Every third Monday of January, we come together to remember and celebrate the legacy of civil rights icon Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The impact of King’s work and his commitment to creating lasting change and equity here in the U.S., is profoundly felt. The progress made, however, more clearly illuminates just how much of the mountain remains on our climb towards justice.
As an organization that seeks to drive change within our food system–a system that touches the lives of every American in ways great and small, positive and negative–PBFA strives to instill the principles, championed by King and the civil rights movement, of diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice in everything we do. In taking a holistic and systems-based approach to transforming the food system, built on accessibility and sustainability, our goal is to ensure the health, dignity, and respect of all people.
This day is not singularly about remembering the past but helping to build the future that King so boldly envisioned. We encourage everyone–within our member community and beyond–to pick up the torch lit by MLK and use this day to make the world a place that lives up to the tenets of his dream.
Here are a few ways you can act in honor of MLK Jr Day:
1. Advocate for Voting Rights
Members of King’s family are calling on the public to use the day to mobilize in support of the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. This legislation aims to promote racial justice and equity to ensure the voices of all Americans are heard and protected in the voting process.
You can learn more about the events planned via National Action Network or send a message to your Senator through the National Urban League.
2. Look for opportunities to volunteer for MLK Day of Service
Get involved in your community through Americorps. You can use #MLK in your search to identify efforts happening near you.
3. Donate to support the efforts of the King Center
Founded by Coretta Scott King, the King Center offers resources and programs centered around Non-Violence education training. Click here to learn more.
4. Support organizations that focus on social and racial justice
There are so many inspiring organizations advocating for racial justice on the ground that need ongoing support. You can find organizations with a specific focus on social justice through Giving Compass and learn more about the work they do and how to get involved.
5. Support Black-owned businesses
Make change with your dollars! Buying from Black-owned shops, restaurants, and companies is a great way to support and celebrate local economies. Try Support Black Owned to find businesses in your area and Eat Okra for restaurants and culinary events.
“If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way.”― Martin Luther King Jr.
As Dr. King taught, all efforts, no matter how great or small, contribute to change. We hope you have a fruitful and inspiring MLK Day, and will join us in our commitment to bringing about a food system–and a broader world–that embodies equity and justice for all.