Mt. Airy’s Todd Bernstein will spend Monday busily overseeing the biggest celebration of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy to date in Philadelphia.
Founder and director of the Greater Philadelphia Martin Luther King Day of Service, Bernstein is proud that this year there are more than 1,200 service projects planned city-wide with just under 70 in Chestnut Hill and Mt. Airy alone.
“On Monday people should do what they want, said Bernstein. “Its first and foremost about celebrating the legacy of Dr. King. The notion of doing service is one of identifying the community needs and responding through citizen action.”
This year marks the 16th Annual Greater Philadelphia Martin Luther King Day of Service for Bernstein’s Global Citizen organization. He hopes the day makes people think about what Dr. King would do in today’s society.
“It is also a time to reflect on the meaning between civic action and Dr. King and how important it is to do this not just one day but year round, to be involved, to volunteer, be a more active member in the community,” said Bernstein.
A national record of 75,000 volunteers are expected to participate in more than 1,200 community service projects throughout the region on Monday, Jan. 17, which marks the 25th anniversary of the King federal holiday.
Northwest Interfaith Movement, which is hosting its 28th Annual Interfaith Celebration of the Life and Legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. this year, is also taking a big step forward. NIM is featuring Daisy Kahn, who along with her husband Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, heads the American Society for Muslim Advancement and the development of the Muslim Community Center “Park 51” near Ground Zero. Kahn will speak at a celebration to be held on Sunday, Jan. 16 at the Arch Street Presbyterian Church, 1724 Arch St., from 3-5 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.
“MLK led a struggle of people to be treated fairly,” said Eric Wilden, NIM’s assistant director. “Many groups still struggle these days and Muslim-Americans are one them. We expect Daisy Kahn to talk about her work with interfaith relations and mutual respect and understanding of others.”
Anyone interested in volunteering for a service project can visit www.mlkdayofservice.org or call the King Day of Service headquarters at 215-665-2475 for information or to register. Information about many events can also be fond at facebook.com/phillykingday and twitter.com/mlkdayofservice.