The approach of the annual Martin Luther King Day Jr. holiday has unleashed a steady flow of stories and remembrances about the slain civil rights leader. This should come as no surprise. King, in my estimation, was one of the towering figures of the 20th century and his influence, here and abroad, was truly profound.
But among the many tributes, one that stands out for me was written by Capt. Anthony Carter of the 27th Special Operations Medicine Squadron in the U.S. Air Force. I encourage you to read it. In a work titled “Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday: A day on, not a day off,” Carter reminds us that the federal legislation that created the holiday challenges us to use it as an opportunity for “citizen action and volunteer service.”
PCC AmeriCorps and Student Leadership Council students are gladly accepting the challenge. They are taking part in an event at an apartment complex for senior citizens on Tucson’s East Side that will feature a compilation of remembrances of the civil rights era, both nationally and in Tucson, as well as readings from books about Dr. King and other civil rights leaders.
Our students’ activities align very well with Dr. King’s definition of education. “The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically,” Dr. King said. “Intelligence plus character — that is the goal of true education.”
Or, as Capt. Carter eloquently puts it, “This holiday is an instrument used to inspire individuals to use their strengths, passions and talents to better the lives of others and impact their local and global communities.”