To honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and commemorate Juneteenth, the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Commemorative Commission is sponsoring two events to recognize Dr. King and to celebrate Juneteenth, the day that marked the effective end of slavery in the United States. Due to the pandemic the customary King Week Celebration events held in January were postponed. The theme for the King and Juneteenth Celebration events is “A Legacy of Righteous Purpose, Social Justice, and Racial Equality”.


The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Commission Leadership Awards Luncheon will be held, Thursday, June 17, 2021, 12:00 p.m. at the Knoxville Botanical Garden, 2743 Wimpole Avenue. Rev. Dr. William Terry Ladd III, minister at First Baptist Church, Chattanooga, TN is the keynote speaker. To purchase tickets, go to:


On Saturday, June 19, 2021, at 1:00pm the MLK Commemorative Commission and the Beck Cultural Exchange Center present a Juneteenth Celebration at the World’s Fair Park Festival Lawn. Rev. Daryl Arnold, Overcoming Believers Church is the keynote speaker. Other performances: The Carpetbag Theatre will perform an excerpt from their production COVID Stories: When the Hugs Went Away; Knoxville’s Poet Laureate Rhea Carmon; Drums Up! Guns Down! By Indigenous Vibes (Obayana Ajanaku); The Nonviolent Hero Puppets; Preston Johnson (Soloist), Michael Rodgers (Soloist), DJ Kevin Sanford, Jack and Jill Oratorical Contest Winners; and Rev. Renee Kesler, Presiding.


The event is free and open to the public, and will be held Rain or Shine under a tent. Feel free to bring lawn chairs and blankets. CDC COVID Guidelines will be in place. Mike’s Food Truck will be on location, and One Knox Legacy Coalition will be present to disseminate voter registration information.


For more information, contact: Dr. Maxine Davis, MLK Commissioner at 865-335-0583,