11 Atlanta events that honor the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Leading up to his birthday, Monday, Jan. 15, there are many ways to honor his legacy through programs, services and events in metro Atlanta Martin Luther King 50 Forward 5th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Prayer Breakfast Children's Museum of Atlanta Martin Luther King Jr.'s Birthday Celebration Atlanta History Center Martin Luther King Jr. Day Program MLK Day 5K Let Freedom Run MLK March Committee Annual Youth Conference

As the birthday of one of the most revered civil rights leaders in the country, , approaches, there are several Atlanta organizations that are hosting special events to salute Martin Luther King, Jr.’s  contributions to history and the powerful legacy of civil rights, activism and unity he left behind.

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Perhaps one of the most influential and empowering American heroes, King promoted social change through non-violence and sought to unify people through education, discussion and peaceful action.

Leading up to his birthday, Monday, Jan. 15, there are many ways to honor his legacy through programs, services and events in metro Atlanta.

Martin Luther King 50 Forward. 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, Jan. 12. Manuel Maloof Auditorium. 1300 Commerce Drive, Decatur. 404-371-2000. www.dekalbcountyga.gov.

Join DeKalb County for their annual MLK program, "50 Forward: Together We Win with Love for Humanity," which will take place at Manuel Maloof Auditorium on Friday, Jan. 12.

5th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Prayer Breakfast. 10 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 13. Shiloh Baptist Church Family Life Center. 253 Macon St., McDonough. 404-433-3290. www.henrycountyganaacp.com.

Celebrate MLK with a special Prayer Breakfast hosted by Shiloh Baptist Church Family Life Center on Saturday, Jan. 13. Bishop Michael A. Strickland from Victory Tabernacle Church International will be the guest speaker.

MLK Race for the Dream Marathon, Half-Marathon and 20-Mile Bike Tour. 6:30 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 14. Booker T. Washington High School. 45 Whitehouse Drive, Atlanta. 404-564-3636. www.mlkjdma.com.

Honor Martin Luther King, Jr. by taking part in a marathon, half-marathon or 20-mile bike ride. All participants will receive Finishers Medals at the Finish Line Festival.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Parade and Program. 9 a.m. Monday, Jan. 15. Sams Auditorium. 205 Layfayette Drive, Fayetteville. 678-997-0697. www.fcnaacp.org.

The Fayette County NAACP, Fayette County Schools and local businesses and organizations will host a MLK birthday breakfast, parade and commemorative program on Monday, January 15th at Sams Auditorium.

Gwinnett County 2018 MLK Parade and Celebration. 11 a.m. Monday, Jan. 15. Langley Drive in front of the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center located at 75 Langley Drive, Lawrenceville. Trolley service available at Central Gwinnett High School. Contactwww.gwinnettmlkparade.com.

Join The United Ebony Society for one of the best MLK celebration in the south. The parade will feature school bands, community groups, sororities and fraternities and local businesses throughout the area.

Children's Museum of Atlanta Martin Luther King Jr.'s Birthday Celebration. 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 15. Children's Museum of Atlanta. 275 Centennial Olympic Park Drive, Atlanta. 404-659-5437. www.childrensmuseumatlanta.org.

Help children understand why MLK was so important by taking them to the Children's Museum of Atlanta for an MLK birthday celebration. Kids will enjoy taking part in hands-on science and art projects, listen to a special storytime and hear Dr. King's famous speech, "I Have a Dream."

Atlanta History Center Martin Luther King Jr. Day Program. 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 15. Atlanta History Center. 130 West Paces Ferry Road NW, Atlanta. 404-814-4000. www.atlantahistorycenter.com.

The Atlanta History Center offers free admission on January 15th for their MLK program, which includes a film screening, Freedom Ride simulation, hands-on crafts and more.

Church leaders and community members take part in Hamilton’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day march in 2014. This year’s march starts at 11 a.m. Monday at the Booker T. Washington Community Center, 1140 S. Front St.

Credit: Greg Lynch

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Credit: Greg Lynch

MLK Day 5K Let Freedom Run. 8 a.m. Monday, Jan. 15. Piedmont Park. 400 Park Drive NE, Atlanta. Contactwww.mlkday5k.com.

Take part in the MLK Day 5K Let Freedom Run and enjoy listening to over 250 drummers along the course, taking part in dance warm-ups by Kim Armstrong, listening to old-fashioned preachers and supporting local charities. You'll even receive a t-shirt, enjoy free ice skating a free photography at this not-to-miss event.

Sandy Springs Annual Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 10 a.m. Monday, Jan. 15. Heritage Sandy Springs. 6110 Blue Stone Road, Sandy Springs. 770-730-5600. www.sandyspringsga.gov.

Heritage Sandy Springs will host the Sandy Springs Annual Tribute to MLK this year, featuring emcee Oz Hill and Pastor Henry Bush of Sharon Community United Methodist Church

The King Center Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Ecumencial Commemorative Service. 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday, Jan. 15. Ebenezer Baptist Church. 101 Jackson St. NE, Atlanta. 404-526-8900. www.mlk50forward.org.

Join The King Center for an ecumencial commemorative service at Ebenezer Baptist Church on Monday, January 15th. Speakers include Dr. Bernice A. King from The King Center, Pastor David Yonggi Cho, Dr. Deborah A. Bartlett, Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle and City of Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms.

King Week Holiday march and rally on Auburn Avenue. 2 p.m. Monday Jan 15, 2018. The march and rally begins at Auburn Avenue and Peachtree Street, ending at Auburn Avenue and Jackson Street. Free and open to the public.

MLK March Committee Annual Youth Conference. 10 a.m.- 2p.m. Monday,  Jan. 15, IBEW Auditorium, 501 Pulliam St. Atlanta. 404-525-3559. www.mlkmarchcommittee.com.

James Edward Orange, founder of the MLK March Committee, was one of the first field staffers for King during the civil rights movement. Each year through the committee, Orange hosts the youth conference as a way to mobiilze young leaders.  The conference is free, but register by emailing  emtay08@gmail.com.