MLK Day celebrates the birthday of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. And in 1994, the holiday was officially designated as Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service. Ever since, hundreds of thousands of Americans have embraced the annual holiday by devoting their time, money, and labor to nonprofits across the country. But why is service so intertwined with the holiday? And what did service mean to Martin Luther King Jr.?
Who Was Martin Luther King Jr.?
Martin Luther King Jr. was an activist who committed himself to racial justice. He fought for systemic change and was instrumental in improving labor rights, securing the right to vote for Black people, and protesting Jim Crow. His goal was to create a world in which all men and women would be treated as equals, and he wished to be remembered as someone who devoted his life to serving others. In that spirit, Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service is a time to honor Martin Luther King Jr. by reflecting on community values, committing to anti-racist work, and making a difference in society.
How Can I Devote Myself to Systemic Change?
Systemic change starts with individual change. It’s important to actively reflect on ways in which our views and actions are harmful, even inadvertently. This is especially true when it comes to racism.
In order to become anti-racist, start by buying books about anti-racism from Black-owned bookstores. You can also donate to organizations committed to helping BIPOC communities and social initiatives. And if you see someone being racist, call it out, even if it’s uncomfortable.
Another way to honor King on this day of service is by volunteering. Our wonderful nonprofit partners could use your help, and we’d love to set up a project.
If you’d like to make a difference and serve your community, reach out to us today.