Nicole Craine for The New York Times
The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commission of Mid-Michigan is the nation’s longest-running, continuously operating MLK commission. According to the organization's press release, its annual Day of Celebration in Lansing is the world's largest MLK Day luncheon event.
This is the first in-person event since 2020, due to the world-wide pandemic. The luncheon is making a memorable re-entrance, with its keynote speaker: the practicing 92-year-old attorney who represented King, Fred Gray.
Fred Gray will headline the commissions 38th signature event starting at 11 a.m. Monday, January 16, at the Lansing Center, 333 Michigan Ave.
Gray litigated landmark civil rights cases and represented both Rosa Parks and King. During his career, he also represented the Freedom Riders, the Selma-to-Montgomery marchers and Tuskegee syphilis study victims. He has won countless school desegregation and voting rights lawsuits, according to the release.
Gray was also awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Joe Biden in July, one of the nation’s highest civilian honors.