For many, Martin Luther King Day is viewed as another day off from work or from school, but it’s important to recognize why we should take action on this holiday. Martin Luther King Day is a federal holiday that celebrates and honors civil rights hero, Martin Luther King Jr. While the day wasn’t recognized as a holiday until 20 years after it was introduced to Congress, this day should now be seen by everyone “as a day on, not a day off.” 

2021 marks the 26th year we celebrate MLK Day and while this year is unprecedented in many ways, there are still many opportunities to get involved in your local community, and even virtually. In this blog, we’ve outlined places to volunteer, educate yourself and resources to learn about the many ways MLK was a hero in the U.S. 

Places to volunteer in NYC:

While many would provide a day of service by volunteering in person, with this year’s COVID-19 restrictions it’s slightly harder to get involved. Since NYC is SourceCode’s homebase, we’ve outlined volunteer opportunities for those who are still comfortable volunteering in-person. Consider the following:

Places to volunteer virtually:

If you prefer to volunteer virtually, consider the following places:

For more places to volunteer both in your local community or online, check out AmeriCorps for more information. 

NYC events celebrating MLK:

There are also a number of events happening in New York City to pay tribute to MLK this weekend and early next week:

Educational resources:

If you plan to stay indoors this long weekend, check out some of the following resources to learn more about MLK. 

What books to read (rent from your local library or buy online):

  • I Have a Dream by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr
  • March by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell 
  • Let the Trumpet Sound: A Life of Martin Luther King, Jr. by Stephen B Oates 
  • Strength to Love by Martin Luther King Jr. 
  • Where do we go from here: Chaos or Community? By Martin Luther King Jr. 

What movies, documentaries, and short series to watch:

  • Selma: A chronicle of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s campaign to secure equal voting rights via an epic march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, in 1965.
  • King: King is a 1978 American television miniseries based on the life of Martin Luther King Jr., the American civil rights leader.
  • MLK/FBI: Based on newly declassified files, Sam Pollard’s resonant film explores the US government’s surveillance and harassment of Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Eyes on the Prize: This landmark series, which first premiered in 1987, documents the history of the civil rights movement in America.
  • In Remembrance of Martin: Personal comments from family, friends, and advisors fill this remarkable documentary honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr

For more information on Martin Luther King Jr. visit The King Center.