It begins with me: Our commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion honors Dr. King

The holiday honoring Dr. King gives us the opportunity to educate ourselves and practice following his example of courage and commitment. 

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (MLK Day) is Monday, Jan. 15. This year’s holiday falls on what would have been the slain civil rights leader’s 95th birthday. It is a poignant and powerful reminder of how much there is left to do in realizing his vision of a just and peaceful world.  

While his stirring speeches touched on a wide array of themes, Dr. King's central message remained that an equitable society is not truly unachievable until every person has the same opportunity to grow and thrive. He challenged us to reflect on our part in the collective work of building a wholly emancipated society when he affirmed that “life’s most persistent and urgent question is: what are you doing for others?”

The annual MLK Day holiday, which we observe on the third Monday in January, is an opportunity to celebrate Dr. King’s life, learn about his work and practice his example of courage and commitment. Here are just some of the MLK Day 2024 events you and your family can participate in to learn about Dr. King’s work and his dream of an America for all:  

Volunteer your time. Take the time to help those in the community. 

  • United Way of King County is offering a host of MLK Day volunteer opportunities. These include volunteer work parties for clean-up and painting at local organizations like El Centro de la Raza, planting parties with City of Bothell and Mercer Island, supporting community meals for the Seattle MLK Jr. Organizing Coalition, and much more. 
  • Students in grades six through 12 and their families are invited to participate in Student Advocacy Day at the Washington State Capital in Olympia. Attendees will have the opportunity to meet with legislators to discuss youth mental health and the prevention of underage substance use. 

Educate yourself. There are abundant resources for those who want to learn more about Dr. King’s life and work. 

Celebrate Dr. King’s legacy. There are many local and national events on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day to educate ourselves and celebrate his life. Following are just a few:

About Providence Swedish

Providence Swedish has served the Puget Sound region since the first Providence hospital opened in Seattle in 1877 and the first Swedish hospital opened in 1910. The two organizations affiliated in 2012 and today comprise the largest health care delivery system in Western Washington, with 22,000 caregivers, eight hospitals and 244 clinics. A not-for-profit family of organizations, Providence Swedish provides more than $406 million in community benefit in the Puget Sound Region each year. The health system offers a comprehensive range of services and specialty and subspecialty care in a number of clinical areas, including cancer care, cardiovascular health, neurosciences, orthopedics, digestive health and women’s and children’s care. 

Photo credit: Getty Images. Michael Ochs Archive. 

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