Martin Luther King Jr. Day reminds us that history is often cyclical with moments where we move forward, stand still, and then return to the roots of our habits as a nation.
This day allows us to pause and reflect on the many layers of resolve that are required to impact change. Revisiting this moment, on this national holiday, reminds us that the work of supporting civil rights is ongoing, not just for one person or one identity, and requires more than one movement or march.
Each year, on this day, one more historical layer is unveiled that adds to the iconic speech of Dr. King. So many stories and perspectives are now being shared beyond the speech. We invite you to view the history of Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech and the often-overlooked speech of Rabbi Joachim Prinz.
There are many resources and community programs available locally for families and schools. For example, a few of our students from Sewickley Academy are attending Winchester Thurston’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day conference, a student-designed day of service, engagement, and communication across our differences into action.
If your children are younger, take them to The Children’s Museum on Monday to read the inspiring words of Dr. King aloud at the podium during its annual “King for a Day” activity hosted by Saturday Light Brigade Radio. In the Art Studio, kids will learn about “Freedom Corner,” the historic site at Centre and Crawford avenues, a symbol of Pittsburgh’s Civil Rights Movement. A full day of fun activities includes “Seeds of Change,” which explores forgiveness through planting seeds.
Families can also go to the Mattress Factory, typically closed on Mondays, for its annual MLK Day Celebration with a bargain pay-what-you-can admission. The party will feature a celebration crown decorating station, scavenger hunt, and cookie table, all set to the toe-tapping tunes of DJ Dave Zak. Plus, the Carnegie Museum of Art is having an Art and Empathy Day to celebrate Dr. King that is open to the public.
For other kid-friendly ways to celebrate Dr. King’s legacy, visit Kidsburgh.
As you enjoy the day off from school and work this MLK Day, it is important to remember the civil rights Martin Luther King, Jr. fought for. As a result of his efforts, many laws have been changed. Sadly, prejudice still exists in America and it is a good day to reflect on the fact that, as human beings, we are more similar than different so we will see the fulfillment of Dr. King's dream, "that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed 'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.'"