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14th Annual Martin Luther King Day of Service

The City of Highland Park and the Park District of Highland Park will present the 14th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service on Monday, January 16, 2023 at the Recreation Center of Highland Park. The event will begin at 10:00 AM with a keynote address, live dance performance, and on-site service projects from local organizations, followed by a donation drop-off event in the parking lot. The event is free and open to the public, and onsite parking is available.

“It is truly a joy to be able to gather together again to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. through service, dialogue, and art,” said Mayor Nancy Rotering. “This beloved tradition is a day of action where we are challenged to learn, grow, and contribute to the ongoing fight for a more just society and a more equitable future.”

Deeply Rooted Dance Theater reimagines and diversifies the aesthetics of contemporary dance by uniting modern, classical, American and African-American traditions in dance and storytelling. Deeply Rooted’s talented artists will demonstrate the transformative power of art and beauty through contemporary dances that engage with themes of freedom, empathy, strength and resilience.

Guests will be invited to participate in a variety of service projects facilitated by local organizations. Activities are suitable for participants of all ages, and include making valentines for veterans, bookmarks, friendship pins, dignity bags for individuals experiencing homelessness, thank-you notes for first responders, and more. Further details regarding service projects will be posted to as information becomes available.

Following the event, community members may drop off donations to local service providers at a drive-through donation event from 12:30 – 2:00 PM. Participating organizations will be accepting items such as non-perishable food, personal hygiene and grooming products, new and gently used coats and more.  A full list of participating organizations and donation requests will be available at as the event approaches.

The Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service program is a joint signature event of the City of Highland Park, the City’s Human Relations Advisory Group and the Park District of Highland Park, bringing together Highland Park residents and neighbors from throughout the North Shore for on-site service projects, engaging presentations, and special performances. As the 2021 and 2022 events were held virtually due to the pandemic, the keynote lectures from both years are archived at

More information about the 2023 MLK Day of Service event is available at