Lakewood proclaims Jan. 18 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr Day of Service and February Black History Month

January 6, 2020

At the first Lakewood City Council meeting of 2021, on Monday, January 4, 2021, the Lakewood City Council virtually honored Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the Civil Rights leader who dedicated his life to freedom, opportunity, and equal justice for all, by proclaiming January 18, 2021 as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service.

Dr. King is widely regarded as America’s leading advocate of nonviolence and one of the greatest nonviolent leaders in world history. Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, Nobel Peace Prize lecture and “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” are among the most revered orations and writings in the English language.

The latter writing by Dr. King serves as the seminal focus of the City of Lakewood’s 18th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration which has a theme of “Injustice anywhere is a threat the justice everywhere.”

In “Letter from a Birmingham Jail,” Dr. King wrote:

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”

To read the “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” in its entirety visit here.

Dr. King’s accomplishments are now taught to American children of all races, and his teachings are studied by scholars and students worldwide. He is memorialized in hundreds of statues, parks, streets, squares, churches and other public facilities around the world as a leader whose teachings are increasingly-relevant to the progress of humankind.

Dr. King is the only non-president to have a national holiday dedicated in his honor, and is the only non-president memorialized on the Great Mall in the nation’s capital.  

Importantly, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is recognized as a national day of service where Americans are encouraged to volunteer within their communities making it a “day on” rather than a “day off” to honor Dr. King’s legacy.

The City of Lakewood’s 18th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration will be held virtually on Thursday, January 14th at 6:00 p.m. this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The pre-recorded event will include a 30-minute video featuring various community members, performances by local artists, and keynote speaker L. Denice Randle, Executive Director of Peace Community Center. 

The event can be seen on the City website, City’s Facebook page, City’s Parks and Recreation Facebook page, City’s YouTube, and the City’s Twitter. For more information on this event, click here.

Kimi Ginn, a member of the MLK Committee which plans the annual celebration, provided the following comments at Lakewood City Council meeting:

“I wanted to let you know that the process of putting this wonderful program together that’s going to be January 14th has been a very collaborative effort… We have a lot of exciting people from the community giving a lot of insight to what it’s like to live with diversity here in Lakewood and I think it’s important to hear from the young to our elders what we mean when we say diversity and inclusivity here in Lakewood…

We’ve had a very, very challenging year with the pandemic and when we look at all of the incidents unfortunately with losing many citizens here in the city of Lakewood to the horrible COVID-19, to some of the incidents we have faced throughout this nation with discrimination and racism.

I’m proud to be a Lakewood citizen and Lakewood community member and I’m very, very, very proud of all hard work and I think as folks view this event on the (January) 14th, I think our community will see that we truly value diversity in Lakewood.”

The proclamation by the Lakewood City Council also designated the month of February 2021 as Black History Month.

The full proclamation can be read here.

The full Lakewood City Council meeting can be viewed here:

Lakewood city services will be closed for Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday January 18, 2021. City services will resume on Tuesday, January 19 at 8:30 a.m.