President Obama Honored Dr. King With Day of Service

The White House takes on The Boys & Girls Club and more to honor Dr. King

Image: (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

In honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. National Day of Service, President and First Lady Obama commemorated the federal holiday by giving back and encouraging others to do the same. Joining The Obamas was Vice President Biden, Cabinet Secretaries and Senior Administration Officials.

Youth at the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Washington were a lucky bunch on Monday, January 19, as President and First Lady Obama chose them to spend the day of service with. In press photos from the events, President Obama and the First Lady sat at classroom tables, side-by-side with the youth engaging in conversation and artwork. Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett, Assistant to the President and Cabinet Secretary Broderick Johnson, and Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) CEO Wendy Spencer also participated.

Vice President Biden delivered remarks at the Organization of Minority Women’s 31st Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Breakfast. The breakfast, which took place at the Chase Center on Wilmington’s Riverfront, commemorated the legacy of the great ‘Drum Major of Justice for all People,’ the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. and paid tribute to the late State Representatives Al and Hazel D. Plant.

As part of his Presidential Proclamation declaring January 19, 2015 as the Martin Luther King, Jr., Federal Holiday, President Obama released the following:

With one voice, we must ensure the scales of justice work equally for all — considering not only how justice is applied, but also how it is perceived and experienced. As Dr. King told us, “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,” and this remains our great unfinished business.

Other service projects in Washington, D.C. to honor Dr. King included:

  • Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and Administrator of the General Services Administration Dan Tangherlini served at the Student Conservation Association’s annual King Day cleanup of Anacostia Park.
  • Secretary of Education Arne Duncan served at Southeast D.C.’s Eastern Senior High School alongside City Year AmeriCorps members. He was joined by White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough.
  • Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency Gina McCarthy served with Habitat for Humanity AmeriCorps members, building homes in the Ivy City neighborhood of Northeast D.C.

Service Projects throughout the Nation:

  • Secretary of the Treasury Jack Lew served alongside City Year AmeriCorps members in New York City. Service projects included painting murals and accents, light construction, organization, kit-making, and workshops for youth.
  • Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack served at the Central Iowa Shelter & Service’s Mulberry Food and Farms Greenhouse in Des Moines to assist the Shelter’s team in providing work and housing placement services.
  • Administrator of the Small Business Administration Maria Contreras-Sweet served alongside City Year AmeriCorps members at Gage Park High School in Chicago.
  • Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power served with Student Conservation Association AmeriCorps members at the East River Park in Manhattan to improve the soil damaged by Hurricane Sandy.