President Obama called Americans to make MLK Day a national day of service. The First Family went out and volunteered and also encouraged Cabinet level secretaries and senior Obama Administration officials to lead their agencies & offices in personally engaging in a service project. As for me, well, my service was not only writing on this her blog for y’all, but also giving away some clothes and household items to Goodwill to benefit the needy. I also watched American History X which I’d never seen before and is a movie that I think Dr. King would have appreciated. So I’ve shared how I spent Martin Luther King Day…wanna share in the comments how you celebrated King’s birthday? Of course, I’m not going to judge you if you sat around watching football or otherwise relaxed yesterday. Ok maybe I’m going to judge you a little. But not too much. You’ve still got next year to get onboard the service train.
rikyrah already posted a photo and video in today’s afternoon Open Thread earlier today showing how the Obamas celebrated MLK Day. I’m just going to provide therefore a few more deets plus another photo above of the President at Stuart Hobson Middle School.
Here’s a quote from the President on his service:
Michelle and I the girls are extraordinarily proud that each year on Martin Luther King’s birthday this is how we celebrate, is making sure that we’re giving a little something back to the community. And I hope that all the projects that are taking place all across the country on this day are getting similar attention, because this is part of what America is all about. And after a painful week where so many of us were focused on tragedy, it’s good for us to remind ourselves what this country is all about. This kind of service project is what’s best in us and we’re thrilled with everybody who is participating.”—President Obama at Stuart Hobson Middle School for a Service Event with the Greater DC Cares Mentoring Initiative [1/17/2011]
Also of interest to me is a short update on the contruction of the Martin Luther King Memorial on the National Mall:
On January 13, Secretary Ken Salazar, District of Columbia Mayor Vincent Gray and Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton visited the Washington, DC Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial to view progress underway at the worksite. The memorial, which is currently under construction, is expected to be completed in 2011. Secretary Salazar was joined by Harry E. Johnson Sr., President of the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial Project Foundation on the walking tour.
Here’s the full list of Cabinet Secretaries and Administration officials who participated in memorial and community service events for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. (more after the jump)
The First Family:
- On January 17, the First Family participated in a service event with the Greater DC Cares Mentoring Initiative at Stuart Hobson Middle School in Washington, DC.
Vice President and Dr. Biden:
- On January 17, the Vice President and Dr. Jill Biden participated in the Wilmington, Delaware, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service at the City Center at Nemours. Service projects included On-the-Go Meal Kit Assembly for the Ronald McDonald House of Delaware, writing letters to service members, and a winter clothing drive.
Corporation for National and Community Service
- On January 17, Corporation for National and Community Service CEO Patrick Corvington will speak at the 18th Annual Hands On Atlanta Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Service Summit, an event which will include a service project to package up to 10,000 food boxes for hungry Georgians as well as learning sessions on important community issues. On January 14, CEO Corvington headlined a national conference call and roundtable with African American media hosted by White House Media Affairs. The Corporation for National and Community Service will also promote many MLK Day initiatives including Drum Majors for Service, the “MLK Day 25 Challenge: What are You Doing for Others in 2011” initiative, and MLK Day Ambassadors.
Department of Defense Robert Gates
- On January 13, Secretary Robert Gates attended the Department of Defense’s National Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Observance Program in the Pentagon Auditorium in Arlington, Virginia.
Department of Justice
- On January 15, Attorney General Eric Holder will deliver remarks at the Shiloh Baptist Church annual Martin Luther King Jr. prayer breakfast in Washington, D.C. On January 16, he will deliver remarks at the Ebenezer Baptist Church worship service in Atlanta, Georgia.
Department of Labor
- On January 17, Secretary Hilda L. Solis will participate in the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor’s Martin Luther King Day Parade in Los Angeles, California. On January 12, Secretary Solis participated in the Department of Labor’s National Martin Luther King Jr. Day Observance in the department’s Frances Perkins headquarters building. The keynote speaker was Reverend Samuel (Billy) Kyles, who was at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis with Dr. King during the entire last hour of his life. Secretary Solis presented Rev. Kyles with an award. In addition, the Labor Department created a special MLK Day 2011 commemorative poster that will be displayed throughout the department next week.
Department of the Interior
- On January 13, Secretary Ken Salazar, District of Columbia Mayor Vincent Gray and Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton visited the Washington, DC Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial to view progress underway at the worksite. The memorial, which is currently under construction, is expected to be completed in 2011. Secretary Salazar was joined by Harry E. Johnson Sr., President of the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial Project Foundation on the walking tour.
United States Department of Agriculture
- On January 13, Secretary Tom Vilsack will attend a celebration in the Jefferson Auditorium located at the Department of Agriculture in Washington, D.C. from 10 to 11 a.m. The ceremony will feature Reverend Leroy Gilbert of Mt. Gilead Baptist Church, located in Washington D.C., as the keynote speaker.
Department of Health and Human Services
- On January 18, Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will speak at the opening convocation of the Howard School of Divinity. Her remarks will focus on the Affordable Care Act as a victory for civil rights.
Department of Education
- On January 17, Secretary Arne Duncan will keynote at a breakfast with Reverend Al Sharpton and the National Action Network in the morning and will participate in a service project with City Year at Kramer Middle School, 1700 Q Street, SE, DC in the afternoon.
Department of Transportation
- On January 17, Secretary Ray LaHood and White House Domestic Policy Council Director Melody Barnes will join Department of Transportation employees and other volunteers for Martin Luther King Day of Service events at Ballou Senior High School. As part of President and First Lady’s continued call to engage in community service, Secretary LaHood, Director Barnes and students from Ballou Senior High School and George Washington University will paint murals, cover up graffiti, clean up around the school and assist in other projects that will enhance the learning environment for students.
- On January 18, Secretary Steven Chu will host a Martin Luther King, Jr. Day celebration in the auditorium at the Department of Energy. Dr. Clayborne Carson, a professor at Stanford University who has devoted his life to the study of Dr. King and his teachings, will be the keynote speaker. Students from McKinley Technology High school will be in attendance.
Department of Veterans Affairs
- On January 17, Secretary Eric Shinseki will serve meals at So Others Might Eat (S.O.M.E.) in Washington, D.C.
Environmental Protection Agency
- On January 17, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson will attend a breakfast with Reverend Al Sharpton, followed by a Kid Power Inc. Citizen Farm Community Service Event at Tubman Elementary School in Washington, D.C.
United States Trade Representative
- On January 18, Ambassador Ron Kirk will deliver remarks at a Martin Luther King Jr. reception at the World Bank.
Office of Management and Budget
- On January 17, Office of Management and Budget Director Jack Lew will participate in a City Year New York service event at Intermediate School 292 and join over 1,700 volunteers taking part in City Year New York/AmeriCorps activities in Brooklyn and across New York City.
Office of the Surgeon General
- On January 9, Surgeon General Regina Benjamin delivered the keynote address at the 29th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration at the Johns-Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland.
- On January 17, Peace Corps Director Aaron Williams and Deputy Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet will prepare and serve dinners at Miriam’s Kitchen in Washington, D.C. On January 14, at 10am, the Peace Corps will host the Duke Ellington High School Show Choir to honor the memory and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr..
General Services Administration
- On January 14, GSA Administrator Martha Johnson will participate in the Martin Luther King, Jr. Federal Building Rededication in Atlanta, Georgia. GSA Rep. John Lewis will keynote the event.
Central Intelligence Agency
- On January 12, the CIA held a Martin Luther King, Jr. Day celebration where Director Leon Panetta made an address. The event also featured poet and activist Nikki Giovanni and a performance by the US Air Force Band Brass Quintet.
- On January 17, USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah will prepare, serve, and share in a community meal with over 60 guests who are experiencing homelessness and hunger with the Youth Service Opportunities Project at the Church of Epiphany, 1317 G St NW, Washington, DC.
Office of National Drug Control Policy
- On January 17, the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) will perform a home maintenance project for a “Gold Star” family – those who have lost a loved one in Iraq or Afghanistan. Director Gil Kerlikowkse and other ONDCP staff will do a variety of projects, including painting, light plumbing work and light carpentry, at the homes of several Maryland Gold Star families. ONDCP is also conducting a staff diaper drive and will deliver all contributions to a diaper bank to be distributed to needy families.
White House Domestic Policy Council Director Melody Barnes
- On January 17, White House Domestic Policy Council Director Melody Barnes will join hundreds of George Washington University Students to participate in school beautification projects at five D.C. public schools. Barnes will deliver remarks on Dr. King’s legacy and the importance of service as a solution to our nation’s toughest challenges.