Thursday, January 16, 2014

Give With Your Time, Talent and Treasure: How Will You Honor Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in Your Giving?

Monday isn’t just another day off from school or work. It’s a day to celebrate the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., remember the civil rights movement, and continue to work toward equity and unity in our communities. The federal holiday presents a great opportunity to get more engaged with nonprofits fighting for racial equity in our communities, and advance our personal and financial relationships with the organizations that do this difficult work. Some such organizations include the YWCA of Minneapolis, Alliance for Metropolitan Stability, and Council on American-Islamic Relations. All of these nonprofits are committed to being strong and accountable, meeting all 27 Standards of the Charities Review Council.

There are also many events held on Monday that offer the opportunity to honor Martin Luther King, Jr. and to elevate his legacy of service in our everyday lives. Here are some ways that you can get involved next week:

  • The General Mills Foundation and the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) are pleased to present the 24th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Breakfast, held at the Minneapolis Convention Center. This year’s keynote speaker is Donna Brazile, a veteran political strategist, adjunct professor, author and syndicated columnist. Tickets are $30 to attend, and the event will also be broadcast live on Twin Cities Public Television at 8 am.
  • There will be a Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration lunch prepared by Youth Farm & Market, along with entertainment featuring Aztec dancers, a youth choir, West African drumming, and hip-hop at the Powderhorn Community Center. This free event engages a diverse spectrum of community members, especially families and youth.
  • The Minneapolis Parks Board will host an evening celebration at the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Recreation Center, where they will present their "Living the Dream" award to Larry Fitzgerald Jr., NFL wide receiver for the Arizona Cardinals. This free event is open to the public. The Parks Board also invites the community to drop off nonperishable food items at recreation centers throughout the city for their 5th Annual "Feeding the Dream" food drive.

If you have the day off on Monday, remember that it’s not just another day to lie on the couch. Think about how you can spend your time, energy and resources to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy of service. Even if you can’t participate in one of the organized activities above, consider taking time to reflect on the meaning of the holiday, support those working toward racial equity, and strive to live Dr. King’s values and actions each day in our homes, our communities and our world.

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