In 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, a movie night 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.
Movie Night, Friday, January 17
Join us at the Spartanburg County Public Library Headquarters (151 S Church St.) on Friday, January 17 at 6 p.m. for a screening of the powerful documentary, I Am Not Your Negro. Based on an unfinished manuscript by James Baldwin and narrated by Samuel L. Jackson, the film explores the history of racism in the United States through Baldwin's reminiscences of civil rights leaders Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King Jr., as well as his personal observations of American history.
Walk As One, Saturday, January 18
Our annual Walk As One event gives members of our diverse community a chance to join together in fellowship to walk together in unity, both in reflection on the legacy of Dr. King and in support of the continuing work to realize his dream of unity and equity. For 2020, the walk will begin on the campus of Wofford College at the Burwell Building at 9 a.m.
2020 Walk As One Route
Day of Service, Monday, January 20
Every year the City partners with the United Way of the Piedmont to provide opportunities for locals to serve and continue the tradition of having "a day on rather than a day off." To sign up for a volunteer opportunity, follow the link below.
The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Unity Celebration, Monday, January 20
It started more than 30 years ago with a small group of people gathered around the flagpole outside of City Hall reflecting on the words and purpose of Dr. King’s life. today Today, this celebration has grown to more than 3,000 strong with an annual gathering at Spartanburg Memorial Auditorium in honor of the life and work of Dr. King and the relevance of his continuing mission for our community.