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Day of service, justice still important during the pandemic, civil rights organization says

The spread of COVID-19 gives this MLK Day a new look
MLK Day during the pandemic
MLK Day during the pandemic
Published: Jan. 18, 2021 at 9:00 AM EST
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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - Martin Luther King Jr. Day is meant to be a day of service. The national holiday is, like most things, forced into a new look as the coronavirus pandemic rages on. A civil rights organization says it is as important as ever to reflect on Dr. King’s legacy

“I think that it is a day of service. But also a day of justice,” said Marc Morial, president and CEO of the National Urban League.

Many Americans have Monday off of work to recognize the holiday, but Morial says the holiday should not just be a normal day of leave.

“The day of service is how do you actualize the aims of Martin Luther King. Well, one way, not the only way, to actualize it is to give back to community,” said Morial.

The pandemic is making service more difficult in 2021, but Morial says it does not have to be. With the option to donate money, food, and clothes there are many ways to give. He says you can make your community better even as the public health crisis rages on.

He says with the pandemic touching every community in this country giving back is as important as it ever has been. But he says in addition to service, he wants Americans to recognize and act on inequality that exists in this country.

“Committing to work for a just society, a fair society, a society without racism, without hatred, without bigotry,” said Morial.

Morial says 2020 thrust racial injustice into the spotlight with protests and cries for reform. He believes that work should continue this year as the nation celebrates a man who dedicated his life to that mission.

“Martin Luther King’s message and his work is for the ages,” said Morial. “It’s timeless and it’s always relevant. And it’s never been more relevant than it is in 2021.”

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