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VOTE NOW: MLK Day

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Posted at 4:18 AM, Jan 16, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-16 04:18:50-05

Annual tributes and commemorations of the life and legacy of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., which began nationwide Friday, typically include a mix of politics, faith and community service.

For this year's observance, the 38th since its federal recognition in 1986, a descendant of King hopes to spur progress by helping more Americans personalize the ongoing struggle for racial equity and harmony.

Bernice King, daughter of the late civil rights icon, said people must move beyond platitudes and deepen their own commitments to the needed progress.

King holiday weekend events include a statue unveiling Friday in Boston, a symposium on police brutality in Akron, Ohio, and community service projects in many U.S. cities. Indianapolis organizations have planned a number of events to honor his legacy and many of them are free.

The holiday kicks off another year of advocacy on a racial justice agenda — from police reforms and strengthening voting rights to solutions on economic and educational disparities — that has been stymied by culture wars and partisan gridlock in Washington and nationwide.

And for the seventh year, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation will mark a post-King holiday National Day of Racial Healing. On Tuesday, communities nationwide are scheduled to hold town halls to continue dialogue on healing that the foundation says is needed to achieve racial equity.

“Regardless of who you are, there’s a journey of healing that everyone must consider,” said La June Montgomery Tabron, CEO of the Kellogg Foundation. “We’ve all been impacted by racism.”