By Weldon Tisdale, Chaplain
“Everybody can be great…because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., speaking before the Ebenezer Baptist Church in 1968
Every third Monday in January is a national holiday to commemorate the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (MLK Jr. Day). Dr. King is best known for his leadership during the American civil rights movement of the ‘50s and ‘60s (a wave of activism contesting racial segregation, discrimination, disenfranchisement, and injustice). From 1955 to 1968, Dr. King led several efforts to eliminate Jim Crow laws and other forms of systemic racism that hindered the mobility of people of color in the U.S. From sit-ins to marches, Dr. King championed demonstrations that combined nonviolence with direct action.
“NOTHING IN ALL THE WORLD IS MORE DANGEROUS THAN SINCERE IGNORANCE AND CONSCIENTIOUS STUPIDITY.” Martin Luther King, Jr. (1963, Strength to Love)
Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech from the 1963 March on Washington is one of his most celebrated. In it, Dr. King envisioned a world with equal justice for all people under the law. He went on to earn a Nobel Peace Prize and see the passing of the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act. Towards the end of his life, Dr. King’s advocacy emphasized the importance of economic justice in the fight for equality and racial liberation. He was assassinated on April 4, 1968, in Memphis, where he was supporting Memphis sanitation workers in their strike for union recognition, better safety standards, and livable wages.
MLK Day matters because it recognizes Dr. King’s legacy of service while inspiring us to serve in our own ways. According to the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), MLK Jr. Day is a federal holiday designated as a National Day of Service, and Americans are encouraged to spend this day volunteering to improve their communities.
Many things Dr. King advocated for during his lifetime (racial justice, economic equality, affordable housing, labor rights, etc.) are issues we continue to grapple with in 2023. The fight for justice is ongoing and we can use this day to reflect on the work Dr. King started and take responsibility for the work we still have left to do.
National Day of Service
Trinity Woods invites residents and employees to participate in a food drive for Restore Hope. There will be boxes set-up in the Community Life Center Ehlers Entrance and the Spann Wellness Center seating area to collect donations. Please make sure to drop off your nonperishable food items between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. on January 16. Please see the Wellness supplement for specific types of items that are needed.