Day-off or Day-on? Citizens making an impact on MLK Day

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After the alarm snoozes for the fifth time and the image of the office is far away from your head, the thought of what to do on a rare day away from the your job.  When Congress declared Martin Luther King Jr. Day a national day of service in 1994, they answered these thoughts.  Today, a national day of service, is now to be a day on, where edges of communities collaborate, volunteers come together for a common cause bonding them in one purpose, and activists lead conversations on where to go where Dr. King left off.   

In metro Louisville and Jefferson county, volunteer opportunities to serve meals at the Salvation Army, to connect with others at the Catholic Charities of Louisville, to donate to Dare to Care, to help the Home of the Innocents, or to give to Metro United Way

Dr. King posed the question, "Life's most persistent and urgent question is: What are you doing for others?"  Last Sunday, Mayor Greg Fischer honored Suzy Post, a longtime activist, with the 2014 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Freedom Award.   Post is known as an icon of modern civil rights struggle and is the last surviving plaintiff of the 1970’s lawsuit that forced the city’s public schools to desegregate.  Post’s dedicated work in the community shows us what "a true citizen advocate can do to change a community and society,” said Mayor Fischer. 

The Louisville community commemorates this day off with a variety of events open to the public.  UofL’s Playhouse Theatre puts on a production not only to honor the values of Dr. King, but also to recognize those who are a part of Kentucky African American Women in Civil Rights Movement.  This event is free to the public and will begin at 1pm. 

Shawnee Presbyterian Church celebrates their day off of work with a community gathering “Turning Legacy into Action”.  The Sowers of Justice Network collaborates on this event with breakout sessions focused on nonviolence, gun violence, immigration rights and labor rights.  This event is free and open to the public from 11 am to 2 pm. 

For the kids, who only know that Martin Luther King Jr. Day means no school, Louisville hosts events tailored to them and the values Dr. King held.  The Muhammad Ali Center is hosting free screenings every hour of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I have a dream” speech.  Louisville Visual Art Association also hosts a MLK day workshop where your child will create mixed media and tissue paper artistic masterpiece. 

As volunteers forgo their office desks, they take on Dr. King’s mantra “Everybody can be great, because everybody can serve."  

About Caitlyn Crenshaw
Lover of sweet tea and books.
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