Monday, January 18, 2021 represents more than just the first day of spring semester classes; it is also Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (MLK Day). On November 2, 1983, President Ronald Reagan designated the third Monday of January to be a federal holiday honoring Martin Luther King, Jr. (“MLK federal holiday declared,” 2010). Many businesses and schools are closed on MLK Day, making it a great day to carry forward Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy of service to others.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. led nonviolent movements to achieve legal equality for African Americans in the United States (“About Dr. King Overview,” 2020). He worked within grassroot efforts to gain the attention of and action towards overcoming injustices. Dr. King also worked to register African American voters in the south and led marches to increase African American voter turnout. It is likely that his efforts in the 1950s and 1960s still play a pivotal role in today’s elections. Further, Dr. King’s efforts in the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the 1963 March on Washington helped bring about the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (“Martin Luther King, Jr.”, 2009). These were two of the most significant legislation enacted and have forever changed our nation. Dr. King’s contributions to the civil rights movement highlighted his service to others and improved the lives of many Americans.
On this National Day of Service we ask, “what are you doing for others?” Here are some great ideas that you could do, on your own, to serve others:
- Host a school supplies drive
- Donate medical supplies
- Serve meals at a shelter
- Become a mentor or tutor
- Make cards for a local senior citizen center
- Participate in trash clean up
- Give blood
- Deliver groceries to others in need
We recently asked Baker College students to reflect on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s messages of equality and service to others. Take a few minutes to check out the winning essay submissions. Congratulations to all of the winners!
We’d like to know what you are doing for others. Share your story on social media and tag Baker College. We love to see photos too!
About Dr. King Overview. (2020). Retrieved from https://thekingcenter.org/about-dr-king/
Martin Luther King, Jr. (2009, November). Retrieved from https://www.history.com/topics/black-history/martin-luther-king-jr
MLK federal holiday declared. (2010, February). Retrieved from https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/mlk-federal-holiday-declared