Column: MLK events are being coordinatedWORTHINGTON — Students who participate in programs coordinated by Nobles County Integration Collaborative are currently planning activities for Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
By: Sharon Johnson, District 518, Worthington Daily Globe
WORTHINGTON — Students who participate in programs coordinated by Nobles County Integration Collaborative are currently planning activities for Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
MLK Day has been celebrated nationwide on the third Monday in January since 1986. Martin Luther King Jr. Day is intended to commemorate the life and work done by Dr. King. His non-violent approach revolutionized the Civil Rights movement. Dr. King challenged people to meet hate with love and to find peaceful solutions to conflicts and injustices. He also inspired people to pursue greatness through service to others.
Dr. Martin Luther King said, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’” The event planned for Jan. 19 is a call to service. You are invited to join the local youth organizers in making this year’s MLK Day a Day of Service … a “day on” rather than a “day off.”
The event will be on Jan. 19, from 8:45 a.m. until about 1:30 p.m., but will be divided into several sections, so people who have to work may still participate in some of the day’s activities. The day will begin at 8:45 a.m. with registration and a welcome at the Nobles County Integration Collaborative (located in the former West School) in Worthington. At 9:15 a.m. a march promoting kindness, respect and service will take place. The march is not a protest; it is an experiential learning opportunity designed to help participants understand the work done by Dr. King and many other Civil Rights leaders.
The march will be followed by an educational program at Worthington High School in the gymnasium around 9:45 a.m. The program will feature a dramatic performance by Youth Diversity Corps as well as a performance by Six Steps Hip Hop. Members of Dynamic 507 and Odyssey will also take part in the program sharing historical information and inspirational quotes by Dr. King. The march and educational program are free and open to the public; pre-registration is not expected.
Following the program, anyone who would like to participate may go to one of several service opportunities set up in the community. Some of the service opportunities include working in a food pantry or a thrift store, volunteering at Southwest Crisis Center, visiting residents at Crossroads Care Center or practicing English skills with students in Adult Basic Education.
After these service projects, volunteers will return to the Nobles County Integration Collaborative for lunch and a time of reflection about their service in the community. The MLK Day of Service activities will conclude around 1:30 p.m. Anyone interested in participating in the service project and lunch portion of the day is asked to sign-up by calling the Integration Collaborative at 376-3300.
Dr. King said, “Everyone has the power for greatness, not for fame, but for greatness, because greatness is determined by service.” We are hoping to have people of all ages, people from many communities, and people from many cultures come together to learn and serve. Please consider joining in for all or part of the MLK Day activities. The youth organizers are learning about the value of civic engagement through the planning of this event; your presence will communicate to them how highly service and kindness are valued in Nobles County and the surrounding area.
Sharon Johnson is the Nobles County Integration Collaborative coordinator.