The future doesn’t have to just be a dream. It is our responsibility to challenge the present with the thought of what could be. When met with action and purpose, a dream becomes a reality. And every year in January, we remember and honor Dr. Martín Luther King Jr.’s transformative dream. With these principles and understandings in mind, here are six events across the Germantown community to carry out Dr. King’s vision.

Cleaning Up With Germantown United CDC

All you need is a broom, a glove, a mask and a helping hand to participate in Germantown United CDC’s MLK Day cleanup. In partnership with ilovethyhood, Weavers Way Co-Op and PHL Taking Care of Business Clean Corridors Program, the team has drawn up a map for the cleanup route that begins at 5700 Greene Street, the corner of Greene  and Chelten Avenue. The work starts at 10 a.m. on Sunday, January 14, and concludes at 1 p.m.

AdventureWoods at Awbury Arboretum

On his day of remembrance, Monday, January 15, go to the Awbury Arboretum, located at 1 Awbury Road for an honorary service day. From 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. help assist the staff by cutting back invasive vines in order to foster new growth and vegetation in the AdventureWoods section. If available, volunteers are asked to bring hand pruners and gloves. There will also be a light snack and water provided. To register, sign up here

“Beloved Community” Conversation

Join Germantown Residents for Economic Alternative Together (GREAT) for the 5th annual Dr. King Day workshop. During this event, community members curate an open-dialogue about  housing and gentrification issues, including community, mutuality and neighborhood organizing. Childcare is offered as well as snacks and refreshments to top off the discussion. The conversations will happen on Monday, January 15 from 1 p.m to 3 p.m. at 5818 Germantown Avenue. Registration ends today (January 12) and can be found here.

Johnson House Historic Site Book Reading

Johnson House Historic Site is reminding the community why King spoke with so much passion and urgency by conducting a book reading of Antje Ulrike Mattheus’s, “Cresheim Farm: An American History of Conquest, Privilege and Struggles for Freedom and Equality.” The piece develops an understanding of political archaeology, with a special focus in to Philadelphia’s  and Germantown’s role in American societal movements such as slavery or genocide of Native peoples. While listening and learning, enjoy food and beverages provided at the event. The book reading will take place on Monday, January 15 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at 6306 Germantown Avenue. Registration includes free admission by emailing To top off the event, readers can purchase the book using the code, “EFL03” for 20 percent off here.

Ya Fav Trashman Cleanup

Terrill Haigler of Trash 2 Treasure Inc. is bringing his dream to Germantown for the 4th annual MLK Community Clean Up. The multidimensional event highlights the principle of community by honoring King’s message through intentional actions. The clean up will go from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., with an after party hosted by Fox29’s Mike Jerrick at 1 p.m. Throughout the day, 700 pounds of groceries, as well as gently used clothing, will be donated to local neighbors. BreakThru Beverage PA is sponsoring the event which will be held on Monday, January 15 at 5701 Magnolia Street. 

Radical MLK Symposium: Building Community in an Hour of Chaos

Uncle Bobbie’s Coffee & Books is starting their 2024 chapter off strong by hosting the 7th annual Radical MLK Symposium. The store’s founder Dr. Marc Lamont Hill will start by outlining the significance of MLK’s legacy and how it was more radical than how it’s often portrayed. He will then connect how war, poverty, faith and education connect to King’s legacy. It’s a later event, happening next Saturday, January 20 at 1 p.m. at Greene Street Friends School, 20 W. Armat Street. Free advanced registration is found here. The event will also be captured via Uncle Bobbie’s YouTube channel for streaming.