Hope For Youth

Martin Luther King Day

We would be remiss as an agency if not acknowledging the honorable Dr. Martin Luther King. MLK Day is celebrated each year on the third Monday of January. King was the chief spokesperson for nonviolent activism in the Civil Rights Movement, which protested racial discrimination in both federal and state law. The African American clergyman and civil rights leader was fatally shot in April 1968 in Memphis, Tennessee. MLK Day is the only federal holiday designated as a national day of service, to encourage all Americans to volunteer to improve their communities.

In 1964, President Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act, which banned discrimination in employment, public accommodations and other aspects of life. King attended the signing of the act into law (pictured). He continued to press for a law to ensure that blacks could not be denied the right to vote by discriminatory practices such as literacy tests, and, in 1965, Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act. King received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964. The legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. encompasses influential decisions, monumental actions and steadfast progressions of humanitarian rights that reach far beyond the civil rights movement. A leader of all people, King never chose fear, but always chose courage and determination when fighting for civil rights in the face of oppression, ignorance and violence. He refused to allow prison, violence or the threat of death sway his end mission. Instead, he stood beside his goal of achieving rights for all through nonviolent protests.