Martin Luther King Jr. Day falls on the third Monday in January as a way for families to commemorate the life and achievements of the Civil Rights leader.
Many families celebrate the day with acts of service and giving back to the community. But with the coronavirus pandemic, families in Macomb County and beyond may not be comfortable leaving their homes for the day.
So, to help those families, we offer you this list of five fun ways to commemorate MLK Day either at home or somewhere close by.
1. Clean up your community
In addition to being a government holiday, MLK Day is also a national day of service, meaning it’s the perfect time to volunteer and clean up a local park or even your backyard.
Dress for the weather and head outdoors to pick up litter and debris that has accumulated in your yard or neighborhood over the winter — you can even check with your local park or city hall to see if something more official is planned at public green spaces.
2. Join a virtual MLK Day event
Each year, many local Civil Rights groups and other organizations conduct marches and other community events to commemorate the day.
This year, many of the in-person events are on hold, but a quick search of Google or Facebook brings a plethora of virtual events that you can join.
Pick one that works with your family’s schedule and that is appropriate for your child’s age to get involved from the comfort of your own computer or phone screen.
3. Plant a tree
Dr. King had a dream that our country would grow to reject racism and judge people not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
While we still have a long way to go to achieve his dream, we can honor the work Civil Rights leaders put in and the growth that we have made by planting a tree — the ultimate symbol or growth — at our homes or in our community.
Note: Check with your community before planting trees in public spaces.
4. Listen to Dr. King’s speeches
Among his many accomplishments, Dr. King is known for delivering powerful speeches that called for systemic change.
Introduce your kids to some of his work through his speeches, then have a conversation with your child about the words that he used and the messages he was trying to convey.
Pro tip: You can find many of his original speeches on YouTube!
5. Explore media that dive into his life, achievements and what he fought against
MLK Day is the perfect time to teach your kids about racism and the work that we need to do to truly overcome it.
There are plenty of kids’ books that tackle the topic of racism. You can check out this list at MetroParent.com for ideas.
More of a movie buff than a book worm? Consider a family viewing of the movie Selma, which tells the story of the 1965 march to Montgomery.
For more information about celebrating MLK Day in Macomb County or for details on living in Macomb County, visit the Macomb County Department of Planning and Economic Development at Make Macomb Your Home.