Three Ways To Celebrate MLK Day
As one of the most influential and inspiring leaders in our nation’s history, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a minister and civil rights activist that greatly impacted race relations in our country. Drawing upon his faith, Dr. King organized peaceful protests and delivered inspirational speeches. He brought messages of love, hope, and equality to all people, regardless of their background and heritage.
His vision, captured in his iconic “I Have a Dream” speech, still impacts people today and calls us to move forward with racial equality and justice. As we observe MLK Day to honor the contributions of this great leader, here are three ways you can celebrate Dr. King's life and legacy:
1. Participate in Local Events
The Collin County MLK Day Committee is sponsoring its Fifth Annual MLK Appreciation Service on January 17. For more information and event links, visit here
In light of the pandemic, Dallas will host its 40th annual celebration of the life and legacy of Dr. King with a series of virtual events. MLK Celebration Week will begin with a virtual wreath-laying ceremony and will include an online Candle Lighting Ceremony on Friday, January 14. Observances will feature a virtual Scholarship & Awards Gala on Saturday, January 15, and a day of prayer and reflection on Sunday, January 16. Other events include an online job fair, a field day, and a virtual parade. For more information and a full list of events, visit the Dallas MLK Center website.
2. Serve the Community
In 1983, the United States legislation declared the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr., as a federal holiday. In 1994, Congress designated this federal holiday as a national day of service, led by the Corporation for National and Community Service. Each year, MLK Day is a day of service that is intended to empower individuals, strengthen communities, and create solutions to social problems, bringing us a step closer to Dr. King’s vision of an equal and free society.
Look online for different listings of service opportunities in your area like this one.
Even if you can't participate in an organized project, think of a way you can make a difference in your own neighborhood. It can be as simple as greeting a new neighbor to show them love and acceptance, or collecting donations such as toiletry items and clothing for a local refugee center.
3. Celebrate with Your Family
Another great way to celebrate MLK Day is to educate your family about the value of diversity and different cultures. For example, you can read or listen to Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech together. After listening, talk with your children about the implications of this speech and what it means for us today.
If you have young children, picture books are an easy way to engage and inform them about Dr. King and the Civil Rights Movement. For an excellent list of children's books you can read and discuss together as a family, look here.
Different cultures find expression in many forms: food, music, and more. You can listen to music from another culture, or plan a family dinner where you and your family cook dishes from a different culture together. Vote on the dish your family likes the best, and learn more about the culture from which the dish comes!
Even if your family cannot serve in the community together, you can celebrate MLK Day by making a list of community issues such as homelessness, poverty, or broken families. Pick an issue and prayerfully create a plan for how your family can be a part of finding a solution. This will be a great way to help children become more aware of the world in which they live, as well as identify and solve problems where they are.
However you decide to celebrate, make the most of this upcoming holiday to remember the life and legacy of a great leader.
Interested in learning more about Dr. King and the Civil Rights Movement, or race in America? You can find a wealth of resources on this and other topics at RightNow Media by signing up for a free account, here.