 4 p.m. today
WHERE: Activities and Recreation Center, 201 E. Peabody Drive, Champaign.
WHAT: After hearing a University of Illinois student talk about her service experiences abroad, volunteers will get a chance to do some outdoor cleanup and maintenance for seniors and package meals, among other projects.
Otis Noble III, community and campus affairs specialist for the University of Illinois, said Kristen Lynn Konewicz will tell participants about the value of volunteerism.
"She's done quite a bit of great service here on campus and then gotten a chance to go to Africa, I believe, last summer to participate in some service events," Noble said.
Then the volunteers will get to do some work themselves.
"This is a part of what Dr. King asked us to do, to be involved, to be present for those who we call our community," Noble said. "I think a lot of times we get caught in our own spaces, our own lives."