Editor’s Note: Scroll to the bottom for local volunteer opportunities as part of MLK Day of Service.
One way to support and honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is to find the people who, like him, are actively fighting for racial equality and social justice and support them. Because while it might be easy to relegate Dr. King’s words, actions, and beliefs to the movements of the past, the truth is that the equality he fought for is just as relevant today as it was then, because the fight is still happening.
“I cannot sit idly by in Atlanta and not be concerned about what happens in Birmingham,” Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. famously wrote in his letter from Birmingham Jail. “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny.”
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy extends far beyond what can be shared on the third Monday in January each year. So, instead of limiting the amplification of his efforts to a single day, why not follow activists and leaders who are helping to carry his vision into the future?
Here are a few to start with. And if you feel like there’s information missing from this, please let us know in the comments or by sending an email to our editor at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’re here to listen and amplify.
Anti-Racism Educators, Activists, and Organizations To Follow And Support Online
Black Lives Matter: #BlackLivesMatter was founded in 2013 in response to the acquittal of Trayvon Martin’s murderer. Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation, Inc. is a global organization in the US, UK, and Canada, whose mission is to eradicate white supremacy and build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes.
North Shore Juneteenth Association: A nonprofit organization with the mission of creating programming and events that will expose all communities to positive images and aspects of African American culture.
Center for Anti-Racist Research: Founded by activist Ibram X Kendi, Boston University Center for Antiracist Research exists to convene researchers and practitioners from various disciplines to figure out novel and practical ways to understand, explain, and solve seemingly intractable problems of racial inequity and injustice.
Rachel Cargle: Rachel Cargle is an Akron, Ohio born public academic, writer, and lecturer. Her activist and academic work are rooted in providing intellectual discourse, tools, and resources that explore the intersection of race and womanhood.
Alicia Garza (@chasinggarza): Alicia Garza is an organizer, political strategist, and cheeseburger enthusiast. She is the principal at the Black Futures Lab and the Black to the Future Action Fund, co-creator of #BlackLivesMatter and the Black Lives Matter Global Network, director of strategy and partnerships at the National Domestic Workers Alliance, and host of the Lady Don’t Take No podcast.
Brittany Packnett Cunningham: Cited by President Barack Obama as a leader whose “voice is going to be making a difference for years to come,” Brittany is an award-winning educator, organizer, writer, and leader. Brittany has become a sought-after voice in the work of social change and empowerment. Brittany plays many roles, all focused on freedom.
Ijeoma Oluo: The NYT best-selling author of ‘So You Want To Talk About Race’ (2018) and MEDIOCRE (2020).
Patricia A. Taylor: Patricia A. Taylor is a California native now living in Georgia, learning and growing as a wife, mama, and Believer. She has a desire for bringing truth, grace, and love into conversations about racial justice, while boldly proclaiming her thoughts and experiences as she honors the heart of God.
SURJ Boston: SURJ Boston is a local chapter of Showing Up For Racial Justice, a national network of groups and individuals organizing white people for racial justice.
Dr Shola Mos-Shogbamimu: Dr Shola is a political & women’s rights activist, taught intersectional feminism to female refugees and asylum seekers; scrutinizes government policies from a gender and diversity inclusion perspective; and co-organises women’s marches and social campaigns.
How You Can Get Involved Locally:
MLK Day of Service Opportunities:
- Coat Drive for One Warm Coat- Greater Boston – Elements Massage Medford
- Belmont Food Pantry Food Drive – Belmont Food Pantry
- Moishe House Cambridge MLK Day of Service
Other Local Opportunities
- Volunteer with NortheastARC: You can make a difference in the lives of children and adults with disabilities by sharing your time and talents to volunteer at Northeast Arc. Fill out the form here.
- Deliver meals to Salem Seniors with Root: Delivery entails transporting large coolers or tote bins to the various senior housing locations in Salem, so a hatch-back or small/large SUV is recommended. Assistance is needed for delivery to some locations, and delivery and distribution (hanging bags on door handles) in other locations. Sign up here.
Do you have a volunteer opportunity or program that needs support? Let us know by sending a message to email@example.com
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