Martin Luther King Jr. Day 2018


Burgandy Basulto is a Content Writer at NAWRB. She has a bachelor’s degree in both English and Philosophy, and a master’s degree in Philosophy. When she’s not reading or writing, she loves running, kickboxing, watching films, trying new restaurants she finds via Yelp, and experiencing other cultures during her travels.

Today Americans observe Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, a federal holiday occurring every third Monday in January, in honor of the life and achievements of a leading figure in the Civil Rights Movement almost three decades ago.

Martin Luther King, Jr., a Baptist minister and Nobel Laureate, advocated for civil rights and against racial discrimination in federal and state law through nonviolent activism. Introduced shortly after his assassination in 1968, the holiday was signed into law by President Ronald Reagan in 1983 and first observed in 1986. This was the first national holiday to commemorate an African American.

King’s words of wisdom on injustice, education, love and peace are still relevant over 30 years later, and his “I have a dream” speech continues to inspire Americans of all ages. The problems of social injustice that King addressed in the 60s have not been eradicated, but we can look to King’s influence to continue the path toward a future he believed possible and strived to achieve.

“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed,” King stated in his infamous speech. “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.”

In 1994, Congress designated MLK Day as a national day of service, calling for Americans “from all walks of life to work together to provide solutions to our most pressing national problems.” We can all continue King’s legacy by speaking up about, and creating actionable solutions for, issues of inequality across gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation and more.

As King eloquently stated, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

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