On January 16, artists, activists, civic leaders, and community members from around the city and beyond came together in the BAM Howard Gilman Opera House to honor the legacy and share the dream of Dr. King. The celebration, one of the largest of its kind in the city, was presented in partnership with Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso and Medgar Evers College, and has been a BAM tradition since 1990.
The program, which was also live-streamed, featured keynote speaker Sherrilyn Ifill, civil rights attorney and former president and director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. The program also featured music performances by Grammy-nominated singer, songwriter, and activist Allison Russell and the award-winning Sing Harlem choir.
Other notable speakers included NY Governor Kathy Hochul, NYC Mayor Eric Adams, NY Senator Chuck Schumer, NY Congressman Hakeem Jefferies, and NY DA Eric Gonzalez and many other NY officials.
The celebration of Dr. King also included a digital billboard based group exhibition on the corner of Flatbush Ave & Lafayette Ave. The exhibition titled “Freedom!” featured work by seven Black visual artists, paying homage to the legacy of Dr. King, and encouraged viewers to reflect on freedom and its meaning. Additional programs in celebration of Dr. King included a complimentary children’s program—featuring music, dance, and craft activities throughout the day.