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2022 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service

City of Highland Park to Host Virtual MLK Day of Service Event
Event will feature live virtual keynote, donation opportunities

January 11, 2022 – The City of Highland Park Human Relations Advisory Group (HRAG) and the Park District of Highland Park will present the 13th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service. The event will be held virtually via Zoom on January 17, 2022 at 10:00 AM due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The event will feature a keynote address and live Q&A, remote service projects, donation collections and more, each of which will highlight ways in which individuals can further Dr. King’s fight for a more just society. The event will be recorded and posted on the City's website. Participants may RSVP to the Facebook event, available on the City’s Facebook page, to receive an event reminder.

The 2022 keynote speaker is Patrick Dankwa John. Originally from Guyana, South America, John is a graduate of Chicago-Kent College of Law and concentrates his practice in the area of family law. A proud veteran of the US Coast Guard, John has conducted diversity trainings and published articles about discrimination and bigotry. John’s keynote will discuss how Dr. King’s radical message urging a redistribution of political and economic power has been diluted and sanitized over time. He will reflect on ways that we can revive Dr. King’s dream of a world free of hatred and exploitation. Following John’s talk, attendees will have the opportunity to participate in a moderated Q&A. 

Community members are invited to drop off donations to a number of service providers on January 17, 2022, at the northeast corner of the Highland Park Country Club parking lot (1201 Park Avenue West), from 12:00 – 2:00 PM. Various service vendors will participate in this drive-thru donation drop-off event, collecting items such as bicycles, personal hygiene and grooming products, new and gently used coats and more.  A full list of participating organizations and donation requests is available at

In addition, community members of all ages are encouraged to visit the City's website,, to identify opportunities for service and action that may be completed independently and remotely throughout the day and beyond, including a variety of prerecorded presentations from local organizations honoring Dr. King.

An annual initiative of the HRAG, the MLK Day of Service program is one of the City's signature events, typically hosted at the Recreation Center of Highland Park. In past years, local service organizations provide on-site service projects for all attendees to complete, and share information about their work and service needs. The 2021 event was also held virtually, and is archived on the City’s website.

More information about the 2022 MLK Day of Service event is available at