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News 6 min read

18 Action Items to Honor Dr. Martin Luther King. Jr.

By JCC Milwaukee January 17, 2022

On January 17, 2022, members of our JCC staff family paused to honor the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. through a text study consisting of excerpts from the speeches and sermons he gave during his all too brief life. Taking time to connect with his words, which reach across decades and ring sadly true today, the call reminded us of the role we all must play in inspiring justice and equity throughout our community.

We’d share this list of 18 action items to honor the life of Dr. King since 18 is the number that symbolizes life (chai) in Jewish tradition. List created by Heidi Gould, Pantry Director, and Reva Fox, Arts & Culture Director.

1 . Watch the film “Race—The Power of an Illusion” which explores how many Black Americans experience race in this country

2 . Talk to your children around race all year round. Visit embracerace.org for webinars, books, and more. Or visit The Conscious Kid for a list of anti-racist books.

3 . Learn about race by listening: 50-minute lesson on Understanding Our Implicit Biases

4 . Learn about Race by watching films, here are “10 Documentaries to watch about race instead of asking a person of color to explain things for you.”

5 . Watch plays (or filmed plays) about social justice: Raisin in the Sun, American Son, Angels in America, Laramie Project

6 . Learn about movements continuing Dr. King’s Legacy like:

The Poor People’s Campaign

Movement for Black Lives  

Black Lives Matter  

7 . Identify and Support Black-Owned Businesses in MKE. A few to start the list: Coffee Makes You Black, Funky Fresh Spring Rolls, Goody Gourmets in Shorewood

8 . Volunteer with your children by helping Just One More Ministry (JOMM) food bank make sandwiches for those experiencing food insecurities. Send Self-Isolating Seniors Letters to Brighten Their Days.

9 . Honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy by fighting against injustice through learning, reading, and connecting.

10 . Join the 2022 Hunger Free America MLK Serve-A-Thon! Phone Banking to Increase Food Access

11 . Listen to “Why Race Matters” Host and Producer Angela Fitzgerald engages in extended one-on-one conversations to elevate issues of importance affecting Wisconsin’s Black communities. Listen here.

12 . Register to join Public Policy & Advocacy Letter Writing workshop to help educate policymakers about Wisconsin’s health equity and social justice issues.

13 . Donate to Black Organizations like The Bail ProjectThe Loveland FoundationBLOC—Black Leaders Organizing for Communities

14 . Attend the North Shore Community Martin Luther King Jr.  Interfaith Devotional happening Tuesday, January 18th, 7:00 pm.

15 . Visit America’s Black Holocaust Museum located at 401 W North Avenue, Wisconsin 53212

16 . Listen to an MLK Day playlist

17 . Read a Book from an Anti-racist Reading List, here are some suggestions:

“Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community?” by Martin Luther King Jr.

“How to Be an Antiracist” by Ibram X. Kendi

“The Fire Next Time” by James Baldwin

18. Attend the Marcus Performing Arts Center’s 38th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Celebration. This year’s theme is “We Must Speak,” a reference from Dr. King’s “A Time to Break Silence” speech on April 4th, 1967 in NYC