Each year when Martin Luther King Jr. Day approaches, there are many important reoccurring themes that come to our minds- racial equity, fighting for justice, showing the importance of giving and gratitude.
Dr. King’s largest message is one of love, and how we should never judge a person based on the color of their skin.
With all that is happening in our country over the last year, Dr. King Jr’s messages seem to be resonating now more than ever- and rightfully so. We have unfortunately been witnesses to events that reveal the huge unmet need for continued advocacy and change to combat inequalities faced by minorities- for access to health care, employment, education, and more.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service observed each year is a wonderful opportunity as Americans of all backgrounds to be mindful of this mission and be part of the solution to one of the nation’s most gut-wrenching problems.
COVID has thrown a wrench in many in-person activities to serve your community, here are some meaningful ways to participate safely this year:
- Be an advocate and use your platforms to speak out
- Support black-owned businesses;
- Watch documentaries and educate yourself on Dr. King’s life and legacy;
- Support organizations that advocate for racial equality;
- Participate in activities that benefit your community like an Outdoor trash clean up or donate to your local homeless shelter or food pantry; and
- Visit your local library and check out books on MLK- there are some for all ages!
MLK Jr. once said “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’” and this particularly rings true for the heart of our ‘why’ here at Spectrum Health.
Some of the things that motivate us to strive to be the best we can be is having the opportunity to support and serve the communities we treasure. Having the opportunity to be changemakers and doing our part to work toward making a better world a reality through the behavioral health care of our clients and their families is something we do not take lightly; it is a privilege.
Dr. King’s message goes beyond just racial injustice, and includes equity for all, hunger relief, mental health care, suicide prevention, and more. As you and your families talk about his impactful messages and celebrate this year, keep in mind that nothing you choose to do is insignificant.
By Shannon Schwarberg
Senior Program Manager, Special Project Development