This Martin Luther King Jr. Day, find ways to honor the prolific Civil Rights leader through educational team building or an official day of service. Read on for more ideas below!
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was the primary spokesperson for nonviolent activism and racial justice in the Civil Rights Movement, protesting racial discrimination in state and federal law. After his assassination in 1968, there was a major push for a federal holiday designated to commemorate King's legacy.
The holiday was signed into law by President Ronald Reagan in 1983, but wasn't observed until 1986. The bill also formed the Martin Luther King Jr. Federal Holiday Commission to oversee the observance of the holiday. Coretta Scott King, Martin Luther King Jr.'s wife, was honored with a lifetime appointment to this committee in 1989. Although federal recognition occurred in the late 1980's, it wasn't until the year 2000 that MLK Day was observed in all 50 states.
Many schools and businesses are closed to observed this national holiday, motivating students and employees to:
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was born on January 15, 1929. To celebrate his birthday, MLK Day is celebrated on the third Monday in January, annually.
This means that the holiday falls somewhere between January 15 and January 21 each year.
In anticipation of MLK Day, it's time to start planning your yearly community service projects and team building activities that honor King's dream of racial justice and peace for all.
Need some ideas to get you started? Here are three ideas to commemorate King's life this January:
Surely, you've heard MLK's "I have a dream" speech, but his racial and social justice work includes so much more. This MLK Day, take time to familiarize yourself with more of his early life and upbringing in Atlanta, GA, that led him to become such a pillar in the Civil Rights Movement.
Consider listening to some of his other, lesser-known speeches, marches, and public appearances that played a monumental role in gaining traction for the nonviolent approach in the Civil Rights Movement, and earned him the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964.
Why is this a great activity for MLK Day? Gathering your team together to dive deeper into MLK's history is a wonderful way to better understand the racial injustice he was protesting at the time, as well as examine the work that can still be done to fight for an equitable world for all.
How to get started 👉 Learn more about Dr. King in The MLK You Didn't Know!
Although MLK's life was taken much too soon, he left a revolutionary impact on our nation, and world as a whole. His speeches, sermons, and teachings on nonviolence have shaped artists, educators, and writers all over.
This MLK day, take time to examine works of art from local and national galleries that were created in response to racial injustice and MLK's teachings.
Why is this a great activity for MLK Day? There is so much that can be learned from works of art, especially when you take time to gather together and discuss them from our different perspectives.
How to get started 👉 See how MLK's dream has inspired others in Exploring MLK's Legacy Through Art!
The greatest way to celebrate MLK is by volunteering in your community. Plus, did you know? Aside from September 11th, MLK Day is the only federal holiday designated as a national day of service. It's the only national day of service dedicated to a single person and their history!
Here are some ways you can support your communities in King's honor this MLK Day:
Need some virtual volunteer opportunities? Here are some organizations you can support this MLK Day:
Why is this a great activity for MLK Day? MLK Day is a national day of service after all! There's no better way to remember Dr. King than by using your day off work or school as a day on the ground, contributing to a more accessible and inclusive society.
How to get started 👉 Encourage your employees to start brainstorming the ways they'll spend their day of service outside of the office. If you live nearby coworkers, form smaller groups to hold each other accountable and volunteer together!
On this MLK Day, we hope you'll prioritize gathering with your team to learn more about King's legacy and implement his teachings in a national day of service, finding ways you can serve your community.
Ready to add your MLK Day team building lesson to the company calendar? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to get started!