CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- Monday, Jan. 21, 2013, will mark the 26th time (since 1986) Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday will be observed as a U.S. federal holiday – and the 28th time (since 1984) that Chapel Hill observes the day as a town holiday.
Chapel Hill was one of the first communities in North Carolina to declare Martin Luther King Jr. Day a municipal holiday, giving municipal employees the day off.
Employees have held their own special observance of Dr. King’s legacy for 13 years and counting at the Town of Chapel Hill. Usually held the Friday before the Monday holiday, the celebration has been nurtured by a dedicated group of Public Works employees led by Maggie Burnett. At the urging of Town Manager Roger Stancil, the celebration has grown to include employees of all departments.
This week, employees from across all departments are participating in a range of activities that have been planned by an employee committee to recognize Dr. King’s guiding principles of non-violence, brotherhood, justice, morality and action. Some employees have entered a poetry contest, others will join a reading group or video viewing circle, while others will work on a service team to assist with a community improvement project. The activities are detailed in TOWNtalk, the employee newsletter.
The week will culminate with a celebration program for employees who will attend and share their experiences from the week of activities. The program will include a dramatization of the story of Rosa Parks, performed by Chapel Hill Transit employees.