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

  • Dual Pandemics: Global Youth Perspectives on Fighting HIV and Covid-19

    Join the Kennedy Institute and the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation for a conversation with youth leaders from Africa and the United States to discuss the realities that young people face in managing their HIV, adapting peer support, and confronting Covid-19 and HIV as these two pandemics impact our communities simultaneously.

  • Getting to the Point: The Kennedy Legacy and the Call to Service

    Join the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate, the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, and the National Commission on Military, National and Public Service for a discussion on how building a culture of service can strengthen our communities and our democracy.

  • Getting to the Point on the 2020 Census

    In partnership with the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, the Commonwealth Museum, and the Massachusetts Archives, the Institute will welcome state and local leaders for a conversation on the importance of the 2020 Census.