Celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. Day

By: Venton Blandin Email
By: Venton Blandin Email

January 15, 2007

His birthday is a national holiday allowing the federal government, schools, banks, and others to take a day off to remember his dream.

Some University of Virginia students are working hard on this Dr. King holiday not to forget what Doctor Martin Luther King, Junior was all about.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Junior had a dream for the entire nation.

"That my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character," said Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The dream also asked that the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners would be able to sit down at the table of brotherhood.

The dream is now a reality for Joyce Adelugba.

"Honestly, it feels really great having learned about some of the racial relations that have gone on in Charlottesville, and being able to work in a environment that is very racially mixed," said Volunteer Joyce Adeluguba.

Dr. King's request is showing more than 40 years after he delivered his famous "I Have A Dream" speech. Dozens of University of Virginia students, working side-by-side and using every stroke of their paintbrush, are honoring his legacy.

"I think the work that both Jumpstart and Habitat for Humanity-AmeriCorps are doing correlates well with the life and work of Dr. King and his lifetime of service," said Hudson Heatley of Charlottesville's Habitat for Humanity.

The students fulfilled their day of service by giving back to the Innisfree Farm in White Hall.

"Painting, cleaning out carpeting from old farmhouses, we had some folks working at the old Innisfree Store on the downtown mall to get them ready for their move to a new location," said Sarah Rude of the University of Virginia Jumpstart Program.

The work may seem small, but makes the holiday a day on instead of a day off.

The first national celebration of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday took place January 20, 1986.

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