Why Do We Celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day?
January 1, 2020
Statue of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on a red background with white Diversity, Equity and Inclusion logo and BC logo watermark.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a social activist and Baptist minister who played a key role in the American civil rights movement from the mid-1950s until his assassination in 1968. King sought equality and human rights for African Americans, the economically disadvantaged and all victims of injustice through peaceful protest. He was the driving force behind watershed events such as the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the 1963 March on Washington, which helped bring about such landmark legislation as the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act. King was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 and is remembered each year on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a U.S. federal holiday since 1986.
In 1983 President Ronald Reagan signed a bill creating a U.S. federal holiday in honor of King after years of campaigning by many including activists, members of Congress and Coretta Scott King, the American author, activist, civil rights leader, and wife of Dr. King. Observed on the third Monday of January, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day was first celebrated in 1986.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day has become the most recognized day on the calendar for community service. King spoke of service, community, empowerment, and nonviolence. In recognition of the national holiday, and in honor of King’s humanitarian contributions, Baker College on-ground campus facilities will be closed. To keep in the spirit of Dr. King, we are asking faculty, staff, and students to be active on this day and spread the word of service. We are also asking all to commemorate the month of January as the “Martin Luther King Service and Learning” month by volunteering in the local community, attending an MLK event, and encouraging faculty to observe Martin Luther King, Jr. with course-related activities that honor his memory.
Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration at the Flint Public Library and the Flint Institute of Arts. Commemorate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with a full day of free activities that emphasize identity, unity, and community engagement.
Auburn Hills / Oakland:
Rising Above Expectations presentation at Oakland University by Life Coach, Motivational Speaker, Author, and Confidence-Builder Christopher D. Coleman. Coleman shares strategies on how to let the situations we are in sharpen our character enough to live our lives above reproach.
Author and Activist Alice Marie Johnson will be at Calvin University sharing her story of hope, mercy, and gratitude while making the public aware of the realities of life behind bars and the importance of the ongoing struggle to end mass incarceration.
Muskegon Museum of Art Free Community Day. Museum doors will be open to welcome the community this day in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Visitors can enjoy the galleries, films in the auditorium, crafts in the classroom, and mini-tours led by docents and Muskegon High School art students.
24th Annual MLK Unity Breakfast- Muskegon Community College is hosting the 24th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Unity Breakfast with keynote speaker, Theo Wilson, who is a spoken- word artist and author of The Law of Action. Baker College is a proud sponsor of this event.
Remember, you can make a commitment to others and your community, and model the behavior that Dr. King would promote: acceptance, empowerment, and nonviolence. We hope to make this a BakerProud tradition, as our faculty, staff, and students can continue to serve their community, and honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., all year.