Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service

Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service celebrates the Civil Rights leader’s life and legacy through service.

Observed each year on the third Monday in January as “a day on, not a day off,” MLK Day is one of only two federal holidays designated as a national day of service to encourage all Americans to volunteer to improve their communities.

MLK Day Opportunities: 

United Way of the Lakeshore & AmeriCorps Seniors Events in Celebration: 

Modeled After the 21 Day Equity Challenge. This is a condensed beginner version of this challenge. Many of the articles are the same but in a more "bite-sized" approach for people just beginning their Anti-Racism Journey. Food Solutions New England developed the Equity Challenge, United Way of Washtenaw County successfully implemented the challenge, engaging over 5,000 participants in January this year.  Now United Ways statewide plan to implement an Equity Challenge.   The Equity Challenge is an interactive digital resource for individuals to take it upon themselves to deepen their understanding of, and willingness to confront racism.

The COVID-19 Edition of the Equity Challenge helps us to see the inequities unfold during the COVID-19 pandemic. Each day is cataloged below to continue your self-guided learning journey.

Web-users: Sign up for our 5 Day Challenge to receive an email once a day from January 18th - January 22nd. You (along with hundreds of others in Muskegon, Newaygo, and Oceana Counties) committed to deepening your understanding of and willingness to confront racism for 5 consecutive days.

Explore this work on your own, with friends and family, or organization-wide. Download our discussion guide by clicking here. 

Capture your daily reflections and actions using our activity log.  Click here to download the log. (PDF Version)

Share your reflections and “a ha” moments using the hashtags #unitedforequity, #equitychampions, and #uwlequitychallenge.  Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. 

Day 1: Personal Racial Identity & Privilege, Day 2: Levels of Racism, Day 3: How Your Race Affects Your Health, Day 4: Opportunity and Segregation on the Lakeshore, Day 5: Take Action in Your Community

Click Here To Sign Up Today! (You can still sign up after the challenge has started. We will archive each day on this webpage.

On Mon., Jan. 18 Senior volunteers will pack essential items to create 450 Senior Care Packages to be distributed to Muskegon County Meals on Wheels recipients as well as other senior programs. COVID safe practices of masks, social distancing and three one-hour shifts of 8 volunteers will be in place. Masks and hand sanitizer will be provided.

Have you ever wondered what opportunities are available in your community? Join us on January 20th on the United Way of the Lakeshore's Facebook Page and YouTube channel as we Livestream interviews with several agencies in the community around their organization and how you can get involved! Schedule of interviews and organizations coming soon! 

We are gearing up for our warmest Fill the Truck Drive of the year - Coats and Hats! 

This drive is important to our community because it supports our families who are facing adversity to keep warm this winter. These coats will be going to families facing adversity through our agencies!

Items to donate: Coats (new/used), hats, gloves, boots, scarves and more winter apparel! Items can be of any size. We are partnering with local dry cleaners so we are able to take used coats, but ask that hats & gloves are new. 

Click Here for More Information! 

We are excited to announce our Volunteer Extravaganza! This day is to promote people taking a pledge and step towards volunteering in our community. We will be promoting our GetConnected Community Volunteer Site, hosting a Virtual Volunteer Webinar for families, and an agency training on volunteerism in our community and how to use our free software! More details to come soon! 

On Fri., Jan. 15 multiple volunteer hosts will collect food donations to help replenish area food pantries. Hosts will reach out to their circle of friends to have food dropped off at a specific location, their porch, their garage and etc. They will deliver their donations to United Way of the Lakeshore on Sat., Jan 16. Volunteers will sort the donations on Tues., Jan. 19. Volunteers will deliver to local pantries on Tues., Jan. 19 and Wed., Jan. 20. Volunteer times to be determined by amount of donations. COVID safe practices of masks and social distancing required by everyone. Masks and hand sanitizer will be provided. Volunteers of all ages are welcome. To become a site host please contact Lynn at lynn@unitedwaylakeshore.org or 231-332-4016.

Other Community Events: 

January 19, 2021 tune into A & M Political Views to help promote  National Racial Healing and How Do We Begin to Heal? Virtual on YouTube @ 4 pm. It will also be streamed to Facebook. https://fb.me/e/2er5R0EC2

Yamiche Alcindor is the White House correspondent for PBS NewsHour and an NBC and MSNBC political contributor. During the 2020 presidential election, Alcindor became a go-to voice in analyzing the nation's most critical issues for Democrats and Republicans alike.

Alcindor’s knack for following the story has taken her to places like Belgium for the 2018 North Atlantic Treaty Organization meeting and to Helsinki, Finland, for President Trump’s meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

GVSU, Davenport University and Grand Rapids Community College have teamed resources to welcome Alcindor as the keynote speaker for the 35th Annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commemoration program.

There is no charge to participate; register online to receive a link to the webinar. 

Find Out More By Clicking Here. 

Event by St. John's Episcopal Church, Grand Haven, MI

Online with Facebook Live

Monday, January 18, 2021 at 9 AM EST – 2 PM EST

Price: Free · Duration: 5 hr

Public  · Anyone on or off Facebook

This year on Martin Luther King, Jr., day, we will continue the tradition begun in 2019 at St. John’s. From 9:00am until 7:00pm, we will be livestreaming a continuous reading from Dr. King’s sermons and letters. Due to streaming length limitations on Facebook, there will be two streaming events: Part One will run from 9:00am-9:30am and Part Two will run from 2:00pm-7:00pm.

Please sign up online (https://tinyurl.com/SJE-MLKReaders) if you would like to serve as a Readings Leader for a half hour, ensuring the readings continue uninterrupted throughout the day.

Event by St. John's Episcopal Church, Grand Haven, MI

Online with Facebook Live

Monday, January 18, 2021 at 2:01 PM EST – 7 PM EST

Price: Free · Duration: 4 hr 59 min

Public  · Anyone on or off Facebook

This year on Martin Luther King, Jr., day, we will continue the tradition begun in 2019 at St. John’s. From 9:00am until 7:00pm, we will be livestreaming a continuous reading from Dr. King’s sermons and letters. Due to streaming length limitations on Facebook, there will be two streaming events: Part One will run from 9:00am-9:30am and Part Two will run from 2:00pm-7:00pm.

Please sign up online (https://tinyurl.com/SJE-MLKReaders) if you would like to serve as a Readings Leader for a half hour, ensuring the readings continue uninterrupted throughout the day. 

Event by Hackley Public Library

Online Event

Tuesday, January 19, 2021 at 9 AM EST – 5 PM EST

Price: Free · Duration: 8 hr

Public  · Anyone on or off Facebook

Join the conversation! January 19 is National Day of Racial Healing.
Launched in January of 2017, this day creates a space for contemplation and discussion on racial healing, equity, and justice. National Day of Racial Healing invites everyone to connect and inspire collective action.
Visit hackleylibrary.org on January 19 and share your thoughts with us on embracing racial healing. An interactive board will be available right on hackleylibrary.org’s welcome page!

Don’t miss meaningful conversations on racial healing from healourcommunities.org, at 3 pm on January 19. For more details, visit here:
https://healourcommunities.org/watch/

Community Empowerment Small Grants are tools provided by the Community Foundation for Muskegon County to build a vibrant community with great opportunities for all. We are always looking for ways to build relationships with all groups, big or small, for everyone to see themselves in our work and for the community to know that we are a resource. We want to help, support and encourage groups to be the change they want to see in our community. Our definition of community goes further than geographic location. Community can be defined by identity, race, class and gender. This is an opportunity not only for neighborhood associations in Muskegon County, but also individuals who want to improve their community through education, beautification, relationship-building, community conversations, etc.

https://www.cognitoforms.com/CommunityFoundationForMuskegonCounty/communityempowermentsmallgrantprogramapplication

MLK Unity Breakfast

Each year Muskegon Community College hosts a county-wide breakfast in celebration of the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  This event brings students, community leaders, organizations, and local residents together to hear from current freedom activists as they maintain the foundation of Dr. King’s beliefs.  The goal of the MLK Unity Breakfast is to promote equality and justice for all people. For more information about MLK Unity Day at MCC, contact Dan Rinsema-Sybenga at (231) 777-0569.

2021 MLK Jr. Unity Breakfast Video to Premiere on Jan. 15

While the COVID-19 pandemic has forced the cancellation of this year’s 25th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Unity Breakfast at Muskegon Community College, organizers will still mark the event’s silver anniversary with a special video tribute that premieres on Friday, Jan. 15, at 10 a.m.

The video will be shown on this webpage, as well as on MCC Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

Taking the place of the traditional breakfast keynote presentation, the video will feature Unity Breakfast keynote speakers from the last five years, along with two voices of the future, and the presentation of the 2021 MLK Legacy Award.

Against the backdrop of the past year’s tumultuous events, the speakers address the timeless relevance of Dr. King’s message in today’s society. The speakers include:

  • Frank Dawson, Dean, Center for Media and Design, Santa Monica College (Retired)
  • Theo E. J. Wilson, Executive Director, Shop Talk Live, Inc.
  • Wes Hall, Educator, Author, and Teacher Trainer
  • Rev. Alvin Herring, Executive Director, Faith in Action
  • Dr. Jerry Wallace, President, Hasting Campus, Central Community College
  • Mickey Wallace, Diversity Director, HealthWest Muskegon

Bishop Nathaniel Wyoming Wells, Jr

Bishop Nathaniel Wyoming Wells, Jr.

In the video, the late Bishop Nathaniel Wyoming Wells, Jr. is posthumously presented the 2021 MLK Legacy Award by Ed Garner, the Regional Director for the Michigan Small Business Development Center. The award is given in appreciation to an individual who has diligently serves the community with their time, talents, and their commitment to justice, equity, and equality.

Bishop Wells, who died last year at age 78, was one of Muskegon County’s earliest victims of the coronavirus. For four decades, he presided over Holy Trinity Institutional Church of God in Christ. His Total Man Ministry achieved national acclaim for its approach of addressing the spiritual, physical and emotional needs of each individual.

Within the community, Bishop Wells was a catalyst for establishing programs in education, housing, transportation and childcare. On a larger scale, his Trinity Nonprofit Housing Corporation, which he founded in 1991, built and operated affordable housing developments in Muskegon County, Kalamazoo, Benton Harbor, Saginaw and Chicago, Ill. In 1995, he founded the Tri-Valley Academy charter school.  A national leader in the Pentecostal movement, he earned his doctoral degree in theology from Midwest Theological University.

Among his many honors, Bishop Wells was named Most Influential Person of the Year in Muskegon in 2003 and in 2000 received both the Muskegon County Economic Development Award and the Muskegon Bar Association’s Liberty Bell Award. He was presented the statewide Jeanne Peterson Award in Affordable Housing in 1999.

For more information on the MLK Unity Breakfast, contact Dan Rinsema-Sybenga at daniel.rinsema-sybenga@muskegoncc.edu.

https://www.muskegoncc.edu/mlk-unity-day/

Virtual MLK Day Celebration

The Muskegon Museum of Art will be closed Monday, January 18, but you can discover special materials at the MMA website to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King‘s birthday on that day.

  • At-Home Art Activity
  • Film List
  • Highlighted African American Artwork from the MMA Collection

Coming Soon: Link to Virtual MLK Day Celebration at www.muskegonartmuseum.org/education