Celebrating the legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Published on January 15, 2021 in

Today we celebrate the life and legacy of The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. We celebrate the movement he became the voice of, including all the organizers, faith leaders, volunteers, and everyday citizens who, inspired by his words, demonstrated the power of people coming together to create a better world. We stand on the shoulders of those who spoke out, marched, suffered beatings and imprisonment in the name of freedom, justice, and the promise of America. Through their blood, sweat, and tears, and the work of all those that have come since, our country has made meaningful progress. But the struggle continues and, as the past year has clearly shown, the work is far from finished.  

At United Way for Southeastern Michigan, we’re committed to combatting discrimination against people of all races, ethnicities, and places of origin. Equity is a core part of our mission and lives at the center of the work we do.  

Today and every day, as individuals and a community, let’s commit ourselves to the principles exemplified by Dr. King and all the difference-makers who came before us. Together, let’s Stand United for justice, courage, perseverance, service, and hope. 

Tonya Adair

Chief People, Equity and Engagement Officer
United Way for Southeastern Michigan

5 ways to make a difference on MLK Day

At United Way, we believe in making MLK Day a day for learning, service to community and reflection. Here are five ways you can join us in making this day “a day on, not a day off.” 

Sign up to Volunteer

Whether distributing food, tutoring students or building DIY kits, you can use United Way’s Volunteer Portal to find ways to make an impact in your community.

Find in-person opportunities

Find virtual opportunities

Advocate with us to end the federal ban on equity trainings

Last year, President Trump signed an executive order limiting equity trainings by restricting the teaching of concepts like white privilege, intersectionality, systemic racism, positionality, racial humility, and unconscious bias. We need your help to send a message to President-Elect Biden, calling on him to revoke the ban on equity trainings immediately.

Take action with us  

Pick up a book about racial justice history

United Way for Southeastern Michigan staff have kicked off 2021 by committing to reading books that expand our knowledge of racial justice and our country’s history of systemic racism. You can join us!

This month, we’re reading author Kevin Boyle’s “Arc of Justice: A Saga of Race, Civil Rights, and Murder in the Jazz Age.”

Purchase the book online, or shop at a local Black-owned bookstore like Source Booksellers in Detroit.

Watch our equity town halls

In September, United Way launched a series of town halls focused on issues of equity in areas like health care, education and the COVID-19 pandemic. Watch the first six videos in the playlist below, then sign up for updates to be notified of upcoming town halls on equity issues and other topics.

Join a community event

There are many safe virtual ways to join with your fellow community members to learn, grow and heal together. Here are a few options: