Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a Day of Service

Some of you may have today off, and if you do, the Corporation of National and Community Service wants you to see it as a “day ON”, not a day off.

Why? If you’re off work, you’re allowed to relax and take it easy, right? Of course you are! Here’s something you may not know about Martin Luther King Jr. Day: while it was signed into legislation as a holiday in 1983 to commemorate the birthday of the historic man, it was designated by Congress in 1994 as a day of service. The Corporation of National and Community Service was charged by Congress to lead the effort in getting people to volunteer on MLK Jr. Day. It’s intention is to “empower individuals, strengthen communities, bridge barriers, create solutions to social problems, and move us closer to Dr. King’s vision of a ‘Beloved Community’.”Doesn’t that sound like a great way to honor Martin Luther King, Jr. and his efforts to make the world a better place? Find ways to volunteer today by checking out this website.

The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is best known in his role as a pivotal figure in the 1960s Civil Rights Movement in the South. He remains a vital figure of the modern era, and continues to inspire people in the U.S. and around the world with his work.

Ordained at the young age of 19, Dr. King went on to complete both an undergraduate and a graduate degree, the latter at Boston University. After graduation, he accepted a request to serve at the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, where his involvement in the Civil Rights Movement began. He was an instrumental leader in the Montgomery Bus Boycott, made famous by the nonviolent resistance and arrest of Rosa Parks. In 1959, he left his position at the church and moved back to Atlanta to be the director of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

Sadly, Dr. King was shot while standing on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee, and died on April 4, 1968. His speeches, especially his famous “I have a dream” speech, live on to this day and is a shining beacon of selflessness and leadership.

How will you volunteer today to celebrate this man’s life and help his vision become real?

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