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January 7, 2010

discussion and service on MLK Day (year 2)

Just a few days before Dr. Martin Luther King was killed, he said: "It is always a rich and rewarding experience to take a brief break from our day-to-day demands and the struggle for freedom and human dignity and discuss the issues involved in that struggle with concerned friends of goodwill all over our nation."

We have lost Dr. King, but we must continue the discussion. Many people are choosing to conduct service activities on Martin Luther King Day, which falls on Jan. 18th this year. Service is best when it involves reflection. Volunteers can meet to choose their issues and plan their service. After a service activity, they can reflect about what they have learned and what they should do next. Such discussions turn ordinary service events into powerful opportunities for learning, analyzing issues, forming human connections, and addressing serious, long-term problems.

Last year, the member groups of the Deliberative Democracy Consortium , which specialize in public discussions, created a guide for conversations to accompany service on Martin Luther King Day. Public Agenda Foundation and Everyday Democracy played leading roles in creating this guide. We have updated it a bit for 2010.

The guide is available for any group that wants to combine discussion with service on Martin Luther King Day. I am circulating it now and encouraging people and organizations to plan on using it in time for Jan. 18--although it is appropriate for any other day as well.

January 7, 2010 8:45 AM | category: none



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