Martin Luther King Day 2012 is a federal holiday in the United States and a National Day of Service. MLK Day 2012 is on Monday, January 16 this year, since annually it is observed on the third Monday in January.

The Corporation for National an Community Service (CNCS) leads Americans throughout the country who want to honor Dr. King's legacy and spirit of racial equality achievement by helping neighbors and their community. The MLK Day of Service involves thousands of projects, including those big and small, and reaches across all 50 states in the U.S.

This year key CNCS initiatives for MLK Day include, according to the National Service Blog:

  • MLK Drum Majors for Service. This initiative provides organizations and groups an opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate those volunteers who perform extraordinary everyday acts of service with reliability and commitment, but who seldom receive recognition. Drum Major awardees are presented with a President's Volunteer Service Award (PVSA) through CNCS, for which they receive a personalized certificate of achievement and a congratulatory letter from the President of the United States.
  • MLK Day Curriculum. CNCS has partnered with Scholastic to create and distribute curriculum units for grades 3-5 that focus on Dr. King's legacy of service. The curriculum presents the idea of service through the lenses of language arts, social studies and science.
  • MLK Day Legacy of Service Videos and PSA. New videos and television and radio PSAs featuring civil rights leaders including Congressman John Lewis, civil rights activist Ruby Bridges, Reverend Joseph E. Lowery, and former U.S. Senator Harris Wofford discuss Dr. King's legacy of service and ask all Americans to serve on King Day and beyond.

The organization says the best way to honor Dr. King is through service and volunteering in our communities. King was a clergyman and leader in the Civil Rights movement. He was murdered on April 4, 1968, but is credited as the leading figure in the avancd of American civil rights.

Dr. King devoted his life to advancing equality, justice, and economic opportunity for all. He challenged us to build a more perfect union and taught us that everyone has a role to play. Four decades later, we still have work to do to realize Dr. King's dream.

See the video below: