The history of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. March in San Antonio

Learn about when the march started and how to participate in this annual civil rights activity.

MLK March San Antonio

The San Antonio MLK March in 2023.

Photo by the City of San Antonio

DreamWeek is almost here and the annual MLK March is quickly approaching, honoring the late civil rights activist Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The San Antonio MLK March is the largest in the country, with over 300,000 participants each year. Let’s take a look back at how the march started and how you can participate this year.

The backstory

The San Antonio MLK March began in 1968 by Rev. Dr. Raymond Callies who at the time was bringing awareness to the infrastructure needs for communities on the city’s Eastside, while also promoting the message of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Over the years the march has added momentum, especially with the creation of the MLK Commission by the City of San Antonio in 1986. Notable civil rights activists that have participated in San Antonio’s march include Rosa Parks and the Freedom Riders.

Let Freedom Ring SATX MLK March

Join the San Antonio community and honor MLK’s legacy.

Photo by the City of San Antonio

What’s the message?

The march and the MLK Commission’s shared goal is to promote these four principles in our communities:

  • Human equality
  • Fundamentals of nonviolence
  • Understanding + acceptance of racial harmony
  • Respect and goodwill

Get involved

Ready to lace up your walking shoes? We rounded up key information to make your morning trek easier.

  • Date: Monday, Jan. 15 at 10 a.m.
  • Key tip: March lineup begins at 9 a.m.
  • Starting point: Martin Luther King Jr. Academy, 3501 Martin Luther King Dr.
  • End point: Pittman-Sullivan Park, 1101 Iowa St.
  • Length of march: 2.75 miles
  • Weather watch: The high is predicted to be in the 30’s so make sure to bundle up.

Need assistance getting to the event? VIA Metropolitan Transit is offering free bus service to the starting point of the march at the Freeman Coliseum + St. Philip’s College, 8-10 a.m. Bus service will return passengers to their original pick up locations from 12 to 3 p.m. at Pittman-Sullivan Park.

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