January 15, 2021
Find out how you can celebrate MLK Day in the most meaningful way.
On August 28, 1963, Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his most memorable speech, “I Have a Dream,” on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. It was one infused with hope that a nation divided by race and culture could one day come together to celebrate those differences. While there is still a lot of work to be done in the civil rights landscape to ensure Dr. King’s dream is realized, progress is being made.
To honor him, the third Monday of every January is recognized as a federal holiday. It’s important to remember that it’s not just another day off, but a day of service. Here are a few ways you can celebrate Dr. King’s legacy and honor his dream.
Participate in a March or Event
Every year cities across the U.S. put on educational and celebratory events to honor Martin Luther King, Jr. Search your area to find one near you. Due to the pandemic, some events may have shifted to a virtual format. You don’t have to go far to feel the power of the movement that still marches on over a 100 years later. Join online or tune in from home to hear inspirational speeches from Black leaders in your community via your wifi connection.
Watch a Documentary or Movie
Movies and documentaries can help bring some of the information found in textbooks to life. Our Friend, Martin is an animated film that features historical footage of Dr. King and the civil rights movement. This film is tailored for children and can serve as a great way to start a conversation with your kids about what MLK Day is all about. Dive even deeper into history by streaming Selma on Netflix, a film that follows the dangerous side of campaigning for equal rights in 1965. You can also search Cox Contour for a variety of films on the civil rights movement, Dr. King and a number of other topics surrounding Black lives.
Support a Black-Owned Business
Take the time to support and empower individuals by frequenting Black-owned companies in your community. When you shop, dine or buy gift certificates from Black-owned businesses, you can help close the racial wealth gap and create more opportunities for people to save, grow and prosper. With support from one another, we can help make Dr. King’s dream of creating a stronger and better unified nation come true.
On this day of service, why not use your time to give back to a community or individual in need? The Corporation for National and Community Service is a database you can search for volunteer opportunities near you. Options can include helping clean a neighborhood, serving at a soup kitchen or donating items to an organization. There are also ways to virtually volunteer if you’d prefer to stay socially distanced due to the pandemic. Dr. King was all about working together to make the world a better place. You can help make that happen by giving a bit of your time to assist those around you.
Start a Conversation
Take the time to tell your kids all about what MLK Day symbolizes and who Dr. King was. The way the civil rights movement is taught in school may vary depending on the teacher and curriculum. Use the day to read books, dive deeper in to Dr. King’s speeches and have open conversations with your kids about inequality challenges still prevalent today. Honor his dream by continuing his fight for equality through education, kindness and unity.