Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Unity Week Celebration

MLK Unity Week photo

Unity Celebration, 2016In 1986, the MLK Unity Week Celebration started with just a group of people gathered around the flagpole outside of City Hall to reflect on the words and purpose of Dr. King’s life. From the seeds sown there, Spartanburg's annual celebration has grown to include an annual gathering attended by thousands each year, and has included such notable keynote speakers as James Earl Jones, Ted Kennedy Jr., Dr. Mae Jemison, Morris Dees, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Miss America 2004, Erica Dunlap, and former Charleston Mayor, Joe Riley.

The Unity Week celebration includes a Unity Walk, a Day of Service, and the annual capstone celebration event on Monday night. See the schedule on this page to the right for complete details. The MLK Unity Week is a centerpiece of the City's Be One initiative, which includes a variety of community diversity events throughout the year.

Walk As One

Unity Walk, 2017The City of Spartanburg’s Department of Community Services created the Unity Walk in 2002 as a means of highlighting how Spartanburg's diversity and unity make us a stronger community. The Unity Walk celebrates and renews our shared sense of belonging in a place that collectively we are proud to call home. We encourage all to come out and as a city join hands, walk as one, and continue to recognize and celebrate diversity.

This year's walk is Saturday, January 13, at 9 a.m. and will start from Spartanburg County Public Library Headquarters, 151 S Church Street in Downtown Spartanburg.

Day of Service

The City of Spartanburg and the United Way of the Piedmont have partnered to help further Dr. King’s legacy. The Day of Service on Monday, January 16, is a living embodiment of Dr. King's belief that “Everybody can be great, because everybody can serve.”

Celebrate the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day as it was intended: not a day off, but a day on. Follow this link to register for volunteer opportunities.

Unity Celebration Keynote Speaker

Erica Campbell

Erica CampbellErica Campbell has released two solo albums as well as sevel albums with her sister as part of the dynamc duo "Mary Mary." Campbell is a five-time Grammy Award-winning music artist, one of her awards for her first solot album "Help." That album also received eight Stellar Awards.

Campbell is also host of the new nationally syndicated radio show, "Get Up! Mornings with Erica Cambell," which can be heard weekdays, 6 a.m.–10 a.m. in over 40 markets, while ministering internationally. Among her entrepreneurial endeavors is the luxury hair line, "Erica By Erica Campbell" which launched in partnership with hairstylist Vernon Martin as well as her "More Than Pretty" empowerment organization.

More Than Pretty is women's empowerment movement designed to educate beyond the pulpit. Launched via retreats and panel discussions, it is a conversation about Christianity, sexuality, friendships and relationships (marriage, dating, family, business, health and wellness) from a godly perspective.

Definitely a learning experience, with the understanding that God's way gets God's results! It will teach ladies (16 years and older) to be relevant yet godly beautiful women who will change the world! Ladies will also understand the importance of honoring their temple and body, eating the right foods, making the right choices and being disciplined in those choices.

Campbell is married to Grammy Award-winning producer and Pastor of California Worship Center, Warren Campbell II, and they have three children — Krista, Warryn III and Zaya.

Who to Know

Events Schedule

Friday, January 12

MLK Candlelight Vigil

7 p.m., Barnet Park Pavillion (see flyer below for details)

Candlelight Vigil

Saturday, January 13

Unity Walk

9 a.m., Spartanburg County Public Library Headquarters, 151 S Church St. 

Unity Walk Route Map

Monday, January 15

Day of Service

Sponsored by United Way of the Piedmont

Celebrate the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day as it was intended: not a day off, but a day on. Follow this link to register for volunteer opportunities.

Unity Celebration

6:30 p.m., Spartanburg Memorial Auditorium 

Thursday, January 18

Paint the Dream: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration & Painting Experience

Class One: 4–5:30 p.m., Class Two: 6–7:30 p.m.

Join the Office of Student Life - Multicultural Programs for a canvas painting class featuring art inspired by Dr. King. Learn more about the artist, their work, and King's contribution to the Civil Rights Movement. At the end of the class, you will have a completed painted canvas to take home with you. An $18 entry fee is required for faculty, staff, alumni, and members of the community. See flyer below for more details.

Paint the Dream

flickr Photostream 2017 Mayor's Unity Breakfast