Across the nation, local governments are finding unique ways to get their residents involved to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Jan 12, 2018 | BLOG POST
Monday, January 15, is Martin Luther King Day. For many local communities, this day is full of events honoring Dr. King's legacy and opportunities for giving back through service and volunteerism. With his background in mind, here are some highlights of what communities are doing to make this day of service a success.
Bloomington, Indiana, has a Dr. Martin Luther King Birthday Commission that sponsors events on the actual holiday. These include service activities and giving a special award to residents who embody Dr. King's legacy. This commission not only holds events on the holiday itself but also sponsors activities throughout the year that are focused on promoting “Justice, Racial Harmony, and Equal Opportunity.”
Arlington County, Virginia, is another local government that is partnering with all types of organizations in the community to put together programs tackling a range of issues. Plus, there are activities for people of all ages, including both service projects and training opportunities that provide not only an immediate impact on Monday but also a lasting impact in the county.
For Lancaster, California, MLK Day of Service is an opportunity not just to volunteer on specific projects but to also harness the energy that this day represents, which is helping achieve progress on ongoing projects. In 2017, for example, the city had the help of more than 1,000 volunteers, and this year is using some of those volunteers to cleanup illegal disposal dumps that are an ongoing public health problem for the city.
For some communities, this day of service is also an opportunity to engage residents in discussion and reflection on Dr. King's legacy. In Athens-Clarke County, Georgia, residents are engaging with a visual arts presentation by local youth, as well as art from more than 400 students who live in the Athens area.