“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
− Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
American Civil Rights Leader
On the third Monday of every January, the United States celebrates Martin Luther King Jr. Day, commemorating the life and work of the American Civil Rights leader. Dr. King rose to prominence in the 1950s, preaching non-violent resistance to systematic racism.
A Baptist minister, Dr. King led several demonstrations that would ignite legislative change in the United States, including the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights of 1965, the Immigration and Nationality Services Act of 1965, and the Fair Housing Act of 1968. But his impact wasn’t limited to the U.S. Dr. King’s work was instrumental in international human rights, including the adoption of the 1965 International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD).
Most know Dr. King for his “I Have a Dream” speech, which was named the greatest speech of the 20th century. Though Dr. King’s life was cut short by an assassin in 1968, his list of accomplishments is long and storied and a testament to the notion that one person can change the world.
- 1964 Nobel Peace Prize winner 1964
- Earned two graduate degrees – Theology and Philosophy
- Received over 50 honorary degrees
- 1963 Time magazine’s “Man of the Year”
- Authored 6 books
- Spoke at over 2,500 events
President Ronald Reagan signed the bill making Martin Luther King Jr. Day law in November 1983, and the first King holiday was celebrated in 1986. MLK Day was recognized as a state holiday by all 50 states by 2000. In 2011, the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial on the National Mall in Washington D.C. was opened to the public.
MLK Day is considered an official day of service and is one of eleven U.S. federal holidays. Non-essential federal government offices are closed along with state and city government offices, schools, libraries, banks, and U.S. Postal offices and delivery. Many cities host MLK Day celebrations and parades.
In honor of Dr. King, all proceeds from this month’s MedPro’s Cocktails for Charity will be donated to the Community Health of South Florida, Martin Luther King Jr. Clinica Campesina Health Center in Homestead. The non-profit CHI MLK Jr. Health Center offers a variety of care, including primary care, pediatrics, dental, OB/GYN, behavioral health, urgent care, walk-in medical services, and pharmaceutical services. CHI accepts most insurances and offers a pay scale for those with limited or no insurance.
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