MLK Day of Service takes place on Monday, January 17 to honor Martin Luther King Jr., an individual who was instrumental in the Civil Rights Movement. In the fight towards equality, this national holiday honors who he was as a leader.
Across America, on the third Monday of January, Martin Luther King Jr. is celebrated through acts of service. However, MLK’s vision cannot be met through one day of service. It takes effort from people continually supporting his dream throughout the year. Working towards MLK’s dream of equality can be achieved through various outlets including activism, resources, and education.
In Racine County, honor MLK by exploring these 5 different avenues:
1. Watch Racine’s MLK Wreath Laying Ceremony
A ceremony was held at the Martin Luther King Jr. Statue located at 909 Dr. Martin Luther King Dr in Racine. The event took place on Friday, January 14. This special event has taken place for 14 consecutive years. The ceremony is held as a way to honor and pay homage to MLK’s service.
Corey Prince was present at the laying of the wreath ceremony. He is the Chair of the NAACP State Conference of Branches Criminal Justice Committee. In addition, students from Julian Thomas were present to lay the wreath.
Rewatch this year’s ceremony for free by watching a live stream of the event that took place on the City of Racine’s Facebook page.
2. Join Racine Women for Racial Justice
Racine Women for Racial Justice (RWRJ) works to unite and empower women in the Racine area. This is achieved through education, conversation, critical analysis, collective action, and leadership to identify, interrupt and dismantle racism in the community.
Those looking to get involved can become a volunteer, connect with the organization or donate. They are currently looking for volunteers to assist their committees with a variety of tasks and projects. Fill out their Volunteer Questionnaire to get involved. Likewise, RWRJ will connect with you further if you fill out the contact form on their page.
Donations can be made online or by check, mailed to: RWRJ, P.O. Box 81040, Racine, WI. 53408 (All donations are tax-deductible.)
3. Listen to Chats with Chester
Racine County Eye’s very own Denise Lockwood teams up with Chester Todd in a podcast entitled, “Chats with Chester.” This podcast is about one man’s experience of the great migration from the south to the north in the 1950s. Episode 1 is out now.
Lockwood shares a preview: “The grandson of a sharecropper, Chester Todd, 80, moved to Racine, Wisconsin in 1951 at the age of 13 years old from Mayfield, Kentucky. Racism was blatant back then. But the emotional trauma of being treated as ‘other’ never left him. In fact, those lessons of survival — the dos for them are the don’ts for us — now get handed down from generation to generation.”
4. Get involved with BCD Racism
BCD Racism, also known as Burlington Coalition for Dismantling Racism, works to expose, disrupt, and dismantle racism and racist systems while simultaneously rebuilding the Burlington community. This organization works to create a better experience for biracial, indigenous and people of color living in Burlington. They are working to create a racially safe, equitable, and inclusive community.
BCD Racism has helped work towards this goal by adding books featuring diverse characters to the shelves of Burlington schools, protesting in response to George Floyd’s death, continually calling for Diversity in Burlington Schools, and bringing different events/activities to the community.
Additionally, they provide resources for white allies to take advantage of. These resources include things to read, watch, and resources to listen to. Likewise, they have resources for all BIPOC individuals and families, including a complete list of articles, books, podcasts, movies, and more to check out.
5. Listen to Spoken Word
Gateway Technical College’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration was scheduled for today but has been canceled due to illness. Natalie Lall is a graduate of Bradford High School in Kenosha currently attending Carthage College. She was scheduled to deliver a spoken word poem at the event.
Instead, Lall performed her piece on Youtube. You can watch and listen to her message below.
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