Written by Stevie Chilcote, VISTA Leader
Legacy of Service
In 1983, after a long struggle, legislation made the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. into a federal holiday to honor a man who believed in a nation of freedom
and justice for all. He spoke often of how non-violent resistance would lead to a “Beloved Community.” He said that its creation would require “a qualitative change in our souls as well as a quantitative change in our lives.” MLK Day became a call to action, and in 1994, Congress designated that MLK Day would be a day of service to pay homage to the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. MLK Day is our chance to empower communities, strengthen bonds, create solutions to social problems and work to better our “beloved community.”
“It is this type of understanding goodwill that will transform the deep gloom of the old age into the exuberant gladness of the new age.”
A Day On, Not a Day Off!
Dr. King asked of us, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: What are you doing for others?”
Supported by the Corporation for National and Community Service, Americans across the country answer the question by committing themselves to service in honor of the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Over 5,000 organizations have already registered events. So take the pledge to serve and work to build our “beloved community” on January 16th.
Find your service or register your event here.
You can also find lesson plans, videos, and resources here.
“You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve. You don’t have to know about Plato and Aristotle to serve. You don’t have to know Einstein’s theory of relativity to serve. You don’t have to know the second theory of thermodynamics in physics to serve. You only need a heart full of grace, a soul generated by love. And you can be that servant.”
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