Maya Rengifo – Mustangs Ahead

January 20 is Martin Luther King Day.

(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL) – Monday, Jan. 17 marks the 36th anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

The date lands on the third Monday of the month and is Dr. King Jr’s actual birthday this year.

Mustangs and people across the nation take this day of service to commemorate the life of the Baptist minister and civil rights leader.

Senior Anastasia Jenkins said, “Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is one of the most important people in U.S. history. The way he had a great influence on decisions and actions regarding human rights during the civil rights movement is so inspiring to this day. He really shows us the importance of courage and bravery through adversity. I appreciate the day of service as a nationwide way to commemorate him.”

King had many great achievements and the federal holiday aims to recognize all of them.

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Advocating for nonviolent resistance in the face of hostility takes lots of effort and dedication and he possessed lots of both.

“MLK day means a lot to me. I think it gives our country a chance to celebrate someone I consider to be the greatest man we’ve ever known. We should all use it as a chance to reflect on his life and the things he stood for as we continue to work toward the change he hoped to see in our country,” said physical education teacher Rashad West.

Social studies teacher Benjamin Hall added, “Every year when I teach about the Civil Rights Movement and reread his speeches and interviews or watch them online, I am struck by the urgency of his message and the clarity of his moral vision, especially the principle that justice is not and has never been achieved passively.”

senior Jade Ziecina said, “MLK honestly shows us when to stand up for what truly is right. No matter who is watching, who will stop you, no matter the pressure, anything, it is your duty to stand up. Even though I am not part of his specific community, I resonate with the message that is equality. He really is someone to look to and learn from in the western world.”