Public Programs

Celebrate MLK's Legacy at the Kennedy Institute




Kids looking at HABAL

The Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the U.S. Senate will honor Martin Luther King Jr. by bringing his legacy to life with activities and programs for children and families. Learn about the history of the civil rights movement in Great Senate Debates: The Civil Rights Act of 1964, share your own dreams for the future by contributing to the Institute’s participatory exhibit, and follow Martin Luther King Jr.’s example of public service by making a Valentine for a local veteran. Registration is required for this free event.

Activities and Programs || Free with registration

10:00am - 5:00pm Tour the Institute

11:00am Great Senate Debate: Civil Rights Act of 1964

11:30am - 4:00pm Contribute to the “I have a Dream” word collage

11:30am - 4:00pm Create Valentines for Veterans

1:00pm Great Senate Debate: Civil Rights Act of 1964

1:30pm Future Senator program

2:30pm Future Senator program

3:00pm Great Senate Debate: Civil Right Act of 1964

Great Senate Debates: The Civil Rights Act of 1964 – The Institute brings the decisive deliberation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to life through the Great Senate Debate program; including archival footage of Martin Luther King and reenactments of pivotal speeches by legendary Senators Edward M. Kennedy, Robert Byrd, and Everett Dirksen.

Share Your Dream – In his famous 1963 speech, Dr. King spoke of his dream for the future of America. Add your ideas for a free and just society to this collaborative word collage.

Valentines for Vets - Dr. King once said, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?‘” Give back to your community by making valentines and sending warm greetings to those who fought for your country. The Institute will distribute these valentines to Boston area veterans in partnership with local VA hospitals.

Future Senator - In this participatory program Future Senators weigh in on an issue relevant to kids: whether the school day should be longer.

Tour the Institute - Explore key Senate milestones in civil rights legislation as well as the achievements of everyday citizens to promote civil rights for all.

Additional Resources

  • Smithsonian magazine Museum Day

    The Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate is pleased to participate in Museum Day on Saturday, April 4, 2020. Museum Day is an annual celebration hosted by Smithsonian magazine. Participating museums and cultural institutions across the country provide free entry to anyone presenting a Museum Day ticket. The Museum Day ticket provides free admission for two people on April 4. Tickets will be available to download starting February 27, 2020.

  • First Saturday Drop-in Tours

    Join the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for Drop-In tours on the first Saturday of every month at 1 p.m. This discussion-based tour with a thematic focus offers deeper insights into the Institute’s exhibits and programs. Tours will lead into the Today’s Vote program where visitors can debate and vote on Senate legislation.

  • Kids’ Climate Convention

    How can kids help care for the planet? Join us for a day of family-friendly activities themed around preserving our Earth for future generations of kids. Vote for the best climate action invention in a special program held in the Institute’s replica Senate Chamber, visit the maker studio to do a project with recycled materials, and learn about important climate issues.