Skip to main content

From the NIH Director: 2022 Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Closeup of Dr. Lawrence Tabak in a suit

On Monday, January 17, we join the nation in celebrating the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. This federal holiday is observed as a day of service encouraging all Americans to volunteer in honor of Dr. King. As we remember the contributions of this civil rights champion, we honor his legacy by pursuing the full realization of his dream: a dream of equality for all. Recent Executive Orders (EOs), particularly EO 14035: Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility in the Federal Workforce, provide a framework for realizing this dream in the federal workplace. The Federal Government must be a model for diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA).

I am very proud of the work we are doing here at NIH, and I will highlight just a few of the many activities we are undertaking in support of Dr. King’s dream. Many of the individuals supporting these initiatives are volunteers who embody the spirit of this service-focused observance of Dr. King’s life.

With a mission to seek fundamental knowledge about the nature and behavior of living systems and apply that knowledge to enhance health, lengthen life, and reduce illness and disability, NIH’s work indeed aligns with Dr. King’s goal to create a better society. It is incumbent on each of us to foster growth and change in our communities, to implement Dr. King’s principles, and to demonstrate good citizenship in our day-to-day actions on and off the NIH campus.

The Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service gives us an opportunity to do our part in contributing to a peaceful and balanced society. I urge you to make a difference and be a catalyst for change at NIH and in your local community by participating in the MLK Day of Service through virtual or safely distanced service opportunities.

To learn more about Dr. King's legacy and beliefs on service and community, I encourage you to reach out to EDI’s special emphasis portfolio strategists at To observe the MLK campaign developed by EDI, please visit the EDI website and follow @NIH_EDI on Twitter and Instagram.

Thank you for your service to NIH’s mission and commitment to ensure our work lives out the spirit of Dr. King’s dream.

Sincerely yours,

Lawrence A. Tabak, D.D.S., Ph.D.
Acting Director, NIH

Do you have a story idea for us? Do you want to submit a guest blog? If it's about equity, diversity, or inclusion, please submit to

For news, updates, and videos, subscribe or follow EDI on: Twitter, Instagram, Blog, YouTube.