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President Obama Wants You to Turn MLK Day into a Day of Service

In honor of what would have been Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s 90th birthday, President Obama sent the message below to our full email list reflecting on Dr. King’s legacy and the power of serving others. If you’d like to receive updates like this in the future, you can sign up for our email list here.


Today marks what would have been Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s 90th birthday.

And although he’s not with us today, Dr. King’s steadfast commitment to the causes of equality and justice continue to transform the world. I still draw inspiration from his deep-rooted belief in service. As he said:

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?'”

This message is as important now as it was more than 60 years ago. Dr. King taught us that if we work together—if folks of all backgrounds, experiences, and walks of life find common ground—we can bend the arc of the moral universe and change history.

As 2018 came to a close, I asked you to make a commitment in 2019—to look at your community and find something you could do to make a difference. There’s no better time to take action than by turning Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day into a day of service.

Let’s honor the legacy of one of history’s greatest changemakers together—by taking steps to make a positive collective impact on the world.

What can you do to serve on MLK Day? It can be as simple as volunteering at your local library, bringing canned goods to a food pantry, or checking in on senior citizens in your neighborhood. Even the smallest acts of kindness help spur change in our communities.

Let’s turn next Monday into a day of service. What will you do to make your community stronger? Share your plans with me:

Just as I’m inspired by Dr. King, I’m inspired by the many people who shared their commitments for 2019 with me.

Leaders like Sunday from Nigeria who is connecting rural healthcare facilities to solar power after seeing too many newborn babies and new mothers die due to power outages.

And Alyssa from Maryland who shared her plans to hold a monthly racial dialogue group in her rural community.

People like Regina from Wisconsin who committed to volunteer for a local nonprofit to ensure kids don’t go hungry after school and on the weekends.

Like Sunday, Alyssa, and Regina, I hope I can count on you to both serve next Monday, and to encourage your neighbors, friends, and family to take action as well—on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and beyond.

Your efforts—however big or small—to improve our neighborhoods, our communities, and our world, will inspire countless others, just like Dr. King’s actions did.

Let’s get going,

Barack

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