In 1971, the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Coordinating Committee, Inc. was organized initially as the Black Educators Caucus, sponsoring a remedial tutorial program in cooperation with the Minority Mental Health Association. In 1975, the program became an after school program at Friendship Baptist Church in West Palm Beach. The program then expanded with help from the West Palm Beach Housing Authority, Children's Services Council, Community Foundation, Front Porch, and the Pleasant City Neighborhood Association. In 1979, in cooperation with the Palm Beach County School Board, MLKCC expanded: (1) to sponsor oratory, poster and drama contests commemorating Dr. King's January birth date; (2) to provide Afro-Arts Annual presentations; and (3) to participate in Palm Beach Cultural Council's Annual Multi-Cultural Festival.
In 1983, the focus of MLKCC became the annual January week-long birthday celebration of Dr. King. MLKCC completed the 25th year of our "MLK Week" in January 2006. This event is filled with art exhibits, performing arts, oratorical, poster and essay contests, inter-faith religious services, GospelFest, tennis tournaments, and candlelight services. The week ends with a Scholarship Breakfast, attended by well over 500 individuals.
In addition, MLKCC provides a year long program for inner-city, low-income youth to learn ways to build self-esteem, create peace in their lives and develop a respect for a diverse community. The program links these children with activities happening within the county and encourages participation in activities that carry out the philosophy of Dr. King. The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Park, located at 2200 N. Flagler Drive, was completed in 2004. The park is the largest of its type in Florida and one of the largest memorials commemorating the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. anywhere in the Southern United States. The park contains numerous plaques and photos commemorating Dr. King&