Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, a civil rights activist whose life was taken away at 39 years old dedicated his life to create change and equality for people of all colors through nonviolent protest.
During this federal holiday, the community tends to host events such as marches and rallies and speeches with the involvement of politicians or activists.
Moreover, MLK is described to be a National Day of Service that encourages the community to volunteer in order to improve their communities and today the Americorps program has helped organize an event at the Micronesia Mall to commemorate this day of service.
Melissa Quinata, AmeriCorps Program Director says, “Our students, our GDOE students, community partners, their family, they’re here learning about all the AmeriCorps program, there’s about 9 here today, talking about all our service opportunities that we have throughout the year, giving presentations, and stamping their passport to make sure they see everybody before they head out.”
During today’s event, Governor Lou Leon Guerrero and Lieutenant Governor Josh Tenorio hosted a Proclamation Signing ceremony along with a Legislative Resolution followed guest speakers lined up to talk about service about MLK and the importance of MLK Day.
Governor Leon Guerrero says, “I would like to say that we celebrate and commit ourselves to the day of service, let us be inspired by the words of Dr.King who so adequately say in “Everybody can be great because anybody can serve, you don’t have to have a college degree to serve, you don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love. And that’s exactly what we are here today to celebrate.”
Edward Mesa, Americorps Ayuda Para i Kommunidat Program Director shares what Martin Luther King Jr. Day means to him, “For me MLK, he’s such an iconic figure, he’s done so much for America and also the island of Guam. MLK pretty much means to me is volunteerism and service, so I challenge every person here today to do some kind of service, take this day to give back to the community, donate to a non profit, or just lend a helping hand.
Additionally, as PNC previously reported, AmeriCorps members were at the mall to help set up the event and talk to the public about their Americorps programs in booths throughout the Center Court while recruiting volunteers and future Americorps members.
These are what members had to say about MLK Day.
“Aside from just talking to students about what we do here in Americorps, we’re also here today just to gather, celebrate, and embrace the spirit of volunteering, and also remembering MLK’s contributions.”
“In terms of MLK day I think it’s about serving the community and ways on how we can help people out.”
“I feel united and also it has a big impact on many people, personality wise also not all of us are the same so we clash alot but this day reminds me that even though we clash we can be united.”
“It is about unity and quality and how it is important and how it brought all of us together.”
As today has shown, MLK day is not only to commemorate the efforts of the KING, but the strength in numbers, the importance of community service, and how unity can make a difference.