LOS ANGELES - The L.A. Unified School Board today unanimously approved a resolution recognizing the life and legacy of civil rights icon, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and encouraging all students, teachers, parents, and staff to volunteer on Monday, Jan. 16, 2017, a national day of service.
Board Vice President Dr. George J. McKenna III, also a veteran of the fight for equality and justice, sponsored the resolution and lauded the impact of the renowned leader.
“When I grew up, I attended segregated schools and sat in the colored-only sections of street cars, buses, trains and movie theaters. Most restaurants, hotels, amusement parks, swimming pools, you name it, were off limits to anyone who was not white,” Vice President McKenna, who is African American, said of his hometown, New Orleans. “Yes, we were Americans, but we were expected to know our place, and stay in it. Our aspirations, our hopes, even our dreams were limited by the color of our skin.”
Recognizing the importance of volunteering in the battles against racial discrimination, he said, “How many men, women, college students, and even children marched sometimes as police beat them, turned dogs on them, forced them away with high-pressured water hoses, and chased them on horseback, on foot and in squad cars? How many sacrificed their lives or livelihood, lost family members, friends and classmates, or were mobbed, spit on and worse? How many volunteered to risk everything in a nonviolent crusade to make this country a better place? We were all volunteers.”
The resolution also directed schools to provide students and parents with suggestions of appropriate instructional and community activities that can be conducted during the national day of service and beyond.
Board Member Mónica Ratliff said, “Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s leadership and focus on justice and equality for all is truly inspirational. I’m proud to co-sponsor this resolution encouraging youth, families, and community members to engage in volunteer activities to commemorate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s life and legacy.”
Contact: Shannon Haber (213) 241-6766