The longest-running celebration of its kind in the United States, the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Breakfast marked its 50th anniversary in 2020 with a multifaceted, passion-filled program. Bishop Michael Curry, the first African American to serve as a presiding bishop in the Episcopal Church, delivered the keynote address.

Boston’s St. Cyprian’s Episcopal Church  and  Union United Methodist Church originally founded and continue to host the annual MLK Breakfast. Net proceeds from the event support the churches’ community programs and services.  The MLK Breakfast regularly attracts an audience of prominent business, civic, community, and religious leaders, as well as advocates from educational and community organizations.  

Boston holds special significance in the life of Martin Luther King Jr. Although Dr. King was born in Atlanta, he considered Boston a second home. The civil rights leader lived in the cradle of liberty while earning his doctorate from Boston University, and he met his wife, Coretta Scott, during his years in Boston. In addition, the city’s revolutionary history had a profound influence on him. He went on to deliver several historic speeches in Boston, such as the oration following his being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. In 1965, Dr. King led the first civil rights march in the Northeast, from Roxbury to the Boston Common. “Now is the time to make real the promise of democracy,” he proclaimed. “Now is the time.”

Today, the MLK Breakfast inspires us both to commemorate Dr. King’s life and to continue his mission to build a more perfect union. Now is the time.

Past Keynote Speakers


Jelani Cobb
Dean of the Columbia Journalism School, and Writer for The New Yorker


Annette Gordon-Reed
Historian, Harvard Law Professor, and Author of the New York Times bestseller, On Juneteenth


Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II
Co-Chair, Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival


Michael Curry
Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church



Sheyann Webb-Christburg
Civil Rights Activist and author


Bakari Sellers
Attorney and politician


Callie Crossley
Commentator and producer


Ruth Simmons
Former Brown University president

St. Cyprian’s Episcopal Church
1073 Tremont Street
Boston, MA 02120
Tel: (617) 427-6175

Union United Methodist Church
485 Columbus Avenue
Boston, MA 02118
Tel: (617) 536-0872