Martin Luther King Jr. Day: Do something!

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day is next Monday January 17. I love that we take a day to honor this great American leader on his birthday. It’s important. It shows a national commitment to community service, justice, civic engagement, peace, and equality. Unfortunately, it also shows a national commitment to sleeping in, cleaning out closets, shopping, and indulgent television watching. If you are lucky enough to have an employer who honors this holiday by closing your office, I encourage you to honor this holiday by doing something in the memory of Dr. King.

Martin Luther King Day: “A Day On, Not A Day Off.” Brilliant, huh? I didn’t make it up, but I really like it.

Some resources for you:

The Office of Community Service at IUPUI is hosting a community service day. Monday the 17th. 8am

http://ocs-iupui.blogspot.com/2010/11/mlk-day-of-service-2011.html

The Peace Learning Center is hosting its annual MLK Day Community Festival. Saturday the 15th. 11am at the Christian Theological Seminary

http://www.peacelearningcenter.org/whats_new

Check out this great national resource to search for other projects!

http://mlkday.gov/

And if events aren’t your style, there are many other ways to celebrate the vision of Dr. King. Watch a documentary with your children about MLK. Shovel your neighbor’s driveway. Call your grandma and ask about her memories of the Civil Rights movement. Sign up to volunteer with a local nonprofit. Write your congressman. Thank your congressman. Sit down with your spouse and make your philanthropic giving plans for 2011. Take your mentee or little cousin to the Power of Children Exhibit at the Children’s Museum. Take your boyfriend to the Power of Children Exhibit (It’s really good!)

The possibilities are obviously endless. Don’t make this just another 3 day weekend. And please, tell us what you will be doing to honor Dr. King!

Everyone has A Stake in the Positive Development of Youth

The Case for a Community Compact for Youth
By Christopher Collins

As a city and as a community, we like to say that we make young people a priority, particularly when we talk about education. Words, however, are easy. Putting young people at the center of the discussion and making their success a true priority takes innovation and a willingness to re-think our assumptions.

Making sure kids have better opportunities and healthier futures isn’t only the job of teachers, or youth workers, or parents. It is everyone’s responsibility, and no matter what you do for a living, whether you have kids in your life or not, you play an important role. Marion County Commission on Youth (MCCOY) has created a series of Community Compacts for Youth – informal agreements that let you demonstrate ways you support the young people in your life and in our community. Now, beyond simply saying young people’s healthy development is important, you can show it.

Read complete article.

Want to be a Champion for youth? Here’s how.

It’s easy for us to say we value young people and the programs that provide them opportunities to grow, learn, and connect with the community. But sometimes it’s hard to put good intentions into action. That’s where MCCOY’s Community Compacts for Youth come in. They’re designed to help you discover concrete ways to improve how you or your organization supports youth development in central Indiana.

Maybe you’re in healthcare and want to improve the ways your staff interacts with youth? Check out your Compact here. Or maybe you work in a faith-based community and want to ensure the people in your organization know about high-quality youth programs. Click here for your Compact.

After you sign yours and send it in, MCCOY will soon offer you the tools you need to make your commitments realities. If you already serve youth, add a comment below and link others to your programs and projects – the ways that others can fulfill their commitments and support your work.

It’s not just teachers and youth workers who improve opportunities for young people — everyone plays a role. Check out our Compact page today.