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A Day of Service and Reflection

Amid a continuing pandemic, here’s how we’re honoring the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. in 2021.

National memorial statue of Martin Luther King Jr. with cherry blossom branches

COVID-19 continues to limit activities and public events, but people are finding ways – large and small – to remember the life and lasting impact of U.S. civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. on the 35th celebration of this national holiday.

Parades and other large-group activities have been cancelled and scaled down in favor of events that are smaller, but still meaningful.

Polina Miklush, Communications Director for CSL’s Seqirus vaccine business, found a quiet way to mark the holiday.

“A good example of something we can all do to commemorate MLK Jr. is to read books with our children about who he was and what he strove for,” said Miklush, mom to 10-month-old twins. She recommends the, started by a 9-year-old girl who wanted to promote books with “characters that look like me.”

Valerie Ortiz, CSL Behring Global Director for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, lives in Florida, where she’ll be attending an outdoor, socially-distant event with her children. The City of Alachua’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration will feature the director of the University of Florida’s African American Studies Program and a community clean-up, Ortiz said.

Senior Manager for CSL Behring Global Talent Programs Melanie Buckler and her family will participate in an outdoor cleanup at a local shelter and are also planning some at-home activities, she said. They’ll make cards for retirement community residents and her young son wants to learn Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. 

If you’re looking for a way to volunteer, find local opportunities through Americorps.

You can also observe the holiday by logging into a variety of virtual events, including a reading of King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” a 7,000-word response to those who had criticized civil rights leaders for protesting in Alabama in 1963. On Monday, the King Center in Atlanta, where King was born, will livestream a celebration that culminates a week-long remembrance for the slain leader. Born January 15, 1929, King was assassinated April 4, 1968 in Memphis, as he led a civil rights movement that would ultimately succeed.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a holiday for CSL Behring, which has made a global commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. In the U.S., the company recently announced a partnership with the Urban League to strengthen public health, workforce diversity and leadership in Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, Baltimore, Philadelphia and Broward County, Florida.

Learn more about the Urban League partnership.