Most holidays are a great opportunity to relax and unwind; to spend time with family or recover from stress. But Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is frequently referred to as ‘a day on, not a day off’. Because King’s life was inextricably linked to equality and service, celebrating it involves these attributes, too.
That’s not to say it has to be active – a time of meditating on the meaning of sacrifice and service might be how you choose to mark the holiday. IU East has plenty of opportunities – inspirational speaker and CEO Gloria J. Burgess will speak here at 7:00 on January 22, in Vivian on “Martin Luther King Jr.: Legacy for Life in the 21st Century,” and civil rights lawyer Michelle Alexander, will discuss her book “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness” at 3:30 on January 27, livestreamed from IU Northwest in Springwood 202C. And outside of IU East, films like Selma can make King’s life more real for those of us who were born long after he died.
But honoring King can be done through hands-on service, as well. Whether it’s in his name or not, or for his causes or not, doesn’t matter as much as following his example and helping others. And the IU East Center for Service-Learning has plenty of opportunities for you to get involved. Service-learning needs include working with children or adults, building or teaching, feeding or mentoring. You can check out some of the many opportunities here, and can contact us to volunteer at email@example.com.
Plus, we have tons of academic sources if you want to explore King’s life or apply his principles in any class assignments. A small sampling of books we have include Becoming King: Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Making of a National Leader by Troy Jackson, Martin Luther King, Jr.: A Life, by Marshall Frady, Ring Out Freedom!: The Voice of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Making of the Civil Rights Movement by Fredrik Sunnemark, and April 4, 1968: Martin Luther King Jr.’s Death and the Transformation of America by Michael Dyson. And there are many, many more like them.
Do you have any questions? Send them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org!