Search News: 

Martin Luther King Day: A day of remembrance and civic engagement

Jan 14, 2021

The 35th anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day – Jan. 18 – bears significant weight in light of the country’s social justice movement. DEGC seeks to fulfill Dr. King’s dream through a number of initiatives to combat racism and provide inclusive and accessible opportunities for all Detroit residents. This includes helping Black-owned businesses succeed, attracting new investments that create good jobs for local residents, and helping Black developers shape our city.

Dr. King’s commitment to peaceful protests as a fundamental form of civil disobedience helped secure civil rights for Black Americans. Standing against endless provocation, Dr. King and his followers remained steadfast in their peacefulness and his nonviolent action worked to help overturn systemic segregation and racism. This lesson is more important than ever as we witness protestors peacefully challenging racially motivated violence by police, and those who don’t respect a peaceful transition of power, inciting violence at the U.S. Capitol.

Although celebrations honoring Dr. King will shift primarily online due to the continuing pandemic, the importance of this day is not diminished. The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History is hosting a day of activities to virtually explore and commemorate Dr. King. This includes a keynote address by PBS NewsHour White House Correspondent Yamiche Alcindor embracing the theme, “If not us, then who? If not now, then when?”

Additional activities can be found on the Detroit MLK Day and DetroitIsIt websites.

A “day on, not a day off”
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is the only federal holiday designated as a national day of service to encourage all Americans to volunteer to improve their communities. AmeriCorps, which has been leading the MLK “Day of Service” for the last 25 years, encourages all Americans to pitch in. Through its website, interested volunteers can find local opportunities to serve, including elder care, veteran assistance, food pantries, community clean-ups, grant writing, curriculum building, and even web design.

“Everybody can be great…because anybody can serve,” said Dr. King. “You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”

As we celebrate the principles Dr. King advocated during his lifetime, we must take responsibility for the work yet to do – racial justice, economic equality, access to housing, healthcare and jobs, and inclusion in shaping our nation’s future vision. Revisiting Dr. King’s words and deeds is the perfect spark to raise our nation’s consciousness and drive us to much-needed civic engagement. We need this awakening now to confront the challenges of making this country a more perfect union.

Recent Headlines

A halal-culinary adventure: Motor City Match winner, with deep community ties, celebrates restaurant opening ahead of Ramadan

A Detroit restaurant, bakery and catering service specializing in healthy, organic, and halal-friendly food, celebrated its grand opening with Mayor Mike Duggan, city leaders and community members just in time for Ramadan – a holy observance for Muslims where followers abstain from eating between sunrise and sunset. Supreme Café Founder, Jamaal Muhammad, was joined by Mayor Duggan, city officials and community members at a ribbon-cutting ceremony for his establishment, marking the 146th brick-and-mortar business opened by Motor City Match.

More than just a place to wash clothes: Motor City Match winner opens laundromat that doubles as a community resource center

Our Community Laundromat, LLC is more than a place to wash clothes. The facility in Detroit’s Bethune Community neighborhood aspires to become a beloved space where residents can receive clean clothing and valuable community resources. Mayor Mike Duggan and city leaders today held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the laundromat, marking the 145th brick-and-mortar opened by Motor City Match.