THIS JUST IN: Walker Legacy Center to host special program on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day / Many other venues to celebrate as well

Criminal justice reform advocate Kevin D. Richardson will help the Madam Walker Legacy Center celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Monday, Jan. 20.

Richardson has first-hand experience, having been unjustly charged with four other teens to a heinous crime from 1989. With little evidence, the teens were sentenced to serve 5 to 10 years in jail.

In the spring of 2019, Netflix released When They See Us, a mini-series depicting the well-known events of the case involving the Central Park Five – bringing the injustices back into the public’s attention.

The Walker Center’s Dr. MLK Day of Celebration Freedom March will begin at 9:45 a.m. outside the newly opened Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library, located just across the intersection from the Walker Center at 543 Indiana Ave. Participants will then will march together across Dr. MLK Jr. St. to the Walker Theatre for the program.

Among other events on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday, Jan. 20:

The Indiana History Center will host a day honoring the volunteer work, activism and leadership of the civil rights leader. Friends and family can participate in service activities, donate, play games, and learn more about advocating for those in our community whose needs are not being met.

Visitors may also bring a donation of a winter coat for the HealthNet Homeless Initiative program.

Activities taking place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.:

– Budget Basics. A game to help youth and families visualize basic budgeting for multiple income levels.

– First Aid Kit Packing. An activity to provide resources for people going through homelessness so each visitor can participate in the MLK Day of Service. First Aid Kits will be distributed by Healthnet.

– Indiana Avenue Monopoly. Learn about the history and significance of Indiana Avenue by playing our Indiana Avenue Monopoly Game.

– Letter Writing activity. Write or draw an encouraging note to people going through homelessness. Letters will be distributed by Healthnet.

– Local Speech, Global Reach. The Indiana Historical Society and the Kennedy King Memorial Initiative collaborated on this exhibit to honor the 50th anniversary of King’s death and Kennedy’s speech.

– Make Your Own Activism Poster. Posters have been used by individuals and groups for decades to make their opinions known. Make your own.

Other Jan. 20 activities at the Indiana History Center:

– How Can I Help? 1 to 1:30 p.m. and 3 to 3:30 p.m. Healthnet debunks myths of homelessness and teaches you how you can help.

– Griot Drum Ensemble. 1:30 to 2:15 p.m. and 3:30 to 4:15 p.m. Enjoy high-energy African-influenced drumming, dance and storytelling at its best. The Griot Drum Ensemble’s engaging presentations are healing and invigorating!

– Before Dr. King: The Activism of Madam C.J. Walker. 2:15 to 3 p.m. Susan Hall Dotson, coordinator of African American History, will discuss activism in the African American community before Dr. King and the Civil Rights Movement.

The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis will offer free admission to celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Visitors can enjoy special performances and activities celebrating Dr. King’s life and black history woven throughout five full floors of interactive galleries and exhibits at the world’s largest children’s museum.  

– Griot Drum Ensemble Performances. Energetic and engaging percussion music as the Griot Drum Ensemble performs authentic traditional West African and Diaspora drumming.

– Figures of the Civil Rights Movement. Join storyteller Portia Jackson as she tells tales of courageous children in the Civil Rights Movement.

– Freetown Village Singing Troupe. Experience vibrant vocal performances from Freetown Village, a living history museum representing the men and women of the many African American communities throughout Indiana in the years following the end of the Civil War.

– Ruby’s Story. Escorted by federal marshals, Ruby Bridges walked through angry, threatening crowds to get to her first-grade classroom. Hear from some of the people who Ruby inspired as they tell her story in this live theatrical performance.

The Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art will offer free admission on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, which is also the final day for the museum’s popular holiday model train exhibit, Jingle Rails: The Great Western Adventure.

White River State Park has partnered with Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana for the past 20 years to host an annual free event on Dr. MLK Jr. Day. Now only one of two food collection opportunities provided by Gleaners in the city, this annual event nets one of the largest food donations for the organization. Together, WRSP and Gleaners have collected more than 95 tons of non-perishable, canned food donations.  

Special activities will take place throughout the day at most of the major attractions that make up White River State Park, including Eiteljorg Museum, National Institute for Fitness and Sport , IMAX Theater, Indiana State Museum Indianapolis Zoo and the NCAA Hall of Champions, where the Indianapolis Indians will host activities.

Attractions are open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visitors will be granted free admission to any of the White River State Park attractions with a non-perishable food donation to Gleaners. Visitors may also make monetary donations. Dip jar donations of $1 can provide up to five meals and can be made at various locations throughout the Park.

– The Indianapolis Indians will be at the NCAA Hall of Champions from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. promoting their 2020 home opener, scheduled for Thursday, April 9. The first 500 people to visit the table will receive one ticket voucher good for Opening Night. The Indians mascot, Rowdie, will also be in attendance signing autographs and taking photos from 1 to 2 p.m.

– NCAA Hall of Champions. The newest exhibit, Historically Black Colleges and Universities: Making an Impact, is featured on the second floor. As in years past, guests can also participate in a scavenger hunt and register for hourly raffle prizes for official NCAA merchandise. There will also be photo opportunities with replicas of the 2020 NCAA Men’s and Women’s basketball trophies. For more information, visit 

– The National Institute for Fitness and Sport (NIFS) will have free group fitness classes starting at 6am and running throughout the day until 7:35 p.m. The full group fitness schedule for the day can be found at .

– IMAX Theater will host five free screenings of the original film, Superpower Dogs 2D. The film provides an astonishing look at the science behind the life-saving superpowers and amazing abilities of some of the world’s most astonishing dogs, on the immersive IMAX screen. The screenings will run at 10 a.m., 11:15 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 1:45 p.m. and 3 p.m. Tickets are available on a first come, first served basis until capacity is met. For more information, visit