Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

A new survey from Siena College shows that only about a third of New Yorkers think that race relations in the state are either excellent or good. That compares to about two-thirds of them who say that race relations are either fair or poor.

University of Rochester/SEIU Local 1199

The official Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday is Monday, January 18, as the legacy of the civil rights leader is marked in several events around the Rochester area.

But due to the coronavirus pandemic, many activities this year are being held virtually.

A national campaign that started with Martin Luther King Jr. was recently revived, and it's coming to Rochester.

The Poor People's Campaign began in 1968, when the civil rights leader called on the federal government to come up with a plan to address unemployment and housing problems throughout the United States.

In 2018, organizers took up the cause again, branding it a "moral revival" with three goals: Shift the narrative on poverty; organize and unite people from all walks of life; and impact elections and policies.

Max Schulte / WXXI

Throughout the region, residents paused Monday to remember the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the civil rights movement. 

The MLK Day 2020 Community Celebration at Kodak Hall at the Eastman Theatre focused on the women who helped make the movement possible.

Simeon Bannister is the chair of the commission that produced the event. He asked the crowd to take responsibility for Rochester by focusing on improving education and “crushing” poverty in the region.

Martin Kaufman/WXXI News

People across Rochester gathered Monday to celebrate the life and legacy of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

"Walk in the Light" was the theme of the Community-Wide Celebration held at the Eastman Theater's Kodak Hall. Community members sang and danced to "This Little Light of Mine" and heard a keynote speech from the Rev. Stephen Cady, the pastor of Asbury First Methodist Church, which focused on acknowledging and overcoming racism in our community.

Mayor Lovely Warren said she wants Rochester to take advantage of this moment to heal our racial divides.