Arlington resident and Civil Rights activist Joan Trumpauer Mulholland will deliver the keynote address at the county's annual Martin Luther King Jr. tribute, which is 7 to 9 p.m. Sunday at Washington-Lee High School.
As a young woman, Mulholland was involved with the student Nonviolent Action Group at Howard University, a group that held sit-ins in Arlington and Glen Echo in 1960.
She and fellow activist Dion Diamond were confronted by members of the American Nazi Party during one such sit-in at the Cherrydale Drug Fair counter in 1960 — a protest that eventually resulted in the desegregation of area drug stores, according to Arlington County.
Mulholland spent 200 days in jail after the 1961 Freedom Rides from New Orleans to Jackson, Miss. She later helped integrate a college in Jackson. A clip from "An Ordinary Hero," a documentary about Mulholland's life, will be shown during Sunday night's event.
The family-friendly program will also include live music from the Duke Ellington School of the Arts Show Choir, dance from Lesole’s Dance Project and a volunteer fair featuring area nonprofits will be held an hour before the event. A exhibit on Arlington during the Civil Rights era will be on display all night.
Arlington began its annual Martin Luther King Jr. tribute in 1969, the year after King's assassination, to carry on his legacy, according to a county news release. It is now in its 45th year.
The event is free.