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united we serve 1

Jan. 15, 2021

United We Serve In Honor Of MLK Day

Please be aware that the content on this webpage was authored more than 6 months ago, so some information may be outdated or no longer accurate. Please visit our event calendar for information on current events.

With 2021 now underway, we are counting down the days until we can safely welcome you back to Navy Pier! In the meantime, we are getting the People’s Pier ready for you and looking forward to introducing you to new and exciting experiences upon your return—from new restaurants and attractions, to the first-ever hotel on Lake Michigan. In the meantime, we hope you will join us as we continue to seek ways to serve our community, especially as we approach Martin Luther King Day—a day dedicated to unity and service.

Observed each year on the third Monday in January, the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday celebrates the life, legacy and indelible contributions of one of the most important figures and civil rights leaders in American history. This year, President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will celebrate and honor the spirit of Dr. King by committing to a National Day of Service, during which all Americans are encouraged to unite and serve at a time when the global pandemic calls on all of us to work together and support our communities. With this year’s “United We Serve” theme in mind, we, at Navy Pier, are thinking of ways we can help unite and serve our Chicagoland community and beyond, leading with Dr. King’s principles of hope and healing. As we find ourselves in another moment of turmoil and social change, there is no better time to look to the man who led the Civil Rights Movement and transformed America. Below are some suggested resources to help us all learn, grow and serve together as a united community.




·     Martin Luther King Jr. Day Programs (Art Institute of Chicago)

·     Grab and Go: MLK Day Craft (Chicago Public Library – Portage-Cragin Branch)

·     Gamechangers & Name Changers: A Virtual MLK Day Celebration (Hyde Park Art Center)

·     MLK Day Kids Summit (i.c.stars)

·     2021 Chicago DREAM Week: MLK Celebration | Keynote Speaker: Mariame Kaba (Northwestern University)

·     MLK Commemoration Celebration | Keynote Speaker: Isabel Wilkerson (The University of Chicago)

·     MLK Book Club 2021: How to Be Antiracist (University of Illinois Chicago)

·     In the Belly of the Beast: King in Chicago (Yorkville Public Library)

·     Dr. Martin Luther King Virtual Celebration (Chicago Children’s Museum)

·     Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Celebration (Old Town School of Folk Music)


Navy Pier is also proud to join Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot in a citywide Day of Service campaign. No matter where you are, you have an opportunity to give back and the agency to do so. Most volunteer activities only require an hour or two of your time, and all events will be virtual or socially distanced, in accordance with CDC protocol.


About Navy Pier

Navy Pier is the People’s Pier, Chicago’s lakefront treasure, welcoming all and offering dynamic and eclectic experiences through partnerships and programs that inspire discovery and wonder.

Since its reopening in 1995, more than 180 million guests have come to enjoy the Pier’s 50 acres of unparalleled attractions and experiences. In 2022, Navy Pier continues to evolve into an accessible, year-round centerpiece for Chicago’s diverse arts and cultural treasures.


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