MLK Day 2023: Continuing the work of Dr. King's dream

Dr. King at the March on Washington in 1968, where he delivered his historic "I Have a Dream" speech. National Archives Photo

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (MLK Day) is Monday, Jan. 16. This year marks the 60th anniversary of Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech at the March on Washington in which he called up on each of us to work together to build an emancipated and just society.

In that historic speech, Dr. King famously reminded us that we are inextricably bound together in creating an equitable society in which we can all grow and thrive.

“We cannot walk alone,” said Dr. King. “And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back.”

The holiday honoring Dr. King, which we celebrate each year on the third Monday in January, calls on us to carry on his work, do our part in dismantling injustice and ensuring freedom every American. While this year marks the 55th anniversary of Dr. King’s assassination, MLK Day is an opportunity to celebrate Dr. King’s life, learn about his work and practice his example of courage and commitment.  

Here are things you can do to advance Dr. King’s 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. Please remember that proof of vaccination will be required for all in-person volunteer projects, and you’re asked to follow any additional COVID safety protocols requested by your project host. The Shoreline community invites area residents to participate in a day of service in North City Park.  

March and Rally. On Jan. 16, join the MLK Coalition’s 2023 MLK Day March and Rally in Seattle. The event kicks off at 11:00 a.m. at Garfield High School. Visit the website for more information.

Educate yourself.  There is a great abundance of resources for those of us who want to learn more about Dr. King’s life and work. The King Center offers a vast collection, as does The Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute at Stanford University which recommends these readings. On Sun., Jan. 15, from 2 to 4 p.m., Rainier Avenue Radio is hosting its 40th Annual MLK Youth Event, with a discussion of topics including gun violence, youth mental health, gentrification, education, reproductive rights and more. Join on the website, Tunein, Twitch, Facebook Live or YouTube.

Celebrate Dr. King’s legacy. There are several events on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day to educate and celebrate. The Northwest African American Museum is celebrating King Day with a program entitled “All, Here, and Now”, which is also the title of a powerful 1966 speech by Dr. King. Visit the Washington State Historical Society's website to join a virtual event to watch Living Voices perform “The Right To Dream” in an online video, explore a digital experience detailing Dr. King’s visit to Washington 60 years ago (in 1961), and watch and participate in a pre-recorded art-making activity inspired by Dr. King’s visit with artist Valencia Carroll.




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