Martin Luther King Jr. Day: National Day of Service
Submitted by YPG’s Equal Employment Opportunity Office
The Martin Luther King (MLK),
Jr. holiday is an official day of service and celebrates the civil rights leader’s legacy.
Jan. 16, 2023, the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday will mark the 28th anniversary of the National Day of Service. This day was established to honor the life and legacy of King, and to encourage all Americans to volunteer to improve their communities.
Americans celebrated the first official MLK Day, which is the only federal holiday commemorating an African American, on Mon.,
Jan. 20, 1986. In 1994, Congress designated the holiday as a National Day of Service and marking the third Monday in January every year as the MLK, Jr. Day of Service - a “day on, not a day off.”
King advocated for nonviolent resistance to overcome injustice as a means of lifting racial oppression. He created change with organized sit-ins, marches, and peaceful demonstrations that highlighted issues of inequality. King received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964; he was the youngest person to ever receive this high honor.
He followed in the footsteps of his grandfather and father by entering the ministry to become a Baptist minister. On April 4, 1968, at the age of 39, he was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee as he stood on the balcony of his hotel. King traveled to Memphis, to lead a march in support of striking sanitation workers.
United We Serve
The MLK National Day of Service is a defining moment each year when Americans across the country step up to make communities more equitable and take action to create the “beloved community” of King’s dream. While King believed the “beloved community” was possible, he acknowledged and fought for systemic change. His example is our call to action.
During the last quarter-century, the MLK Day of Service has grown, and its impact increased as more Americans embraced the idea that citizenship involves taking an active role in improving communities.
Jan. 16, and the days surrounding, AmeriCorps invites you to:
(a) engage with your community and create constructive action.
(b) act on Dr. King’s legacy of social justice and equity; and
(c) recommit by volunteering to serve others. You can clean up a public space, mentor a young person, or help those who are food insecure.
Use the AmeriCorps Volunteer Search https://americorps.gov/ newsroom/events/mlk-day powered by VolunteerMatch, to find an opportunity near you through one of these organizations: AmeriCorps, Idealist, California Volunteers, Catholic Volunteer Network, JustServe, MENTOR, Volunteer. gov (National Park Service), and VolunteerMatch.
Honor King’s memory by organizing, volunteering, and spreading the word. Remember to, “make it a day on, not a day off”, for you and those around you.
Disclaimer: This information is provided to help the YPG community celebrate a federal holiday and support the equal opportunity program. Any mention of a non-federal entity is only for these purposes and is not intended as an endorsement, stated, or implied, of any non-federal entity. Volunteering with any non-federal entity must be on personal time and in your personal capacity. The U.S. Government will not be responsible or liable for your actions as a volunteer for any nonfederal entity.