It’s #MLKDAY and you have nothing planned?
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a social justice warrior, visionary, and inspiration. The impact of his words and actions continue to resonate today. Just because you don’t have anything planned doesn’t mean you can’t participate.
Here are some last minute ways you can create an impact today
Support local, black-owned businesses
Are you going out for coffee? Meeting a friend for lunch? Shopping for some new clothes? Although it’s my hope that you make conscious choices whenever you shop, today is a great day to be even more aware.
“Nationwide there are more than 2.6 million black-owned businesses,” Black business owner Antwon Davis told NBC News. “But eight out of 10 fail within the first year and a half because of a lack of exposure, a lack of capital, and a lack of business acumen.”
Here’s some great resources to check out:
- Shoppe Black’s list of Coffee Shops
- Travel Noire’s list of Restaurants
- Super Selceted’s list of 100+ Shops
- The Co Report’s list of Lingere Businesses
- Huffington Posts’ list of Etsy Shops
Champion social justice through volunteering
Martin Luther King Jr. Day is recognized in as a day of National Service. Advocates request that you “make it a day on, not a day off.” And, many organizations host MLK Day volunteer projects. It may not be too late for you to join. Some great places to start your search include:
- NationalService.gov’s directory
- United Way
- Or simply putting “volunteer + MLKDAY + your city” into a search engine (I found this article, put out by GRMAG)
Support an organization that empowers black communities
- The Memorial Foundation
- African American Planning Commission
- National Black Chamber of Commerce
- National Urban League
- Here’s a list of more organizations compiled by the Huffington Post
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s ability as an orator and a writer are well known. But, without readers, without listeners, do you think he would have made such a considerable impact? It’s doubtful. Perhaps, one of the best ways to make an impact is to choose to listen (without critique or judgment) to the lived experiences of the black people in your community. However, it is important to remember that it is not the black community’s responsibility to educate you. And, it is not the job of one person to speak for the whole community. Here is a collection of resources, data, and experiences that I have come across.
- The Black Experience Project
- 25 Things Everyone Needs to Know About the Lives of Black People in America
- Why America’s Black Mothers and Babies Are in a Life-or-Death Crisis
Mia is an impact-driven consultant who partners with nonprofits and cause-driven businesses to grow their impact. She believes in their power and ability to solve the most challenging problems and is committed to giving them the support they need.