Monday, Jan. 21 is Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
Local events to honor King include the DeKalb NAACP's 11th annual MLK Jr. Day parade, which has relocated from Stone Mountain Village, in part, to coincide with the dedication of Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway (Snapfinger Road), the organization's president, John Evans, told Patch.
The parade will begin at 12:30 p.m. at the Ray of Hope Christian Church and march down Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway in Lithonia.
For some, the national holiday honoring the prominent civil rights activist is a time to give back and serve the community, be it through removing graffiti or picking up litter in a local park.
Here are a couple of events happening locally on MLK Jr. Day of Service:
When: Jan. 21, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
Project: Creating an outdoor recreation area for C.H.O.I.C.E. clients, perform general landscaping and paint staff offices.
Where: Davison-Arabia Mountain Nature Preserve
When: Jan. 21, 8 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
Project: Hospitality volunteers
For some people, the holiday is an opportunity to educate themselves about King and his life's work. And for others, it’s a time to just kick back and enjoy the prolonged weekend.
So, tell us—What does Martin Luther King Jr. Day mean to you? What are you doing to commemorate King’s legacy?
The Holiday's History
Martin Luther King Jr. Day, now a U.S. holiday, took 15 years to create.
Legislation was first proposed by Congressman John Conyers (D-Michigan) four days after King was assassinated in 1968.
The bill was stalled, but Conyers, along with Rep. Shirley Chisholm (D-New York), pushed for the holiday every legislative session until it was finally passed in 1983, following civil rights marches in Washington.
Then-president Ronald Reagan signed it into law. Yet it was not until 2000 that every U.S. state celebrated Martin Luther King Jr. Day by its name. Before then, states like Utah referred to the holiday more broadly as Human Rights Day.
Now, the Corporation for National and Community Service has declared it an official U.S. Day of Service.
TELL US: What does MLK Day mean to you? Tell us in the comments.