Arkansas MLK Day Events 2023

MLK letter - by Tharun
MLK letters - By Tharun

“Be a bush if you can’t be a tree. If you can’t be a highway, just be a trail. If you can’t be a sun, be a star. For it isn’t by size that you win or fail. Be the best of whatever you are.”  — Martin Luther King Jr., October 26, 1967

As we approach Martin Luther King Jr. Day on January 16th, many communities are looking for ways to honor the civil rights leader’s legacy and celebrate the values he fought for. MLK Day is recognized as a day of service, a day to get involved and make a positive impact — a day on, not a day off. 

If you’re looking for ways to volunteer your time, EngageAR – the Arkansas state agency for volunteerism – has a list of opportunities available here. The Mosaic Templars Cultural Center is also hosting an MLK Challenge for children ages 12 to 18. More information and registration here

There are also many events happening around Arkansas to mark this special day. 

Check out the list below for details. ⬇

If you have an event you’d like to add to the list, you can email the details to

January 12

7-9 p.m. – “Race in America: Black and White Allyship” Online Discussion

The Center for Spiritual Wisdom will be hosting a free, online discussion on “Race in America: Black and White Allyship” on January 12th from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. The chat forms part of CSW’s monthly discussion series called A Little About A Lot. January’s discussion will explore the historic difficulties of addressing and eradicating racial strife between Blacks and Whites in America.


January 14

2 p.m. — 27th Annual recommitment Celebration

The Northwest Arkansas MLK Council is hosting its 27th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Recommitment Celebration featuring an intimate conversation with Dr. Cornel West.

The celebration is designed to raise funds for scholarship endowment, honor new scholarship recipients and community leaders and will be held on Saturday, January 14th at 7:30 p.m. at the Fayetteville Public Library. Tickets range from $50 to $500 and can be purchased via


January 16

All Day — 2023 Day of Service Day of Impact Statewide Service Challenge

The Arkansas Martin Luther King Jr. Commission is challenging cities, communities, organizations, schools across the state to coordinate a service project or act of kindness on Jan 16, 2023 and send photos/video to KARK News 4. If you’re spreading kindness or organizing a service project, you can also share it on your social media sites using the hashtag #MLK30!

All Day – Free Bus Rides All Day 

In partnership with Rock Region Metro, the Arkansas Martin Luther King Jr. Commission will be hosting free bus rides all day January 16th, 2023, along Rock Region Bus Routes. 

10 a.m. — MLK Marade: Always Fighting Forward

The Little Rock Branch NAACP will celebrate and honor the accomplishments, legacy and birthdate of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., by hosting the MLK Marade. Visit the LR NAACP website for the application and details. Complete forms must be submitted by January 12th, 2023. 

Starting at 8 a.m. – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration in Benton

MLK Celebration in Benton, AR will be hosting a number of activities, celebrations and even essay contests to promote love and unity through service and youth engagement. The festivities begin on January 16th from 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. with Dr. MLK Jr. Prayer Breakfast and Distribution at Baptist Church of Benton, 211 S. Market Street. For the complete schedule, visit the MLK Celebration in Benton Facebook page

9 a.m.- 12 p.m. – MLK Jr. Day of Service Litter Clean Up 

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is the only national holiday designated as a National Day of Service to encourage all Americans to volunteer to improve their communities. Keep Little Rock Beautiful (an affiliate of Keep Arkansas Beautiful and Keep America Beautiful) is hosting a litter cleanup event to provide an opportunity for you to volunteer.

The cleanup will start at 11:00 am, Monday, January 16, 2023, just inside Interstate Park (check in at the blue KLRB tent) at 3900 S Arch St. Little Rock, AR 72206. The cleanup will last until 1:30. KLRB will be picking up litter on one mile of highway right of way near Interstate Park. Volunteers should be at least 16 years old to participate.

Nearby another cleanup will also be taking place beginning at 9:00 am. The Central Arkansas Master Naturalists will be leading a cleanup in the Fourche Creek Wetlands near the park. The meet-up for this cleanup will be by the railroad tracks on S. Chester St.

Volunteers of all ages are welcome. Wear sturdy shoes and clothing appropriate for the weather conditions on the day of the event. Bring gloves and a litter grabber, if you have one.

10 a.m. – 3 p.m. – MLK Day of Service Transcribe-A-Thon 

The Sandy Spring Museum is calling on volunteers ages 13 and up to help transcribe original archival documents and help make these fascinating and important artifacts searchable and accessible to all. Volunteers can drop in and work for as long as they like, and do not have to stay for the entire two-hour session or arrive at the start time. SSL hours can be earned for participating. This is an online activity. If you need any accommodations, please reach out to the museum via email or by calling 301-774-0022.

10 a.m. – 4 p.m. – MLK Day of Service at KLEK in Jonesboro

KLEK, Jonesboro’s first and only black-owned radio station, is inviting the A-State community to volunteer at the radio station to commemorate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy. Volunteers will be assisting the station with donor records and digitizing music. Anyone interested in serving can sign up for a shift online.

11 a.m. – 2 p.m. – MLK Day Food Giveaway 

The Arkansas Martin Luther King Jr. Commission will be hosting a massive food giveaway to commemorate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The event will include a drive-through, vendor showcase, and onsite community service projects. It is first come-first served starting at 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 906 Broadway in Little Rock. For more information contact the Arkansas Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission at 888-290-KING. 

5:30 p.m. – 2023 Night of Unity

The Arkansas Martin Luther King Jr. Commission will also be hosting a night of celebration starting at 5:30 p.m. at North Shore Riverwalk Park, Riverfront Drive in North Little Rock. There will be a candle light ceremony followed by Arkansas’ 1st ever MLK Unity fireworks. Free admission. For more information, contact the Arkansas Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission at 888-290-KING. 

6:30 p.m. – 8 p.m. – The Political Economy of Martin Luther King, Jr. 

Henry George School of Social Science will be hosting a free, online webinar that will examine the evolution in King’s thinking on how to address the issue of extreme poverty and the major ideas and events that influenced his life and work. Speaker Edward J. Dodson will guide the discussion and examination of King’s philosophy.