You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Prince George's To Celebrate MLK Jr. Day As Other Cities Mobilize

Patch logo Patch 1/15/2022 Kristin Danley-Greiner
Last month, the family of the late civil rights activist called on President Joe Biden and members of the U.S. Senate to either restore and expand voting rights in honor of King's legacy or skip the celebration of his namesake holiday. © Kaylah Sambo/Patch Last month, the family of the late civil rights activist called on President Joe Biden and members of the U.S. Senate to either restore and expand voting rights in honor of King's legacy or skip the celebration of his namesake holiday.

PRINCE GEORGE'S COUNTY, MD — This weekend and on Monday, events across Prince George's County will honor the life and legacy of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. In some U.S. cities, however, people plan to forgo the celebration of the federal holiday to take a stand in support of voting rights.

Last month, the family of the late civil rights activist called on President Joe Biden and members of the U.S. Senate to either restore and expand voting rights in honor of King's legacy or skip the celebration of his namesake holiday.

Fueling the King family’s call are at least 400 voter suppression bills introduced during the first five months of 2021, 33 of which were put into law across 19 states, according to a report by Insider citing data from the Voting Rights Lab.

In response, the Kings are demanding meaningful action on the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. They also asked Biden to "ensure the Jim Crow filibuster doesn't stand in the way."

RELATED: No MLK Jr. Day Without Action On Voting Rights, King Family Says

The Freedom to Vote Act would create a national standard for voting access, overruling many restrictions passed or proposed in states. Meanwhile, the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act would restore and strengthen parts of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 after certain portions of the bill were struck down by two U.S. Supreme Court decisions.

While passed by thin margins in the U.S. House of Representatives, both bills remain stuck in the Senate, blocked primarily by Republican opposition.

To encourage the Senate to pass both bills, demonstrations are planned Saturday in Phoenix, Arizona, and Monday in Washington, D.C. More than 100 grassroots organizations have joined the Kings’ call to action.


Video: Prince Louis Could have a Big Christmas in 2022 (Buzz60)

UP NEXT
UP NEXT

"Voting is an essential part of our democracy's infrastructure," Arndrea Waters King said in a statement. Waters King is the wife of Martin Luther King III, the son of the slain civil rights icon.

“We cannot afford for it to crumble any further," she added.

Just days ahead of MLK Jr. Day, Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris visited Atlanta Tuesday to talk about the voting rights bills — bills Biden called a "turning point."

In an excerpt of his speech released by the White House, Biden said, "The next few days, when these bills come to a vote, will mark a turning point in this nation. Will we choose democracy over autocracy, light over shadow, justice over injustice? I know where I stand. I will not yield. I will not flinch. I will defend your right to vote and our democracy against all enemies foreign and domestic. And so the question is where will the institution of (the) United States Senate stand?"

RELATED: Biden To Senate On Voting Rights Bills: 'Pass It Now'

It’s unclear whether the Senate will vote on either bill ahead of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Here’s a look at a few other events in Prince George's County intended to honor the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.:

On Monday, the Financial Empowerment Center at Prince George’s Community College is asking people “who believe they are financially-minded, stable and successful” to a King-inspired financial education session called “Financial Lessons from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.”

It’s a Zoom meeting where volunteers will go into breakout rooms to share “stories from their financial journey.” You need to be at least 27 years old and be 15 to 20 minutes early for the start of the 1:30 discussion. Find out more.

Prince George's County Chapters of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. are honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with a day of service Monday from 9 a.m. to noon at Prince George's Stadium.

Top Ladies of Distinction, Inc., Prince George's County Chapter, will host the 10th Annual Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. prayer breakfast Saturday at 11 a.m. online.

AdChoices
AdChoices

More from Patch

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon