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Dr. Martin Luther King Holiday Peace Walk: Here’s What You Need to Know

Monday's event will focus on voting rights

2018 Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Parade. Photo courtesy of Flickr user, Ted Eytan.

On January 17, Martin Luther King Jr.’s family will lead more than 100 national and local civil rights and human rights organizations in a march for voting rights legislation at the Dr. Martin Luther King Holiday D.C. Peace Walk.

The Peace Walk, organized by the D.C. MLK Holiday Committee, commemorates his life and legacy through an annual march and community services in Southeast DC. This year, his family will use the event to call on President Biden and Congress to expand voting rights. Unlike previous years, there will not be a parade or peace rally due to the pandemic.

Here’s what you need to know about the Peace Walk.

When and where is it?

Attendees can start gathering on Potomac Ave. between First Street, Southeast, and South Capitol Street at 9 AM. The crowd will begin marching at 10 AM towards the Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge, where they will join Mayor Muriel Bowser, Ward 8 Councilmember Trayon White, and civil rights activists for the Peace Walk. The group will then walk off towards Ambassador Baptist Church on Minnesota Avenue, Southeast. After the march, the King family, along with elected officials and other civil rights activists, will hold a press conference at Union Station.

Here’s a map of the Peace Walk route:

Who will speak?

The lineup is still being confirmed and will be announced by the organizers this weekend.

Will parking be available?

Yes, attendees can park on 13th Street at Good Hope Road. There will also be shuttles on First Street that will pick-up marchers between 8:30 AM and 10 AM.

Which streets will be closed?

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MPD has released a list of streets that will be closed to traffic and parking on Monday.

Minnesota Avenue from Good Hope Road to 16th Street, Southeast, will be closed for parking from 6:30 AM to 2 PM. The street will also be closed to vehicle traffic from 8:30 AM to 1 PM.

The following streets may be closed intermittently to vehicle traffic from 10 AM to 12:30 PM:

  • South Capitol Street from Potomac Avenue to Howard Road, Southeast
  • Howard Road from South Capitol Street to Martin Luther King Jr Avenue, Southeast
  • Martin Luther King Jr Avenue from Howard Road to Good Hope Road, Southeast
  • Good Hope Road from Martin Luther King Jr Avenue to Minnesota Avenue, Southeast

Are there other events the city has organized to commemorate Martin Luther King Jr. this week?

There will be a virtual film night and prayer breakfast, and before the Peace Walk on Monday, attendees can participate in a community clean up along Howard Rd and MLK Jr. Ave., Southeast, towards Good Hope Road and Minnesota Ave., Southeast. The organizers will also host a health and wellness fair; a hot meal, warming kit, hygiene kit, and mask distribution event; and a coat giveaway.

You can find a full schedule of events with more details on the D.C. MLK Holiday Committee’s website.

Damare Baker
Assistant Editor

Before becoming an assistant editor, Damare Baker started out as an editorial fellow for Washingtonian. She has previously written for Voice of America and The Hill. She is a graduate of Georgetown University, where she studied international relations, Korean, and journalism.