Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service 2018 Proclamation

​​State of Illinois Executive Department Proclamation

WHEREAS, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. devoted his life to the advancement of civil rights and ​public service. He believed in a nation of freedom and justice for all, and challenged all citizens to help build a more perfect union and live up to the purpose and potential of America; and,

WHEREAS, Dr. King recognized that everyone can be great because everyone can serve, and during his lifetime encouraged all Americans to serve their neighbors and their communities; and,

WHEREAS, in 1973, the State of Illinois became the first state to make Dr. King's birthday a state holiday, and the citizens of Illinois honor Dr. King's legacy each year on the third Monday in January, this year marking the 32nd anniversary of the nationwide observance of the Martin Luther King, Jr. federal holiday; and,

WHEREAS, in 1994, Congress initiated th​e King Day of Service, a nationwide effort to transform the federal holiday honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. into a day of community service, grounded in Dr. King 's teachings, that helps solve social problems while focusing on bringing people together and breaking down the barriers that have divided us as a nation; and,

WHEREAS, thousands of Illinois residents use Martin Luther King, Jr. Day as a day on, not a day off, by spending it performing community service each year; and,

WHEREAS, hundreds of thousands of volunteers in cities and towns across the nation participate in King Day service projects, in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, and Puerto Rico; and,

WHEREAS, non-profit organizations, volunteer managers, AmeriCorps and Senior Corps members across the nation have organized hundreds of projects for volunteers to engage in service honoring the goals of the King Day of Service; and,​

WHEREAS, the King Day of Service, which falls on January 15th this year, is a time for the people of Illinois to recognize Dr. King's teachings on advancing equality and opportunity for all by contributing their own time and talents in a day of service; and,

WHEREAS, the King Day of Service is an excellent opportunity to take the first step in making service a regular activity in the lives of Illinois residents. It is an important day to encourage each citizen to take part in service that will benefit communities and neighborhoods and provide a fitting memorial to the life of Martin Luther King, Jr.;

THEREFORE, I, Bruce Rauner, Governor of Illinois, do hereby proclaim January 15, 2018, as Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service in the State of Illinois, and urge our citizens to honor the memory of Dr. King, to put his teachings into action by participating in the King Day of Service, and to find ways to give back to their communities vy visiting www.Serve.Illinois.gov.