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MLK Day

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. devoted his life to the work of building a more just and equal society. While we have made great progress, we still have work to do to realize Dr. King’s dream. As Americans, that is a job for all of us – not just on MLK Day but throughout the year.

On Monday January 17th 2011 hundreds of thousands of Americans participated in service projects across the country. From painting schools to serving meals to writing letters to troops, these dedicated volunteers made a positive difference in their communities.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. changed the course of history and inspired us to build what he called "the beloved community." The King Legacy of Service video tells the story of how Dr. King's birthday evolved into a national day of service.

One of the greatest things about the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday is that when we pause to celebrate the life and accomplishments of the civil rights leader, we are also inspired to answer what he called life’s most persistent question: “What are you doing for others?” We can respond with action via MLK Day projects and National Day of Service activities surrounding the upcoming inauguration.

In a sermon delivered nearly 55 years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. described what he called the "Drum Major Instinct” to the congregation in Atlanta’s Ebenezer Baptist Church. The words he spoke that day were the inspiration for a national service award that recognizes leaders who give their time serving others but seldom seek the spotlight.

Americans from all 50 states will join thousands of organizations and commit to service this weekend as the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service coincides with the 57th Presidential Inaugural and National Day of Service.

In 1960, when she was just 6 years old, civil rights leader Ruby Bridges was one of four children to integrate the public school system in New Orleans. Every day, she crossed a screaming mob to enter her classroom.

Continuing a tradition he started at his first inauguration in 2009, President Barack Obama is calling on Americans all across the country to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and participate in the National Day of Service on Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013.

This weekend, Americans will join their neighbors in the National Day of Service and Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service. The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) encourages everyone to take some time during the holiday to make it “a day on, not a day off.

When asked how to best honor her husband, Coretta Scott King replied, "The greatest birthday gift my husband could receive is if people of all racial and ethnic backgrounds celebrated the holiday by performing individual acts of kindness through service to others." As the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service approaches on Jan. 21, 2013, teachers and students across the country are exploring the idea of service to others through an online curriculum created by the Corporation for National and Community Service and Scholastic

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