As economy falters, Americans urged to serve others to honor Dr. King
Washington D.C. – Radio stations across the country will help support President-elect Obama’s call to service by airing public service announcements calling on Americans to serve on the King Holiday and throughout the year.
This year’s King Holiday is on January 19, one day before the Inauguration of President-elect Barack Obama. The President-elect will participate in community service on King Day and is asking Americans to serve on the holiday and make an ongoing commitment to service. Organizers hope the President-elect’s call to service will lead to millions of Americans honoring Dr. King through community service.
To maximize participation in the King Day of Service, the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) has urged radio stations to play King Day PSAs created by the Corporation for National and Community Service on January 15, Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, through King Day. By collectively airing this PSA four days before and leading up to the holiday, America’s radio stations will help millions of Americans learn about this historic opportunity and connect them to volunteer opportunities in their local area.
"Local radio stations are among themost committed public servants in America and are uniquely positioned to reach millions of listeners in this important call to action," said NABPresident and CEO David K. Rehr. "NAB salutes the legacy of Dr. King, and we encourage citizens nationwide to give back to their local communities in his honor."
The spots feature recordings of Dr. King's voice and narration by Isaac Newton Farris, Jr., CEO and President of the King Center in Atlanta. They urge Americans to serve on the King Holiday and direct them to http://www.mlkday.gov to find local volunteer opportunities.
The radio PSAs were created by the Corporation for National and Community Service, a federal agency that oversees AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, Learn and Serve America and other programs that engage four million Americans in service each year. In 1994, Congress passed legislation transforming the King Holiday into a national day of service and directed the Corporation to lead this national effort.
“We thank NAB for supporting this call to service and helping Americans realize Dr. King’s dream of a better America,” said Nicola Goren, Acting CEO of the Corporation. Noting the billions of dollars in public service generated by local broadcasters each year, Goren added, “Support of this call to service is another powerful example of how the nation’s broadcasters make a difference for communities throughout the year. In this time of great need, we need to reignite our nation’s spirit of service, and we appreciate the nation’s broadcasters for helping us lead the way.”
The radio spots were distributed to more than 4,200 stations in early December and have already aired more than 12,000 times. The National Association of Broadcasters put the PSAs on its “Spot Center” website and its newsletter encourages stations to air the PSAs as often as possible on January 15, Martin Luther King’s birthday, through Martin Luther King Day on January 19.
In addition to asking Americans to serve, President-elect Obama, Vice President-elect Biden, and their families will participate in service on the holiday in the Washington D.C. area. The President-elect’s service on the holiday continues a tradition started by President Clinton and continued by President Bush.
A wide variety of projects are being planned for the King Holiday including delivering meals, refurbishing schools and community centers, collecting food and clothing, removing graffiti, reading to children and more. Many organizations use the day as a springboard for year-round civic action, such as signing up mentors or tutors or youth taking pledges of nonviolence.