The Year 2021 theme is a reflection of one of Dr. King’s most powerful quotes, “A Call to Action…What are you doing for others?” Families across the nation are now facing unparalleled financial hardships. Throughout the month of January 2021, the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Statewide Celebration Commission will host regional community events across the state that will provide PPE, resource manuals, clothing. and food to Missouri citizens in need. On Saturday, January 30, 2021, a moving, virtual program of speakers and performances will be held, which will stimulate a feeling of unity among the diverse crowd of viewers from the youngest to the most seasoned during these challenging times. Highlights of the program will include messages of hope from national, statewide, and city lawmakers and performances by recording artist Theresa Payne, and The Remedy Band. Videos of the MLK regional community events from across the state will also be highlighted during the program. Visit hssu.edu/mlk to view the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Statewide Program for Missouri on January 31, 2021. Additional livestream and social media links to access the program will be advertised during the month of January.
Diversity Spotlight – January 2021
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
Celebrate MLK Day by participating in any of these or many other inspiring events around our state:
- On Monday, January 18, volunteers will join City Year's 3,000+ AmeriCorps members at locations across the United States to participate in a day of service. City Year commemorates the Civil Rights Movement and honors the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by celebrating Dr. King's birthday as a “day on, not a day off.” This year, we will all work together to create an inspirational set of murals to be displayed at the W.E.B. DuBois Learning Center. We have adapted our signature event to take place in the comfort of your home, while still creating a transformational impact in our community. Please visit online to learn more or to register for this special event.
- The University of Central Missouri’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration is an opportunity for the community to pause and reflect on the work and impact of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., while recommitting to the goal of showing respect and dignity toward one another. This year, the celebration will include a number of related events highlighting the 2021 theme “Giving a Helping Hand to Achieve the Dream.” Events include an MLK day of service and volunteerism, a volunteer fair, and a community service blood drive. For more information, please visit online or contact Dr. Lover Chancler by phone at 660-543-8049 or by email at email@example.com.
- Join the University of Missouri for its Martin Luther King Jr. celebration. This year’s theme is “Infinite Hope: The Power and Possibilities of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Vision.” The 2021 MLK Day Celebration Committee chose this theme to capture the evolution of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s vision and its implications for today’s time. The university community seeks to not only honor MLK for his work but also to think deeply about his messaging, the various changes he hoped this country would implement, and why he hoped these changes would occur. This event will take place on Tuesday, January 26 from 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. via Zoom. Please visit online for more information.
- Please join the Columbia Values Diversity Celebration for its virtual celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day on January 18, 2021. This experience will be free and open to all to participate; no pre-registration required. For additional information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website.
- The Missouri National Education Association Human Rights Committee holds the 2021 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Essay - Poster Contest for Kindergarten through 12 grade students. Those wishing to enter should submit their essays and posters to their local MNEA affiliates by January 15. Visit the site for specific rules and additional information or contact MNEA UniServ Director Lisa Blaha at email@example.com or 800-404-9365.
- Come hear the exuberant, emotion-evoking former president of the National Education Association at Clayton Missionary Baptist Church on Sunday, January 20 at 3:30 p.m. Former NEA President Reg Weaver will keynote Day of Service honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The theme for this year’s celebration is “Honoring Dr. King: Looking Back and Moving Forward.” Please visit online to download the flyer or contact MNEA at firstname.lastname@example.org or 573-644-9623.
- Tune in virtually when the Missouri History Museum presents a pair of events for its MLK Celebration: Youth Activism Workshop. One workshop will be at 10:30 a.m. for children aged 6 – 12, while the other workshop will be at 1 p.m. for children aged 12 – 18. Both workshops will help kids explore and analyze primary sources to gain a greater understanding of the history of the civil rights movement and then show them how to apply this knowledge practically. Please visit online for additional information.
- For more information on Dr. King’s life and legacy of social justice, plan a visit to The Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change in Atlanta. The King Center was opened in 1968 thanks to the dedication of Coretta Scott King, widow of Dr. King, to the ideals of the American Civil Rights movement. The repository there consists of the papers of Dr. King and those of the organization he co-founded, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, as well as the records of eight major civil rights organizations and of several individuals active in the movement. The archives also include more than 200 oral history interviews with Dr. King’s teachers, friends, family, and civil rights associates. For more information, call 404-526-8900.
- Visit the website of the Corporation for National and Community Service to find out more about the MLK Day of Service. The site includes MLK Day Legacy videos featuring civil rights luminaries late Congressman John Lewis, Ruby Bridges, Reverend Dr. Joseph E. Lowery, and former U.S. Senator Harris Wofford, reminding us of the importance of keeping Dr. King's legacy of service alive and challenging us to make service a part of our everyday lives. Find an MLK Day of Service project in your community or list your project so others can participate.
- Visit All For Good to find service opportunities in your specific area.
However you choose to celebrate, we encourage you to seek ways you can work in your community to help make America a place of freedom, opportunity, fairness, and justice, which are hallmarks of the American dream. Enjoy the holiday, and do something positive in your community.