‘United We Serve’: Biden-Harris team celebrating MLK Day with evening of music, speakers

Leading up to Inauguration Day 2021, president-elect Joe Biden and vice president-elect Kamala Harris’ team is hosting a celebration honoring the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The Presidential Inaugural Committee is hosting an event called "United We Serve: A Celebration of the National MLK Day of Service" on Monday, Jan. 18, Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Since 1994, when Congress passed the King Holiday and Service Act, the Martin Luther King Jr. federal holiday has been designated as a national day of service. On this day, all Americans are encouraged to volunteer in service to fellow Americans in King’s honor. 

Vice-president elect Kamala Harris invited everyone to join them in this year’s day of service.

"Service is part of the character of our nation. And now, more than ever, we must do everything we can to help our neighbors and our community," she said in a video. 

The Presidential Inaugural Committee said it’s partnering with service events this MLK Day that focus on COVID-19 relief and address challenges that have been exacerbated by the pandemic, such as poverty, hunger, racial injustice, homelessness, mental health and educational disparities.

You can find a service event in your area here

The day of service will then be followed by an evening of music and inspiring speakers. 

The Presidential Inaugural Committee said participants in the hour-long celebration include Aloe Blacc, Rev. Dr. Bernice King, Martin Luther King III, Chesca, Rep. Sharice Davids, Rosario Dawson, Andra Day, Yo-Yo Ma, Rev. Al Sharpton, Sean Patrick Thomas, Diane Warren, Lynn Whitfield, Bebe Winans and more.

The event will begin at 8 p.m. ET and will stream live at bideninaugural.org.

It's one of several events the Presidential Inaugural Committee is hosting ahead of Inauguration Day on Wednesday, Jan. 20. 

A nationwide COVID-19 memorial is also planned for Tuesday, Jan. 19, which will feature lights around the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool. It will be the first-ever lighting around the Reflecting Pool to memorialize American lives lost, the committee said. Nearly 400,000 Americans have died in the pandemic.

The memorial is planned for 5:30 p.m. ET and will stream live on Biden Inaugural social media channels.

A television special hosted by Tom Hanks will air the night of the inauguration, Jan. 20. The program will be aimed at emphasizing the strength of U.S. democracy.

The "Celebrating America" prime-time special, which will air and stream live on multiple channels including NewsNOW from FOX, will include performances by Demi Lovato, Justin Timberlake, Ant Clemons and Jon Bon Jovi. Biden and Harris will also give remarks.