On Monday, January 17, 2022, we will observe and honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr's life and work. Dr. King dedicated his life to service, championing the civil rights movement. Some of his greatest achievements include:
At the age of 26, he led the Montgomery Bus Boycott which started December 5, 1955, four days after Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery bus to a white man, and lasted for 385 days. The protest ended on December 20, 1956 after the US Supreme Court ruled that segregation on public buses was unconstitutional.
He was the youngest recipient (at the age of 35) of the Nobel Peace Prize which he was awarded for his “non-violent struggle for civil rights for the Afro-American population.”
He was instrumental in organizing the March on Washington in August 1963. This was where he delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech to over 250,000 in front of the Lincoln Memorial.
The federal holiday came into being on January 20, 1986 and is observed with government offices and most schools and businesses closed.
The King Center’s theme for MLK Day in 2022 is: “It Starts with Me: Shifting Priorities to Create the Beloved Community.” To learn more visit the King Center website.
In many communities, MLK Day is observed as a day of community service. What will you do on MLK Day?
Here are some suggestions:
Learn about Dr. King and his work. Teach your children about him. Read a book, watch a film. There are so many resources to learn more about this great man and his work. Did you know that he started college at the age of 15? How many times did he go to jail fighting for civil rights? What were his values? What was his mission?
Attend a local function in his honor. Find out what your community is doing to honor Dr. King. Some places have parades; some offer the opportunity to view documentaries. Your library may be offering a special event for students that you can attend with your child.
Participate in the National Day of Service. MLK Day has been designated as a National Day of Service. The organization AmeriCorps has been charged with leading this effort, and you can find information about volunteer opportunities in your area here: https://americorps.gov/newsroom/events/mlk-day
Promote Dr. King's Message through Social Media. Take action through social media. Share his message of working together to build a better, more equitable world and end racial injustice. Not sure what to post? Check out this site: https://thesocialpresskit.com/daysofservice
MLK Day is just one day of observance each year, but the lessons Dr. King taught - his words and his actions - can inspire us every day. So, don't just look at MLK Day as a "day off"; take action, be a part of the change.
“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed — we hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.”
Martin Luther King Jr.