Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. summoned the best qualities that guide and sustain the American spirit and our nation’s commitment of equality, justice, freedom, and peace. He awakened the necessary goodness of our people and led a nonviolent movement that enriched our moral purpose as a nation. This human rights movement advocated nonviolent methods of social change in the struggle for justice, equality, and freedom. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. raised the consciousness of our country through his personal dream of a nation where all people are judge, not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was recognized on November 2, 1983 by the United States Congress and the President in the enactment of legislation establishing the third Monday in January as a national holiday in celebration of Dr. King’s birthday, beginning in 1986.
The State of Utah recognizes the significance of Dr. King’s life and accomplishments and the State Legislature passed S.B. 17 in 1986, which set aside the third Monday in January to observe as the anniversary of the birth of Dr. Martin Luther King. Jr., known as Human Rights Day.
MLK Human Rights Commission
The Martin Luther King Jr. Human Rights Commission was created by executive order on July 1, 1991. the Commission consists of twenty members representing the diversity of the State of Utah appointed by the governor to two-year terms. The Commission meets quarterly and coordinates efforts to:
Promote Human Rights Day by:
- Involve all sectors, private and public, in a conscious effort to promote diversity, equity, and human rights.
- Encourage appropriate ceremonies and activities commemorating the federal holiday which occurs on the third Monday of January each year.
- Provide advice and assistance to governments and private organizations on the observance of this federal holiday.
- Coordinate efforts with Americans of diverse backgrounds and with private organizations on the observance of the holiday.
Promote the principles of human rights by:
- Promote training in the principles of nonviolence.
- Work diligently to promote education and awareness of the principles of human rights for all.
- Conduct workshops and training in human rights to be utilized by public and private sectors and school systems.
- Partner with Public Education to assist schools in promoting appropriate events to honor human rights and the holiday.
- Serve as a resource for state government so it can increase or improve its level of responsiveness to human rights.
The Commission meets every other month. For more information contact Samantha Eldridge at 801-245-7210.