State MLK Commision announces Virtual Celebration

Full Listing of 2021 Martin Luther King, JR. celebrations

The Arkansas Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission, a division of the Arkansas Department of Education, works with the communities of Arkansas, encouraging them to embrace alternatives to violence and to discover their common humanity through activities that stress racial and cultural diversity.  The Arkansas Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission implements programs that are designed to promote the tenets of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and honor his life and legacy.

The Arkansas Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission announces it 2021 MLK Day of Service, King Holiday Day of Impact.  The event will be hosted virtually on the Commission’s various platforms, premiering globally on Dr. King’s birthday, Friday, Jan. 15, 2021, on the following platforms:

Streaming on the following platforms Friday, Jan. 15, 2021, 11:59 AM

Facebook: @AMLKC and @ArkansasED

Twitter: @AMLKC and @ArkansasED

Instagram: @AMLKC and @Arkansas_ED

YouTube: AMLKC

Website: www.ARKingDream.org and ADE.Arkansas.gov

AMLKC 2021 Day of Service Broadcast Program Run Dates on Xfinity 98:

• Friday, Jan. 15, 12 p.m. through 2 p.m.

• Friday, Jan. 29, 6 p.m. through 8 p.m.

• Friday, Feb. 5, 6 p.m. through 8 p.m.

• Friday, Feb. 12. 6 p.m. through 8 p.m.

Xfinity 98 covers Central Arkansas: Little Rock, NLR, Sherwood, Jacksonville, Maumelle, Bryant

Major partners include the Arkansas Department of Education, the Arkansas Division of Workforce Services, Arkansas Minority Health Commission, Power 92, The Legendary KOKY 102.1, The Praise Network, AT&T, Entergy, Wal Mart, Sam’s, US Bank, Everett Buick GMC, The Allstate Foundation and Youth Service America, Xfinity, and Sam’s Club.

The King Holiday Day of Impact, hosted by the Arkansas Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission is the largest celebration in the nation honoring the life and legacy of the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., will be presented virtually as a result of the pandemic which restricts social gatherings as past Commission-sponsored King Holiday events have drawn thousands of attendees.  The virtual experience will include commemorative remarks, historical reflections, arts, and presentations by community leaders, local and nationally renowned groups, and individuals.  Confirmed appearances include Governor Asa Hutchinson, Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, Lieutenant Governor Tim Griffin, Dr, Bernice A. King, daughter of the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott King, and Senator Joyce Elliott.  There will also be several celebrity appearances congratulating the Commission on its 28th anniversary including:

Eric “Victor Newman” Braeden

Vivica A. Fox, Actress, Producer

Kel Mitchell, Actor, Comedian

Rhythm and Blues Legend Freddie Jackson

Eddie Levert, Legendary Rhythm and Blues Singer

Rhythm and Blues Singer, Songwriter, Jon B

Gospel Music Legend, Melvin Williams

Rhythm and Blues Legend, Howard Hewett

KeKe Wyatt, Rhythm and Blues Singer

“This is our opportunity, once again to showcase what Arkansas is doing to honor Dr. King to the world,” says DuShun Scarbrough, Executive Director. The virtual program will include educational components paying tribute to the legacy of Daisy Bates, civil rights icon who will be honored with a statue in Statuary Hall in the nation’s capital, and Historic West Ninth Street District, a once vibrant business district that was home to several successful African-American businesses.

“The COVID-19 health pandemic has changed the trajectory of live presentations, and the King Holiday Day of Impact is no exception.  Even though the Commission’s signature program is going “virtual,” it will not be void of the service components honoring the life, legacy and values espoused by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. which included education, social justice, diversity, and nonviolence,” says Scarbrough.

2021 King Holiday Service Projects

• Statewide Youth Volunteerism Challenge- Youth are challenged to complete acts of service honoring the King Legacy Jan. 15 through 18, 2020.

Sample Acts of Service may be found at the Commission’s website at www.arkingdream.org

• Statewide Health and Wellness Expo- wellness screenings for at-risk populations throughout the state

2021 King Holiday Education Virtual Projects

MLK Essay Contest-challenge to the youth of Arkansas to demonstrate what they can do to keep Dr. King’s dream alive and relevant in this 2021 King Holiday: Day of Impact Essay Contest. This experience will increase students’ knowledge about Dr. King, and enhance their language and writing skills, creativity, self-esteem, and character.

Statewide Contest winners will receive

 Middle School

• $1,500 Walmart/Sam’s Club Foundation grant to school of overall statewide winner

• $50 Walmart/Sam’s Club gift card for top 10 statewide runner-up/finalists

• $100 Walmart/Sam’s Club gift card to overall statewide winner

High School Entry

• $1,500 Walmart/Sam’s Club Foundation grant to school of overall statewide winner

• $50 Walmart/Sam’s Club gift card for top 10 statewide runner-up/finalist students

• $100 Walmart/Sam’s Club gift card to overall statewide winner

Essay Prompt: What does service mean to you?

• Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is a renowned civil rights leader who fought for equality and recognized the power of service. He said, "Everyone can be great because everybody can serve." Observing the Martin Luther King, Jr. federal holiday through service is a way to begin each year with a commitment to making your community a better place.

• Think about what service means to you, your community, and those who may be of a different background from yourself.  Write an essay explaining what service means to you, and how service is able to impact our society

• The content of the essay should demonstrate an understanding of Dr. King’s dream and who he was.  It should include suggestions and ideas for practical ways of carrying out his dream through service.

The Arkansas Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission announces the winners of the 2021 Statewide Youth Essay Contests

• High School Division, Michaela Stevens, 9th Grade, Hot Springs Junior Academy

• Middle School Division, Emilee Davis, Cabe Middle School, Gurdon School District

• Honoring the Legacy of Daisy Bates

• The Historic West Ninth Street District

2021 King Holiday Day of Impact Award Recipients

• 2021 Susie Everett Youth Community Service Award, Sydney “ABC Girl” Hopson

• 2021 Salute to Greatness, Reverend Leroy Hood

• 2021 Drum Major for Justice Award, Ernie Paulson, KARK TV/FOX 16

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