Due to the pandemic, most Martin Luther King day events have gone virtual. According to WOOD TV, Here are some that are happening in West Michigan:

"Controversy in the Community” starts at noon. Hosted by Western Michigan University-Cooley Law School’s Grand Rapids Campus’ Black Law Students Association, you can participate in a virtual panel.

Author, Jemar Tisby, will host a speech held at Calvin University called “What is the Color of Compromise”. The presentation begins at 12:30 p.m and can be watched virtually here.

"The Legacy of MLK: Purpose, Truth and Justice” at 6:30 p.m will be hosted by Grand Valley State University featuring PBS Newshouse and NBC and MSNBC political contributor Yamiche Alcindor for a keynote address. You can register here.

“One Night in Miami” will be played at all Celebration Cinemas. The Center for Community Transformation will receive a portion of ticket sales. You can participate in an online discussion about the movie here.

The Urban League of West Michigan typically offers an annual breakfast. This year the event went virtual and it sold out.

Bishop David J. Walkowiak of the Grand Rapids Diocese issued a statement about Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

"The anger and violence that is rippling across our country is a direct result of a lack of justice, love and peace. Sadly, once again and far too often, racism: institutional racism, cultural racism, personal racism is why this deficiency exists. Following a year where we have become more aware of the mark racism has left on our society, we reflect on the legacy of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. who encouraged Americans to stand up for equality, justice, and peace – the message of the Gospel. He showed us that it is possible to fight for what we believe in, in a non-violent way.

Almost 60 years later, Dr. King’s words still remind us of where we are as a country, “Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time (Yes) (Now) to make justice a reality for all of God’s children. It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment.” (Dr. King, I Have a Dream speech, Aug. 1963)

We are disciples of Christ. We are citizens of God's kingdom of justice, love and peace. Those are not mere words. We cannot remain silent and indifferent to injustice, hatred and violence directed at any member of our human family. Acts and attitudes of racism are sinful. They reveal a failure, a failure to acknowledge the value and dignity of the persons who are subjected to this evil; failure to see in each one of them the brother or sister that Christ calls us to love.

Let us use this day to pray for a genuine conversion of heart, to complete an act of kindness for a stranger, or to say an extra prayer for peace in our world as we commemorate the life of Dr. King."