MLK Day is Also a Day of Service Throughout DeKalb

What does MLK Day mean to you?

Monday, Jan. 21 is Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and DeKalb County volunteers will be participating in a number of projects today.

Dunwoody volunteers are set to help build a new trail at the Dunwoody Nature Center.

According to CrossRoadsNews, volunteers in Dunwoody are set to help build a new trail at the Dunwoody Nature Center, and also line the sides of the trail with downed tree branches, spread mulch and remove invasive plants.

The media outlet reports that other DeKalb projects include:

  • Building picnic tables, planting flowers, painting, and cleaning the grounds of Snapfinger Elementary School and Clifton Springs Mental Health Center.
  • Arts and crafts and small construction projects, and cleaning and painting at Tucker High School.
  • Cleaning and organizing the retreat house at Davidson-Arabia Mountain Nature Preserve and mulch walking trails at Wilburn Farm, in Lithonia.
  • Picking up trash, landscaping, planting bulbs and spreading mulch at Kittredge and LaVista parks.

Brookhaven city offices will also be closed for the national holiday.

More than 3,000 volunteers of all ages will be putting work into the national Martin Luther King Jr. Day by giving of their time cleaning up and beautifying schools, community centers and theaters, and doing projects for seniors and shut-ins.

For some, the national holiday honoring the prominent civil rights activist is a time to give back and serve the community, be it through removing graffiti or picking up litter in a local park.

For others, it’s an opportunity to educate themselves about King and his life's work. And for others, it’s a time to just kick back and enjoy the prolonged weekend.

So, tell us—What does Martin Luther King Jr. Day mean to you? What are you doing to commemorate King’s legacy?

The Holiday's History

Martin Luther King Jr. Day, now a U.S. holiday, took 15 years to create.

Legislation was first proposed by Congressman John Conyers (D-Michigan) four days after King was assassinated in 1968.

The bill was stalled, but Conyers, along with Rep. Shirley Chisholm (D-New York), pushed for the holiday every legislative session until it was finally passed in 1983, following civil rights marches in Washington. 

Then-president Ronald Reagan signed it into law. Yet it was not until 2000 that every U.S. state celebrated Martin Luther King Jr. Day by its name. Before then, states like Utah referred to the holiday more broadly as Human Rights Day. 

Now, the Corporation for National and Community Service has declared it an official U.S. Day of Service.

What does MLK Day mean to you? Tell us in the comments.

"E Pluribus Unum" January 21, 2013 at 05:52 PM
I believe one of Dr. King's quotes sums it up for me. He said "We must learn to live together as brothers or we will perish together as fools."


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