Today we celebrate the life and legacy of ‘daring dreamer’ and visionary American civil rights leader, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Drawing inspiration from his faith and the peaceful teachings of Mahatma Gandhi and activist Bayard Rustin, Dr. King devoted his life to the fight for equality for African Americans and all victims of injustice. In his brief 39 years, the Atlanta-born Baptist minister organized countless nonviolent protests—including the Montgomery Bus Boycott, the Birmingham Campaign, the Selma to Montgomery marches and the March on Washington—and founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, which played a key role in the Civil Rights Movement. Named TIME’s 1963 “Man of the Year” and honored with the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize, Dr. King became an icon of hope whose actions helped pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the 1965 Voting Rights Act. In 1963, Dr. King shared his dream of a nation where his four children would “not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” His courageous life continues to inspire and empower generations to bring his ‘daring dream’ to life.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. addressing the crowd at the 1963 March on Washington.
Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day—a nationwide day of service celebrating a visionary who challenged the nation to recognize the inherent potential in each American citizen. As the most visible spokesperson and leader of the civil rights movement, Dr. King inspired millions of people to value every individual and recognize that our country would be stronger when everyone was given equal opportunity to maximize their potential.
Often times when we think of Dr. King, four words come to mind: “I have a dream…”
Today, on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, we reflect on the late civil rights leader’s dream for a just and inclusive America. The Levitt Foundation strives to support this dream by bringing people from all walks of life together and strengthening the fabric of our communities through the power of free, live music.
We honor Dr. King—a champion of peace and equality—and his dream, every day. How are you honoring Dr. King’s legacy in your community? Tell us in the comments below. And if you’re in the Arlington area, head over to the city’s annual MLK celebration from 10AM to 1PM today, where you can watch live performances and enjoy local food and art with your neighbors.
Today we celebrate a man with a dream—a visionary leader who had the courage to envision a better world and the foresight to know that we can accomplish so much more together than apart.
With the help of Stevie Wonder’s hit single, “Happy Birthday” and Coretta Scott King’s moving testimony to Congress, a federal holiday in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. came into effect in 1983. For years, Americans celebrated Dr. King’s legacy with a day off. Today, we’ve been charged to instead celebrate with a “day on” and give back to our communities.
In 1994, Congress dedicated the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday a national day of service. Now, each year—on the third Monday in January—hundreds of thousands of Americans across the country come together to serve their communities. Side by side, people of all backgrounds work together to better the lives of others. During his life, Dr. King stressed the importance of strengthening our communities by empowering our neighbors. So, what better way to celebrate his legacy than by lending a helping hand to a neighbor in need?
Each year more participants come together to serve others through projects ranging from tutoring, to building homes, to delivering meals. However, many people are still unaware of the service component that accompanies this well-known holiday. Check out the video below to learn more about this day and spread the word!
Looking for some fun ways to give back? Click here to view hundreds of volunteer opportunities that are happening around the country today!
And for folks in Arlington, head over to Levitt Arlington at 9 a.m. to kick off your day of service with your fellow community members at The MLK Festival—featuring live performances, art, food trucks and more!
This young drummer with a contagious smile is one of the many young Angelenos who took part in our pre-concert drum circle during the 2014 Levitt National Tour, featuring Playing for Change. Who knows where this young drummer’s interaction with music might take him? Lifelong dreams are born everyday!
This week we’ve honored one of our nation’s most courageous dreamers and visionaries, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Let this post serve as a reminder that it’s never too early or too late to dream big.