Many of us take a day off from work or classes on the third Monday in January to honor the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. This day has been designated a national holiday since 1983, but since 1994 it has also been designated a national day of service.
The MLK Day of Service provides an opportunity for all Americans to help bring Dr. King’s vision of a “Beloved Community” a little closer to reality by engaging in action that helps solve social problems, working against the triple evils of poverty, racism, and militarism to create a society where all people can share in the wealth of the earth, and conflicts are resolved peacefully through a mutual commitment to King’s principles, philosophy, and techniques of nonviolence.
How You Can Be Involved
- Visit the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service Web site to learn what opportunities are available in your community and how you can participate.
- Both the University of North Texas and Texas Woman’s University have service projects scheduled.
- The communities of North Texas will come together in a virtual, nonpolitical, interfaith civic event at 6:00 p.m., with the theme “A Beloved Community: Justice for All.”
- The Presidential Inaugural Committee will host “United We Serve: A Celebration of the National MLK Day of Service” on Monday in honor of the holiday. Commit yourself to serving your community on January 18 and throughout the year. Activities will culminate at 8:00 p.m. Eastern time in an hour-long celebration that you can watch virtually at the PIC website or on their social media.
Learn More About Martin Luther King, Jr.
More information about Dr. King and his philosophy can be found at The King Center for Nonviolent Social Change. Shortly after Dr. King’s assassination, his widow Coretta Scott King established this nongovernmental, nonprofit organization to provide research, education, and training in King’s principles, philosophy, and techniques of nonviolence. The Center champions the causes of freedom, justice, and equality by working to eliminate poverty, build community, and foster peace.
Other resources, including a large collection of online documents, are available at Stanford University’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute.
Other Ways You Can Make a Difference
Service to your community doesn’t have to be limited to one day a year! Learn more about ways you can become active in your national, state, and local community at the UNT Libraries Civic Engagement Portal.
Let’s each take some time on this special day to make a contribution to our community, keeping in mind these immortal words of Dr. King:
Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or the darkness of destructive selfishness. Life’s most persistent and urgent question is what are you doing for others?
Article by Bobby Griffith