3 Ways to Honor the Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial in Washington, D.C.

January 6, 2023

  • Racial Equity
  • Service
  • Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Editor's Note: This article was originally published on January 14, 2022, and has been updated to reflect offerings for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in 2023.


Jaynemarie Angbah, Director of Race, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (REDI) at Schusterman Family Philanthropies, shares three ways to honor the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. by helping to bring out his vision of the "Beloved Community."

As we honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., a leader who transformed our country with his extraordinary vision and leadership, we are reminded of the deep connections between his vision and our work. Dr. King’s vision of the “Beloved Community” where all people are valued, respected and treated with dignity is the future we are working to build every day.

Each year, The King Center in Atlanta leads the nationwide observance of the holiday commemorating Dr. King’s birthday. The theme and call to action for the 2023 Observance is “It Starts with Me: Cultivating A Beloved Community Mindset to Transform Unjust Systems.” Dr. King’s notion of the Beloved Community is rooted in a steadfast commitment to the principles of nonviolence. His principles are informed by a call to love our neighbors as ourselves and to replace all forms of discrimination with an inclusive spirit grounded in peace, cooperation and goodwill.

Dr. King once said, “Our goal is to create a beloved community, and this will require a qualitative change in our souls as well as a quantitative change in our lives.”

We have the power to build the Beloved Community by each committing to do the work to change our communities and ourselves. Here are three ways you can answer the call.   

A Black Lives Matter protest in Los Angeles in June 2020 following the murder of George Floyd
A Black Lives Matter protest in Los Angeles in June 2020 following the murder of George Floyd.

Building an equitable world requires ongoing learning about our country’s legacy of systemic racism and the impact it continues to have today. The Equity Lab, a grantee in our Education portfolio, helps organizations—including Schusterman—engage in learning journeys that serve as the foundation for forging meaningful and sustainable change.

As part of our own learning journey, The Equity Lab compiled a robust learning curriculum to help guide our staff through productive, thoughtful discussions. In the spirit of listening and learning, we want to share a selection of these resources with you to help spur conversations about systemic racism and take purposeful action toward racial justice. 

Martin Luther King, Jr. at the 1963 March on Washington
Martin Luther King, Jr. (center), at the 1963 March on Washington

Launched in 2017, the National Day of Racial Healing is a time to contemplate our shared values and create the blueprint together for healing from the effects of racism. In observance of the day, events are hosted across the country to bring healing into homes, communities and institutions.

One way you can participate is by watching Changing the Narrative, a digital documentary series that fosters racial healing through the transformative impact of storytelling.

Three Repair the World volunteers prepare food collaboratively in an industrial kitchen
Volunteers with Repair the World

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is often observed as a day on, rather than a day off. Throughout the month of January, organizations across the country will open their doors for people who want to get involved in community service efforts aimed at building Dr. King’s "Beloved Community."

Repair the World, a grantee in our U.S. Jewish portfolio, is among the organizations at the forefront of the national service movement. From packing care kits for asylum seekers to beautifying community farms and gardens, Repair the World's volunteer database includes an array of virtual and in-person opportunities to volunteer on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and beyond.