Among Dr. King’s many commitments, he was profoundly committed to community and service. To this end, Dr. King encouraged us to ask ourselves: What are you doing for others?
During the past ten years, I’ve hosted tributes to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.–the icon and the man. Each year, a lovely community gathers in the Seattle area at a place called Third Place Commons.
Each year is different yet connected to previous years by the bond of community. One year I featured videos of Dr. King’s remarkable speeches and marches, and I led the audience in singing civil rights songs, call and responses style. Everyone beamed—children, elders, and those in between. Another year, we drew on our collective imagination to create a gigantic moving sculpture to reflect our vision of the Beloved Community. A few years ago, I recruited teachers and students in local schools to create a program featuring student work. They sang, danced, read their own poetry, and to our utter amazement constructed a marvelous oversized portrait of Dr. King before our very eyes. Using 8.5 x 11 “tiles,” each with some part of Dr. King’s face, the students silently positioned their tiles into a frame, creating a lovely mosaic of Dr. King. for several weeks, we left in on display. That year, in addition to creating their wonderful program, I invited the teachers and students to extend their learning about Dr. King and the many other warriors of the Civil Rights Movement. I invited them to commit to learning about this vital aspect of our nation’s history as a living, enduring part of their day-to-day curriculum.
There are so many ways to serve. Mine is to do what I can with I have where I am… to build community—through poetry, conversation, singing, laughter, art, dance, encouragement, and education.
Tell me, what’s yours?
Pass It On!