|Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist II remembered Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy by making it a day on and not off and joining thousands of other Michigan residents in a day of service today, on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.
Whitmer participated in virtual events with the Heart of West MI United Way in Grand Rapids and remotely helped make blankets to distribute to those without housing, according to a press release. Also in the spirit of giving, she assembled activity kits for youth that must stay in isolation rooms at shelters with Peggy’s Place in Detroit.
“Today we honor a true civil rights icon by giving back to our communities through a day of service. Let us use this month to not only remember the work of Dr. King and other Black activists who walked alongside him, but to also recognize the many Michiganders who continue his work to this day,” said Whitmer. “Although this year looks different, I encourage everyone to find creative ways they can safely give back today and throughout the year.”
Gilchrist spent his holiday with Meals on Wheels. In the morning, Gilchrist made meals for delivery to Detroit residents. In the afternoon, Lt. Governor Gilchrist safely delivered additional meals to residents in Flint, the press release added.
“Dr. King stood here in Michigan 58 years ago and outlined what we can do to help eliminate hate and injustice. And if we are going to change this state and this country, it will take every one of us stepping up and doing our part,” said Gilchrist. “I am honored to do my part on behalf of the state I serve proudly, and I encourage all those who are able to give back, organize, and carry on the ideals of Dr. King.”
The Michigan Community Service Commission shared 56 Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service volunteer opportunities for Michiganders to take part in today. Over 5,000 volunteers will serve more than 16,000 volunteer hours to benefit Michigan communities in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Some of Whitmer and Gilchrist’s work against helping end injustice and continuing the legacy of Dr. King include:
· Established the Michigan Coronavirus Task Force on Racial Disparities which is reducing the spread of COVID-19 in communities of color, saving countless lives.
· Directed LARA via Executive Directive to develop rules that will require implicit bias training for the licenses and registrations of health professionals in Michigan.
· Required all state employees to take implicit bias training to understand the unconscious preferences we experience without intentional control and how it can impact others.
· Signed historic bipartisan legislation to reform Michigan’s criminal justice system, giving thousands of people a “Clean Slate” and access to more opportunities.