Google will join the world in celebrating Martin Luther King Day of Service this Monday. The Jan. 19 celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King’s life and legacy is the national MLK Day of Service for America. The holiday is a meaningful one, especially this year, as it marks the 50th commemoration of the Selma to Montgomery March, when civil rights was the main topic of conversation throughout the country.
The Internet titan is enjoining everyone to take some of their personal time, and give back to their respective communities. On the federal holiday MLK Day, government offices close to honor the orator of the classic speech, I Have a Dream. However, many tech firms in Silicon Valley stay open. The tech industry has been under fire for its lack of diversity, especially among African Americans. Google gives the day off to their employees, and so, do Facebook, Yahoo and Twitter.
One of the greatest orators in American history, the slain civil rights fighter and leader of the African-American Civil Rights movement, Dr. King once said that the most urgent and persistent question of life is what a person is doing for others. Google volunteers across America measure up to that question by doing community service, especially during MLK Day, and cherish Dr. King’s legacy. They are fully aware that their community commitment goes beyond MLK Day as well.
Every state has its own way to celebrate MLK Day. In Arkansas, buses offer a day’s free ride to the public. In South Carolina, Lowcountry, Charleston will host an ecumenical service followed by a parade, Youth Speakout and Poetry Slam.
Meanwhile, Google volunteers celebrate Martin Luther King Day of Service by making MLK a “day on,” instead of a “day off” by supporting community projects. Those who love to do volunteer works can check on the opportunities at All for Good. Googlers are participating and sharing what motivates them to serve MLK Day.
Aerica Banks, a leadership coordinator helped organize the volunteers in Google Atlanta office for the program event of the Food Bank Kids In Need which provides school supplies to the teachers of low-income schools. Banks says service breaks barriers and builds communities.
Googlers in California will be with the Dr. Martin Luther king, Jr. Community Foundation in Northern California, which will host festivities such as the annual march and parade in San Francisco. To participate in Monday’s event is the head of multicultural marketing, Eliana Murillo, who said that giving a hand to the needy helps build understanding and compassion of life’s diverse experiences.
From the Google ads team in Chicago, Fabian Elliot encourages middle school students to practice compassion by writing letters to children who struggle with terminal illnesses. He shares that the world’s challenges, even how obscure, impact each in different levels. It is as simple as doing something one loves and supports.
Another Google volunteer who celebrates Martin Luther King Day of Service is Donna Bellow, a legal assistant who helps middle school students with their STEM and computer science activities. According to Bellow, doing something for others to reach their goals is reclaiming power – the power of having love as one’s choice, instead of conflict; the power to recognize differences, as well as achieve an equal outcome for everyone.
By Judith Aparri
Photo courtesy of m. – Flickr License