January 20, 2020, marks the 25th anniversary of the day of service that celebrates the life and legacy of civil rights leader, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Each year, the MLK holiday is observed on the third Monday in January as "a day on... not a day off." It is the only federal holiday that is designated as a National Day of Service.
There are plenty of ways to give back and serve your community around the Tennessee Valley.
- Unity Breakfast in Huntsville
The Delta Theta Lambda Education Foundation of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. is hosting the 35th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Unity Breakfast beginning at 8 a.m. at the Von Braun Center North Hall.
The speaker for this year's event will be Dr. M. Christopher Brown II, the 18th president of Kentucky State University and founder of the Atwood Institute on Race, Education, and Democratic Ideal. The event is sold out and no tickets are available.
- Day of Service in Huntsville
Zenzele Consignment will host the third annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m.
Located at 2205-F University Drive in the Northwood Plaza, Zenzele Consignment is a nonprofit African and resale clothing store and a project of the All African People’s Development & Empowerment Project (AAPDEP). AAPDEP builds African-community-led clean water, health care, educational, and agricultural programs locally and internationally.
The day will begin with a brief presentation on the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. From there, volunteers will participate in community outreach, helping to distribute thousands of door hangers throughout the community. After the outreach, participants will enjoy lunch, giveaways, and live entertainment.
- Day of Service, Unity Luncheon, and March in Florence
The University of North Alabama campus and Shoals community are invited to UNA for two events in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
The Office of Student Engagement is partnering with Numana, Inc. to have a Day of Service where volunteers will package more than 30,000 meals for local food pantries. The first 300 volunteers will receive a free T-shirt. Volunteers are asked to check-in between 10 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. in the atrium of the Guillot University Center. After a brief welcome message, they will be assigned stations.
Immediately after the Day of Service, UNA’s annual MLK Unity Luncheon and March will begin at noon in the atrium of the Guillot University Center on campus. UNA President Ken Kitts will speak briefly; as will Ron Patterson, Chief Enrollment Officer and Assistant to the President for Diversity, and Student Government Association President Sam Mashburn.
Attendees will then march to the Baptist Campus Ministries building for lunch, catered by Rhoda P’s Restaurant, and a program with speaker and UNA alumnus Marcus Motton.
The Unity March and Luncheon is open to the public and is sponsored by the Office of Diversity and Institutional Equity at UNA. There is no fee to attend, and no registration is required.
- Day of Service in Guntersville
Weather permitting, the Annual MLK Day of Service Lakeview Community Cleanup will be held on Monday, January 20. Meet at the Williamson-Harris Park Pavilion at 10:30 a.m. to receive supplies.
- MLK March in Russellville
The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Day Commemorative March will start at the A.W. Todd Center at 10:45 a.m. and head to the Franklin County Courthouse where a prayer will take place.
- Athens-Limestone Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Celebration
The march will start at 9 a.m. at the Courthouse and go around the Courthouse to the Event Center/Veterans Museum. At 9:30 a.m. the celebration will honor essay and art contest winners and include entertainment and light refreshments.
- Lincoln-Bridgeforth Park Committee's Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Ceremony (Athens)
The Public is invited to attend this ceremony at Sweet Home Missionary Baptist Church. The event is 11 a.m. Monday and will include lunch after the ceremony. Community volunteers will be recognized and Round Island Creek Male Chorus will perform. Harold Goodloe, pastor at Ephesus Seventh-Day Adventist Church in New Orleans, will be the guest speaker. Goodloe is a 1969 graduate of Trinity High School in Athens.