During his inauguration speech last January, President Obama called upon the populace to honor "a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation and the world, duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character than giving our all to a difficult task." While such uplift should be part of each day's rounds, the reality of our lives is generally a tad less service-oriented.
For more than a decade, remembrances of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy have been built around service, and now more than ever. The organizer's of this year's Jan. 18 day of action hope to double last year's 13,000 events. To that end, a number of North Bay organizations have planned celebrations of Dr. King's life as well as "day on, not off" opportunities to support the community.
The annual celebration at the Wells Fargo Center starts the festivities off on Sunday, Jan. 17, with a family program. Featured speakers include the Rev. James Coffee and Carol Ellis. 50 Mark West Springs Road, Santa Rosa. 5pm to 8pm. Free. 707.546.0744.
On MLK day proper, Monday, Jan. 18, in Santa Rosa, the Day On begins at the Community Baptist Church at 10am and continues until 4pm at 1620 Sonoma Ave. Elsewhere, adult volunteers and children are invited to gather to clean up portions of Piner Creek at 1pm. Such exertion is followed by watershed education for the kids. Meet at the bridge on Coffey Lane, a half-block south of Piner Road, Santa Rosa. Free. 707.544.2673.
In Napa, the Volunteer Center offers seven different ways to help clean up the city in a day tailored for families and teens as well as individuals and office groups. Volunteers will be provided with gloves, bags and other tools as needed. Meet at 7:30am at the Community Development Department, 1600 First St., Napa. For info and registration, contact Katie Meehan-Rubin at 707.252.6222 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
In Marin, volunteers are treated to a full day of service and pleasure as the day begins with an outdoor community project from 9am to noon, replete with a breakfast and leadership awards and followed by community festival with lunch at the Manzanita Community Center, 630 Drake Blvd., Marin City. The day ends at 3pm. Free. 415.451.4350, ext 303.
Little ones are invited to begin their lifelong learning about the good work of Dr. King when the Discovery Museum hosts the a cappella ensemble SoVoSo in a program titled "From the Soul to the Voice to the Song." While there, kids are encouraged to add their portraits to the Freedom Bus located in the art studio. Bay Area Discovery Museum, Fort Baker, 557 McReynolds Road, Sausalito. Two performances, 11am and 12:30pm. $12&–$14. 415.339.3900.