How is MLK day celebrated?

Mariah Cuellar, Writer

The Martin Luther King Jr. holiday is an official day of service and celebrates the civil rights leader’s life and legacy. This day is celebrated to show respect to Martin Luther King and honor his life as a fighter for a racial justice and equality. MLK Day is on the third Monday of January each year, this year MLK Day is on Monday, Jan. 16, 2023.

MLK Day is the only federal holiday as a national holiday of service to encourage all Americans to volunteer to improve their communities.There are many events in Owatonna and Minnesota citizens can attend or be involved in on this holiday.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Contest

Alliance for Greater Equity is holding a contest welcoming K-12 students of Owatonna in an artwork contest. There are certain rules about the contest you need to follow in order to win. The artwork needs to be a speech, composing essay, poem, songs or any kind of physical artwork reflecting on Dr.Martin Luther King Jr. These entries will be divided into categories based on grade and judged on creativity, expression and connection to Martin Luther King Jr. Brian Coleman, the chair of Alliance for Greater Equality said, “I’ve been involved with equity work all of my adult life and I think I see a lot of things that could be better. And I want to make sure that everybody has not only access to opportunities, but they’re included and feel comfortable.”

MLK Breakfast

Owatonna Human Rights Commission hosts a MLK breakfast at Plaza Morena Campestre Grill. Doors open at 6:15 a.m. and breakfast is served at 6:30 a.m. – 7 a.m. and is open to the public at no cost. 

Dr.Martin Luther King, Jr. Concert

The 42nd Annual MLK concert is on Jan. 15, 2023 at 3 p.m. located at the Ted Mann Concert Hall in Minneapolis, you can attend this event in person or virtual. Celebrating the words of Martin Luther King Jr. with musical performances. Along with musical performance this program honors the 60th anniversary of MLK’s “I have a dream” speech at the end of the event. The concert is free and open to the public with no tickets required. 

Even though the Mixed Roots club at OHS does not do anything specific for MLK day they do host events throughout February for Black History Month. They decorate the school, along with the bulletin board out in the commons. They also decorate doors in different departments at the school recognizing historical black figures, they do all these events and activities to educate the students at OHS. Ms. Karin Martinez, the adviser of Mixed Roots, said, “History shouldn’t be relegated to one month because black history is American history. But at least having Black History Month and talking about it and acknowledging it and doing something with it is an opportunity for it to have some sort of spotlight.” 

Although not everyone will be able to attend these events on MLK day, they can still spend time volunteering and working to improve their community. Students and citizens everywhere should spend time educating themselves on the importance of MLK Day and black history.