Let’s Celebrate MLK Day 2019

The famous speech “I have a dream” is what many remember the Baptist preacher Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for, but there is more to his legacy. The activist led the civil rights movement from the mid-1950s until he was assassinated in 1968. MLK was greatly responsible for the passing of the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act for African Americans, both in the mid-1960s. We now celebrate his life and achievements every third week in January, just days after his actual birthday, January 15.

Today we would like you to remember and celebrate what he has done to pave the way for our future and rights. It’s not just a day off from school or work.

You can celebrate with different events today in Lancaster. United Way is encouraging you to engage with the community in acts of service (link below). The YWCA Lancaster is hosting many for children 3-12 (link below). BOTH FREE to the public. Just remember you don’t need a holiday to get out and help your community.

UNITED WAY-  https://uwlanc.galaxydigital.com/aem/general/event/?doc_id=5246&fbclid=IwAR3krkPD5dqggT22f79fyCy6l2jjDBDKLTao0OXIse7MmBgwXcj8llT359k

YWCA Lancaster- https://ywcalancaster.org/mlkday/

-Jessica Yingling, Administrative Manager

 

What to Say Around the Table

For many people, the holidays are a time of increased anxiety and depression because of ongoing family conflict. Often people struggle to find ways to respond to outrageous or subtle expressions of prejudice or bigotry. Responding to the prejudice of family members and neighbors is even harder if you experience anxiety, PTSD, or your family is a mental health risk! It can help to make sure you are feeling stable yourself, and to be prepared beforehand.

First of all, remember to take care of yourself. You deserve protection, and you are allowed to set boundaries about how family members treat you! You are also allowed to withdraw and rest when you need to, to ask for help with tasks, to say “no” to unwanted activities, and to take care of bodily functions such as eating and going to the bathroom. That may sound obvious to some, but if your family has some dysfunction, those may be things you need to practice allowing yourself.

Secondly, try reading through this list of six steps (below) to speaking up. It will help you to frame your responses and to feel stable in your understanding, which will reduce your anxiety about a possible confrontation even if no conflict occurs. It also explains how to point out unacceptable behavior without name-calling or escalation:

Six Steps to Speaking Up Against Bigotry

If you are interested in broadening your skills in speaking up, here is a comprehensive list of a variety of situations and topics for which you might need a concrete and useful way to respond:

Responding to Everyday Bigotry

Have a peaceful and healthy weekend!

A Year After Charlottesville: Combating Hate

“We can’t assume others will do the talking.” Heather Heyer’s mother discusses learning to speak out:

 

Southern Poverty Law Center’s “Ten Ways”: