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Our History

The Long Beach Martin Luther King Center, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) charitable tax-exempt organization serving children, individuals and families in the City of Long Beach, and greater Nassau County, New York since 1998. Designated as the hub of the North Park residential area, the Long Beach MLK Center, Inc. is committed to developing innovative programming— maintaining and improving the well-being of youth, adults, and seniors.

The Long Beach Martin Luther King Center, Inc. traces its origin to 1967 when local African American

Community organizers began to develop an institution they could call their own, the Martin Luther King Center (MLK).  It took over 10 years for the young organization to receive funding directly from Nassau County.

With complete autonomy, community advocates began the long fight for the construction of a new MLK Center facility. The possibility of a new community center was a welcomed relief to the MLK Board, which had programs in three inadequate facilities for the first two years of their existence.  In 1981 completion of the MLK Community Center occurred simultaneously with the development of new MLK Center programs.                                                                                                

For over 40 years the total programming package of the MLK Center, Inc. has been a mixture of community activism, urban culture, traditional southern experience, and the traditional experiences of Caribbean American, Hispanic and Central American immigrants that have become a growing part of the North Park Community.  Open to residents regardless of race, national origin, immigration status, gender, age, disability or religion, the Long Beach Martin Luther King Center, Inc. prioritizes services offered to roughly 8,540 African and Caribbean Americans, Latin and Central American residents who live in the North Park residential area of the City. (2010 Census total population 33,275).

The Long Beach Martin Luther King Center, Inc.’s initial programming included a day care and early childhood education program. After school homework help and education enrichment services have been offered exclusively for the past 17 years, along with youth and adult recreational sports activities, summer camp, peer-mentoring and recidivism programs— with music and performing arts as a very important component of the Center’s programs since its inception.   The MLK Center has engaged in community activism and voter registration; sponsored programs for senior residents managed emergency relief projects and has provided emergency relief and human services over the years that are true collaborations between community leaders and volunteers, state and local elected officials of both parties, local churches, and concerned residents.