School board calls for service on MLK Day and recognizing the importance of Black History Month

LOS ANGELES -- As the nation prepares to commemorate the birthday holiday of civil rights leader, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on Monday, the Los Angeles Board of Education today approved a resolution calling for a day of service.

The resolution, sponsored by Board Vice President Dr. George McKenna III, a veteran of the civil rights movement, encourages “all students, parents, teachers, and staff to observe this MLK National Day of Service by engaging in volunteer activities to help our community become a better world.”

“The men, women and students who fought discrimination and transformed the laws of this nation, didn’t get paid,” Dr. McKenna pointed out. “They didn’t get paid when they marched, when they participated in boycotts and demonstrations, when they risked their lives to desegregate lunch counters, buses, schools and housing, when they were beaten, when they were on the Freedom Rides, when they fought for equal opportunity in jobs, attended meetings or contributed in any way to the progress that has changed lives.”

“They were all volunteers,” he said, “and they made great sacrifices not just one day, but day after day, year after year.”

The resolution was co-sponsored by Board Member Mónica Ratliff. She also co-sponsored, along with Board Member Mónica Garcia, his second resolution to celebrate black history month in February.

The Board also approved this resolution, which directed the superintendent to work with “educators, librarians, all the schools of the District, and the community to recognize and celebrate this month with appropriate programs, ceremonies, activities that generate in-depth discussion of the complex factual history of the United States and the legacy of black Americans.

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