By Amy Boglarski
Every year, we celebrate the third Monday of January as a federal holiday in honor of the well-known civil rights leader Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Unlike other federal holidays, the MLK Day of Service is also a national day of service, encouraging people to donate their time to giving back. The Corporation for National and Community Service leads this mission and provides many community service opportunities all across the United States. Giving back is the perfect way to honor Dr. King, as he was an advocate for solving social problems and the needs of the community.
Image Courtesy of the Corporation for National and Community Service
About Dr. King
Martin Luther King, Jr. was born on January 15, 1929 in Atlanta, Georgia. He followed in his familys legacy in becoming a Baptist minister in 1948 and earned his doctorate in systematic theology in 1955. In 1955, Dr. King also became the leader of the American Civil Rights Movement, advocating for racial equality. Dr. King advocated nonviolence by leading peaceful protests and giving powerful speeches. His I Have a Dream speech, which he made during the March on Washington in 1963, is one of the most notable speeches in American history. Dr. King then went on to win a Noble Peace Prize in 1964 for his efforts leading the American Civil Rights Movement. Dr. Kings work with the American Civil Rights Movement resulted in the Civil Rights Act in 1964 making it illegal to discriminate against anyone based on race and the Voting Rights Act in 1965, which erased local laws that did not let African-Americans vote. After these two monumental victories for the Civil Rights Movement, Dr. King focused more on economic issues and international peace. Unfortunately, Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated on April 4, 1968. We remember Dr. King today through his monument on the National Mall in Washington, DC and on the MLK Day of Service every year.
How to Get Involved
The Corporation for National and Community Service provides many opportunities to engage in service projects across the country of the MLK Day of Service. You can find one of these projects on their [url=http://www.nationalservice.gov/mlkday]webpage[/url] by providing your zip code and finding the project closed to you. There are additional links to more service organizations found on the [url=http://www.nationalservice.gov/special-initiatives/days-service/martin-luther-king-jr-day-service/about-dr-king-and-mlk-day#howcanIserveMLK]MLK Day page[/url] You can also register your own service project or event as part of the MLK Day of Service. The CNCS challenges everyone to make [url=http://www.nationalservice.gov/special-initiatives/days-service/pledge-to-serve]pledge to serve[/url] and give back on the Day of Service.
Service and Education
One of the focus areas of the CNCS is education, with more information on that mission [url=http://www.nationalservice.gov/focus-areas/education]provided here[/url]. A great way to get involved on the MLK Day of Service is to support educational opportunities, like Givology partners do every day. This can be through finding a service project through the CNCS or through supporting projects and students through Givology.
[url=http://www.nationalservice.gov/special-initiatives/days-service/martin-luther-king-jr-day-service/about-dr-king-and-mlk-day#howcanIserveMLK]Corporation for National and Community Service[/url]
[url=http://www.thekingcenter.org/about-dr-king]The King Center[/url]
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