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January 16, 2023 - Announcements

Dear AMDA Community,

Today we honor the life of influential civil rights leader Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. This day is a day not only meant for reflection but to remind us that every day is an opportunity to take action and continue to do the work to attain racial equality.

The holiday was observed for the first time on January 20, 1986. For years objections were raised by government officials in getting a bill passed, citing concerns that a paid holiday for federal employees was too expensive and that honoring a private citizen who had never held public office was too unprecedented. Musician Stevie Wonder released the single ‘Happy Birthday’ in 1980 to help garner public support for the campaign to pass the bill and then hosted the Rally for Peace Press Conference in 1981. As a result, six million signatures were collected for a petition for Congress to pass the law and is considered the largest petition in favor of an issue in U.S. history. But it wasn’t until the year 2000 that the entire United States collectively observed MLK Jr. Day.

According to the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, in 1994, Congress passed the King Holiday and Service Act, marking MLK Jr. Day as a national day of service moving from a day off to now a day of service. It is meant to inspire Americans from all walks of life to work in solidarity towards solutions for our most pressing national problems. Here at AMDA we believe that building community and striving to be of service is one of our greatest achievements.

As we head into the week, we leave you with these words from Dr. King:

“History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people -Martin Luther King, Jr.”

Show up in the best way you know how. Use your art and your voice today and beyond.


John Galgano
Chief of Staff