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Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Commission

The Ohio Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Commission (Commission) was established in 1985 by Executive Order. Today the Equal Opportunity Division provides administrative support to the commission.

The commission is a statewide advocate of Dr. King's principles of nonviolence and annually honors Ohio's citizens who work to promote diversity and eliminate discrimination through nonviolent methods. Each year, the Commission presents awards to Ohioans to celebrate the life of Dr. King, whose teachings encourage nonviolent actions to secure equal rights for all Americans. The commemorative celebration held each January in downtown Columbus. 

The Commission strives to carry our Dr. King's dream of service to others throughout the entire year through various events. To learn more about the Commission as well as how you can become involved, please click below:

Annual Awards and Commemorative Celebration

30th Annual MLK Awards and Commemorative Celebration - Now streaming!
The Ohio Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Commission presented awards to seven Ohioans for their efforts to advance nonviolent social change at noon on Jan. 15, 2015. Speakers included youth who took first place in their respective age divisions of the 2014 Statewide MLK Oratorical Contest. 

The event was held at Trinity Episcopal Church in downtown Columbus. 


Annual King Calendar

2015 Dr. King Calendar - NOW AVAILABLE!

The 2015 MLK Calendar are free and available to the public.  Supplies are limited, so please contact a distribution center near you.

Statewide MLK Oratorical Contest

Statewide Oratorical Contest 2015
Registration for regional competitions is getting underway.  Do you have a regional competition in your area? Ask us how to begin one!

The 2015 theme is "Give Us the Ballot: A Hope for Change." The statewide contest will be held April 17, 2015.

MLK Commission Community Calendar of Events

MLK Commission's Community Calendar

This Community Calendar is to highlight events across Ohio commemorative Dr. King.  If your community has a diversity event or an event celebrating Dr. King that you would like included, please send an email to the MLK Commission c/o bobbi.bell@das.ohio.gov.

MLK Commission Meetings

MLK Commission Members

50th Anniversary: Civil Rights Act of 1964

View Governor Kasich and Lt. Governor Taylor's resolution commemorating 50th Anniversary of Civil Rights Act.


50th Anniversary Celebration: "Let Freedom Ring"

Last year marked a landmark in American history.  On Aug. 28, 1963, the March on Washington culminated with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s historic "I Have a Dream" speech.

The Ohio Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Commission (Ohio MLK Commission) and Governor John R. Kasich, together with the King Center in Atlanta and the 50th Anniversary Coalition, encouraged individuals and organizations throughout Ohio to pause to remember, reflect and act upon the dream that Dr. King shared with the world 50 years ago.  Organizations were invited to join in "Let Freedom Ring" bell-ringing events at 3 p.m. on Aug. 28, a half-century to the minute after Dr. King delivered his historic address.  Please see the links below for more information.

The Ohio MLK Commission hosted a bell-ringing commemorative ceremony at the West Plaza of the Statehouse in downtown Columbus on Aug. 28 at 3 p.m.  Please see below for additional information.

Ohio MLK Commission "Let Freedom Ring" photos:



For more photos from the 50th Anniversary Commemorative Bell Ringing, please visit the MLK Commission on Facebook ! Like us at: www.facebook.com/ohiomlkcommission.

MLK Commission

The commission members include: Chair William T. Green (Akron); Vice Chair Rev. Joel L. King, Jr. (Gahanna); Napoleon Bell (Columbus); Sen. Edna Brown (Toledo); Dr. Fannie Brown (Akron); McKinley Brown (Cincinnati); Robert Gordon (Gallipolis); David Jehnsen (Galena); Dorothy Jones (Lima); Will Lucas (Toledo); Rev. Lorenzo Norris (Cleveland) and Rep. Barbara Sears (Monclova Township).

Now you can follow the MLK Commission on Facebook! Like us at: www.facebook.com/ohiomlkcommission

To contact the MLK Commission, send e-mail to