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NYGC Team Supports the MLK Day of Service

On the third Monday of January each year, we observe Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (MLK) Day, honoring the life of the slain civil rights leader who peacefully protested and fought for racial equality and human rights for African Americans, the economically disadvantaged, and all victims of injustice.

Approved by Congress in 1983, the federal holiday honoring Dr. King was first celebrated in 1986, and in 1994, Congress passed the King Holiday and Service Act, designating the Martin Luther King Jr. federal holiday as a national day of service and charging the Corporation for National and Community Service with leading this effort. The MLK Day of Service is the only federal holiday observed as a national day of service— “a day on, not a day off.”

When Dr. King’s monument was unveiled on the National Mall in Washington, DC, in 2011, President Barack Obama emphasized Dr. King’s legacy of cooperation and service for the greater good by declaring: “We need more than ever to take heed of Dr. King’s teachings. He calls on us to stand in the other person’s shoes; to see through their eyes; to understand their pain….He also understood that to bring about true and lasting change there must be the possibility of reconciliation; that any social movement has to channel this tension through the spirit of love and mutuality.”

On January 18, 2021, the 26th anniversary of the MLK Day of Service, millions of Americans will come together across America to commemorate Dr. King’s life and legacy by volunteering to serve their communities. New York Genome Center staffers interested in participating this year can find volunteer opportunities here. But celebrating Dr. King with service need not be limited to a single day. NYGC has a paid Volunteer Leave benefit to encourage employees to become involved in their communities, lending their voluntary support to programs that positively impact the quality of life within these communities. Most full-time employees may take up to four hours of leave per year to volunteer with a qualified nonprofit organization or in connection with a NYGC-sponsored charitable initiative.

MLK Day—“Make it a day on, not a day off.”

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