GUEST ROOM | Echoes of the Drum Major for Justice: A Reflection for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, 2022

While I’m proud of my commonality with him, I must admit that in the past few years, I have dreaded Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Every year, I see a large crowd of people that misconstrue or co-opt his legacy through ignorant – or deliberate – misunderstanding of what King stood for. For years, I worked to gain more insight into his teachings so I could speak on his legacy. Now that I have those tools, I will finally speak about King’s legacy and how his leadership during the Civil Rights Movement is one of the most notable examples of servant leadership in the modern era.

Ithaca Community Celebrates MLK Day

Earlier this week, the Ithaca community celebrated Martin Luther King Jr. Day with week-long celebrations, community meals, workshops and guest speakers. Ithaca College honored King with a commemorative week of events run by the Center for Innovation, Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Social Change. Ithaca College has been celebrating MLK day as a “day on” not “day off” since 2008, according to their website. The idea of the “day on” is a time of reflection and a call to action through programs and activities, rather than simply taking a vacation. Their week of events features a keynote address, workshops, speakers and panels.