About Us

At the MLK Center everyone has the opportunity to learn, play, grow and find peace. By embracing the teachings and philosophies of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the MLK Center provides vital individual skills and family resources that allow residents in the Mid-North neighborhoods of Indianapolis to grow and enhance their lives.  Our approach helps people of all ages find - and remain on - their own paths to success and stability.  Dr. King believed that conflicts can be resolved peacefully.  In a committed Beloved Community, conflict ends with reconciliation of adversaries cooperating in a spirit of mutual respect and goodwill.  We work to make this possible in our culture.

The mission is rooted in the values we have established as a neighborhood leader of individual and family support for our residents:  to educate youth, empower families, and build community through quality multi-generational programs that advocate for our neighbors, promote racial justice, and provide a peaceful space to connect.



The MLK Center’s footprint area reflects tremendous demographic diversity, within the Indianapolis mid-north community. Funding of $60,000 was raised through the City of Indianapolis Community Service Program in 1972 with Indianapolis Settlements being the fiscal agency.
Operations began at 4155 Boulevard Place in January 1973 as the Butler Tarkington Multi-Service Center. We relocated to a converted house in Tarkington Park in 1977 at 3951 N Illinois.  In 1981, we changed our name to the Martin Luther King Multi-Service Cneter and expanded the service area.  We purchased the building at 3909 N Meridian in 1984 for $275,000. The service area is broad and programming is open to all families.  We've been at our current location of 40 W 40th Street since 1997.  Learn more about the history of Butler Tarkington neighborhood.

Left to Right: Charles Montgomery Sr. - Executive Director, Damon Roach, Mayor City of Indianapolis William H Hudnut III, Gene McFadden - Director of Community Services City of Indianapolis, Charles WIlliams - Special Assistant to the Mayor, Judge William Keithly - Chairman of the Board

Dorothy Unger - Executive Director Indianapolis Settlements, and members of the Board of Directors: Zenobia Green, Sue Lewis, Atty. Brenda Bowels, Doris Hicks Standing: Hugh Barfield, Charles Montgomery - Executive Director, Robert Riegel, James Payton, A.W. Hamilton, Judge William Keithly, Walter Smith, Joe Dietz, Jimmy Smith, Edward Vance, Joseph Carroll, Damon Roach, Al Ferguson, Tony Duncan

Dr. King's Six Principles of Nonviolence 

PRINCIPLE ONE:  Nonviolence is a way of life for courageous people. 
PRINCIPLE TWO:  Nonviolence seeks to win friendship and understanding. 
PRINCIPLE THREE:  Nonviolence seeks to defeat injustice, not people. 
PRINCIPLE FOUR:  Nonviolence believes that unearned suffering is redemptive. 
PRINCIPLE FIVE:  Nonviolence chooses love instead of hate. 
PRINCIPLE SIX:  Nonviolence believes that the universe is on the side of justice. 

Learn more from the King Center for Nonviolence and Social Change.