Living the Dream of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
By: J. Chevont’e Alexander
“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: What are you doing for others?” – Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
These words, spoken by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. are a reflection of his lifelong dedication to perpetuate justice, hope and peace for everyone. Monday, January 19, 2015, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Federal Holiday is a National Day of Service, and a time to re-commit to serving each other and our communities.
The most recent proclamation by current President Barack Obama states that Monday, January 19, 2015 will be MLK Day. The proclamation states “I encourage all Americans to observe this day with appropriate civic, community, and service projects in honor of Dr. King and to visit MLKDay.gov to find Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service projects across our country.”
The official MLK Day website states: “Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a vital figure of the modern era and a pivotal figure in the Civil Rights Movement. His lectures and dialogues stirred the concern and sparked the conscience of a generation. His charismatic leadership inspired men and women, young and old, in this nation and around the world.”
Martin Luther King, Jr., was an American pastor, activist, humanitarian, and leader in the African-American Civil Rights Movement. He is best known for his role in the advancement of civil rights using nonviolent civil disobedience based on his Christian beliefs.
It is a day to remember the slain civil rights activist and humanitarian and to celebrate the things for which he stood. It is a day to once again demand payment on that check he talked about, the note that represented a “promise that all men would be guaranteed the inalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Click here to view Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Speech (I Have A Dream)
“Remember, Celebrate, Act”, serves as a reminder that the Dr. King holiday is a day for community and humanitarian service programs. Dr. King’s legacy extends far beyond the Civil Rights Movement. In fact, his legacy encompasses his entire life, including his selfless character and tireless service to others. In fulfilling life’s purpose, he exemplified what it means to give, volunteer and be a commanding force of positive change. On MLK Day, Americans across the country will honor Dr. King by helping their neighbors and communities. This Day of Service is a way to transform Dr. King’s life and teachings into community service that helps solve problems.
It is the only federal holiday observed as a national day of service and calls for Americans from all walks of life to work together to solve our most pressing national problems, the Corporation for National & Community Service has said.
HandsOn Greater Richmond invites Richmonders to take part in service projects taking place at nonprofit agencies and schools across the region that will focus on education, social issues, and strengthening the community. Search their online database for the volunteer opportunity that’s just right for you. You can also join the national conversation on Twitter by using #MLKDay or Facebook to share your volunteer experiences, perspectives, and insights.
“The MLK Day of Service is the only federal holiday observed as a national day of service – a ‘day on, not a day off,’” comments Erin Osiol, Program Manager for HandsOn Greater Richmond. “It’s a way to transform Dr. King’s life and teachings into community action that helps solve social problems and unite ourselves in volunteer service and answer a call to action to do what we, as Americans, do best – lend a hand, help our neighbors – and build better communities. HandsOn Greater Richmond is honored to play a role in mobilizing volunteers on this important day.”
Find out about events going on in your area by visiting your local library, or visiting: http://www.handsonrva.org/mlkday.
Watch a short film, participate in discussion, and hear from experts from the Moton Museum in Farmville, VA. Moton, a former high school and now a National Historic Landmark and museum, produced three-fourths of the plaintiffs in Brown v. Board of Education (1954), the landmark Supreme Court decision desegregating U.S. schools. Moderated by the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities.
Science Museum of Virginia Thalhimer Theater
2500 W. Broad Street, Richmond, VA 23220
Monday, January 19, 2015
3:30 p.m. FREE.
Space is limited, so be sure to arrive early
As we reflect back on Dr. King’s life and legacy this upcoming MLK Day, let his words of purpose, action and introspection motivate us all to deflect the attention away from our own individualistic desires to our responsibility to society and mankind. There is still work to be done.
What are you doing for others?
The Richmond community has several events going on to commemorate Dr. King. Plan to attend one or a few of the events listed.
Wednesday, January 14, 2015
MLK Kickoff with David Banner
Doors open at 6 p.m. – Event begins at 7 p.m.
Virginia Commonwealth University, University Student Commons, Commonwealth Ballrooms
Join the VCU community in celebrating the beginning of the 2015 MLK Week with a keynote speaker. Tickets required for all.
Please contact Ms. Niya Flemmings at email@example.com.
Friday, January 16, 2015
Virginia & the Civil Right Movement: Panel Discussion
Virginia Commonwealth University – Commons Theater, University Student Commons, Common Ground
This featured panel of historians and trailblazers will discuss the Civil Rights Movement in Richmond and across the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Featured panelists include:
- Henry L. Marsh, III
- Commissioner, Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control and the First African American Mayor of Richmond
- Carmen F. Foster, Ed.D.
- Educational Consultant and Adjunct Faculty, Federal Executive Institute
- Jody L. Allen, Ph.D.
- Visiting Assistant Professor, Lemon Project Co-Chair and Managing Director, The College of William and Mary
Moderated by: John Kneebone, Ph.D., Chair, VCU History Department.
Fine Art Benefit & Sale Presented by MEGA Mentors
Location: Hippodrome Theater
528 N 2nd St, Richmond, VA
Doors Open 4 p.m.
Freedom of Expression Expose´ 4:30 p.m.-7 p.m.
Drumline Competition at 5 p.m.
Virginia Union University vs. Virginia State University
Basketball Game at 7 p.m.
Location: Richmond Coliseum
601 E Leigh Street, Richmond, VA
Monday, January 19, 2015
Living the Dream, Richmond’s annual commemoration of the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., will hold its 2015 Citywide Mass Meeting at 10 a.m. at Cedar Street Baptist Church, 2301 Cedar St, Richmond, VA 23223. The program will feature guest speaker Rev. Peter Wherry, Pastor of the Mayfield Memorial Baptist Church, Charlotte, N.C. The Mass Meeting is free and open to the public.
The annual Community Leaders’ Breakfast will be held at the Claude G. Perkins Living and Learning Center on the campus of Virginia Union University on Friday, January 16, 2015 at 7:30 a.m. This program will feature George Keith Martin, Esq., Managing Partner of McGuire Woods LLP and Rector of the UVA Board of Visitors. For ticket information, contact Lisa Wynn at 342-3938
“Dr. King devoted his life to advancing equality, social justice, and economic opportunity for all. He challenged us to build a more perfect union and taught us that everyone has a role to play. Five decades later, we still have work to do to realize Dr. King’s dream,” the website of the corporation that oversees volunteer programs says. “The MLK National Day of Service is an opportunity to re-commit ourselves as citizens by volunteering in service to one another. … Working together, we will create economic opportunities by improving education, strengthening health care services, and improving financial literacy.”
It is considered “a day on, not a day off.”