RIers honoring King with day of community service

In this Aug. 28, 1963, file photo, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., head of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, addresses marchers during his "I Have a Dream" speech at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington. (AP Photo/File)

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The Obama administration has encouraged Americans to take part in public service for the holiday honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., on Monday, January 16, 2017.

Several service events were unfolding across Rhode Island throughout the day, including a project sprucing up spaces at Classical High School, Hope High School and Fortes-Lima Elementary School in Providence. Serve Rhode Island and about two hundred members of AmeriCorps assembled Monday morning to paint and revitalize hallways, and repurpose a basement area for student groups including a JROTC chapter. Murals on themes related to Dr. King’s legacy were also painted in some of the spaces.

Monday afternoon, Ebenezer Baptist Church on Cranston Street in Providence will play host to a celebration of Dr. King’s life and legacy organized by the Rhode Island Martin Luther King Jr. State Holiday Commission. State lawmakers and including Rep. Raymond Hull and Rep. Joseph Almeida will be part of the 4 p.m. presentation, along with Ebenezer Baptist’s Rev. Carl H. Balark, Jr.

Rhode Island Sen. Jack Reed’s office said he would take part in the Cranston scholarship breakfast, followed by a “Day of Appreciation” event at the Institute for the Study and Practice of Nonviolence in Providence.

In East Providence, the Cape Verdean Progressive Center on Grosvenor Avenue is gathering to prepare lunches for the needy at 6 p.m. in association with Hungry Fridays.

Dr. King spent his life fighting for equality with a campaign of non-violent civil disobedience, including marches and public speeches. He’s most famous for the speech he gave at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in 1963, outlining his dream calling for the country to judge people by the content of their character, not the color of their skin.