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History Of The Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center

MLK StatueFall 1966: Dallas City Officials initiate a feasibility study regarding a multi-service community center

December 1966: Dallas is one of 14 cities invited to participate in The Neighborhood Services Pilot Program sponsored jointly by the U.S. Department of Labor, Housing and Urban Development, Health, Education and Welfare, the Bureau of the Budget, and the Office of Economic Opportunity.

February 1967: After considerable citizen input, the Dallas City Council passed a resolution accepting the invitation.

August 1967: The Crossroads Capital Improvements Bond Issue was approved by the voters of Dallas.

November 1968: The Crossroads Board began meeting to formulate policy for the Center.

February 1969: The Crossroads Community Center opened in renovated buildings on its 10.5 acre site. The center provided an interim program of administration, client intake and referral, medical and health care, employment and welfare assistance, community organization, neighborhood and housing improvement and day care for children.

June 1971: Core service staff and representatives of 13 affiliate agencies move into the newly built Core Services Building and medical staff moved into the Medical and Health Building.

MLK StatueJune 1972: The Dallas voters approved a Bond Issue to fund the Library, Child Care Center, and the Recreation Center.

January 1975: The Center was renamed The Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center.

October 1975: First Harambee Festival held on the grounds of the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center.

July 3, 1976: Martin Luther King Jr. Statute dedicated as part of the United States Bicentennial Celebration. The statue was unveiled by Martin Luther King Sr. More than 4000 people attended the event.

MLK Center 1982January 1982: The Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center’s first annual Awards Banquet and parade was held.

October 1996: More than 25,000 people attended the annual Harambee Festival.

Summer 2000: Friends of Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center established.

December 2002: The Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center received more than $500,000.00 to open a Computer Technology Center.

October 2004: Dallas’ first Community Court was opened at the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center.



More than 300,000 Dallas citizens receive services from the MLK Center every year. The Center is located on a 10.5 acre campus in five free-standing buildings. Each building provides a variety of services meeting the original 1966 goal of a comprehensive multi-service community center. Currently there are more than 16 affiliate agencies operating within the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center. The MLK Center and its affiliate agencies also provide a Summer Fan Drive in June; Thanksgiving Food Baskets and Dinner for the Homeless in November and the Santa Claus Toy Project in December.

Current Affiliate Agencies include:

Child Care Services Building B   214-670-8528
The Family Place Core Building A   214-565-0255
Child Care Group (Head Start) Building D   214-670-8365
Dallas Metro Care Core Building A   214-670-8446
MLK Jr. Family Clinic Building B   214-426-3645
Showers of Blessings Food Pantry Core Building A   214-670-8434
Texas Workforce Center Core Building A   214-421-2460
MLK Information Core Building A   214-670-8418
MLK Jr. Branch Library Building C   214-670-0344
Emergency Social Services Core Building A   214-670-8442
Community Technology Center Core Building A   214-670-8609
Community Court Core Building A   214-670-7129
Community Services Core Building A 214-670-8486
MLK Recreation Center Building E   214-670-8363
South Dallas Fair Park Trust Fund Core Building A   214-670-8268
WIC Program Building B   214-670-8506
Senior Citizens Program Building E   214-670-8169

In addition many civic, social, educational, fraternal and community groups meet at the center on a regular basis. The MLK Jr. Center serves as a polling site in all elections. The Center frequently hosts job fairs and is used for recruitment by the military, colleges and universities, as well as local businesses. Annual community celebrations include: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Celebration, African American History Month, Cinco de Mayo, Juneteenth, Hispanic Heritage Month, and the Harambee Festival.

All residents and their friends and family also have access to the MLK Jr. Center, which provides space for programs, meetings, special events, and additional requests made by residents of our community. Many friends and neighbors volunteer at the MLK Jr. Center to participate in the many activities that are held during the year. The people who volunteer understand the fine line between giving and receiving and at the end of a long day of serving others, the boundary between give and take dissolve and so do many of the cultural differences between the people who have come to be an asset of the community.

Martin Luther King Jr. Center Board of Directors
Board Chair Dr. Michael Waters
Board Vice Chair (District 5) Ms. Lois Lilly
District-2 Ms. Sandra Biggs
District-3 Ms. Patricia Stephens
District-4 Mr. Nathan Rogers
District-6 Ms. Jearldine McDaniel
District-8 Mr. Randall C. Parker


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