On February 12, 2013 Harrisonburg resident Stan Maclin asked city council to name a street for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. On April 9th, a task force was appointed by the city to select a street to be named. On August 13, 2013, in agreement with an overwhelming show of support, City council voted to rename Cantrell Avenue. The new street signs will read Martin Luther King, Jr. Way.

During the ‘other matters’ section of the Harrisonburg City Council meeting of September 24, 2013, Council Member Kai Degner was authorized to respond to a coalition of groups interested in working on the Martin Luther King, Jr. Way renaming by establishing a planning committee for the event. As chair of the planning committee, Degner provides resources to the committee and serves as liaison to the city. The committee consists of a coalition of groups and individuals, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Way Coalition. The Coalition was formed by former members of the street renaming task force and other groups and individuals who were significantly involved in the street renaming effort. The chair of the coalition is Stan Maclin. The coordinator of the coalition and the event is Elaine Blakey.

Groups and individuals continue to come forward with support in terms of services and material and with endorsements and participation.