MLK Jr. Service Week: Honoring the legacy of Dr. King

Celebrating the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. every year is critical to our commitment to the fight for racial equity and creating a Greater Austin region that works for everyone. Last week, United Way for Greater Austin hosted a series of in-person community volunteer opportunities and an educational walking tour to honor Dr. King.

On Monday, January 16, more than 100 volunteers at two different locations across Travis and Williamson counties rolled up their sleeves to clean up parks in our community, in honor of Dr. King’s powerful words, ‘What are you doing for others?’ Senator John Cornyn and Austin Mayor Kirk Watson attended the event in Austin and thanked volunteers for their time.

Father and son clean p a park during MLK jr. service week

On Friday, January 20, dozens of community members joined us on a guided tour, led by Harrison Eppright of Six Square: Austin’s Black Cultural District, to explore the Austin area that was originally created to segregate the Black community in 1928. Participants toured historic buildings and landmarks, and learned about the history of East Austin and how this neighborhood played a critical role in forming the city that we know today.

Tour guide smiles in front of crowd during MLK jr. service week

See photos from the volunteer events and walking tour.

“We thank you for volunteering to support United Way’s mission of bringing together people, ideas, and resources to fight poverty,” United Way CEO David C. Smith emphasized at the event. “When Dr. King said, ‘Everybody can be great because everybody can serve,’ he knew that we reach our highest potential as human beings when we take care of each other. So thank you for showing your greatness through service. I encourage all of you to not let the celebration and learning end today, but to continue it throughout the year.”

Just as Dr. King believed in standing up for racial justice, we know our mission to fight poverty can’t advance without fighting racism and inequality. United, we can create a community where everyone can reach their full potential. 

Here are three ways you can join our movement:

Give: Please consider making a donation today. Our poverty-fighting work is only possible because of donations from generous people like you.

Advocate: Your voice can make a difference and inspire lasting change.

Volunteer: Save the date for our next community-wide volunteer event, Summer Day of Caring on June 2. More information coming soon!

Have questions about volunteering or want to create a custom project for your company? Reach out to Jordan Gutierrez-Ramirez.


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