The legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. embraces his influential decisions, monumental actions and civil rights progression that lives on today.Since his assassination in 1968, Dr. King has been embraced as the epitome of racial equality. We live out Dr. King’s dream by advocating for peace, unity, love, change, leadership and service. As a nation, it is imperative that we strive to institute best practices to reduce racial biases and continue to be committed to the basic rights of all.
If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way.
— Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
What are you doing for others?
"Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’"
-Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., challenged the world to recognize that true liberty depends on our acceptance of equality. The nation is consistently moving closer to fulfilling America’s promise of economic and social justice because we stand on the shoulders of civil rights leaders like Dr. King, Rosa Parks, Andrew Young, Daisy Bates, Julian Bond, Claudette Colvin and John Lewis.
Make a career of humanity. You will make a better person of yourself, a greater nation of your country, and a finer world to live in.
— Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s work and words continue to serve as examples of strength, compassion, and his commitment to equality, justice, and inclusion. In 1994, Congress officially recognized Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day as the, "National Day of Service," to reflect Dr. King’s commitment to, "service for all." It is a day that serves as a time of reflection and a call to action. As we celebrate the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who devoted himself to service, we encourage you to learn more and participate in the various service opportunities offered at NIH.
Volunteer by Participating in Clinical Trials as a healthy volunteer, see Program for Healthy Volunteers. For information on participating as a patient, see Clinical Trials: Are They For You? and Search the Studies.
A Message from the Strategist
COMMEMORATE this day by acknowledging our history.
EDUCATE ourselves and future generations.
PARTICIPATE by volunteering for social justice organizations and causes.
As we reflect on what Juneteenth means, we must remain cognizant of how this day signifies the missing history of many Black Americans and the impact it still carries today. This Juneteenth, let us pay homage to our ancestors who fought in the pursuit of our present-day freedoms, while recognizing that our fight for true freedom is far from over. As a nation, we stand in acknowledgment of our journey, accepting our past faults and working toward a brighter future.
I invite you to explore our Juneteenth campaign, interact with us on social media and share what this day means to you. While we celebrate and learn more about Juneteenth, share with us your thoughts on Juneteenth and what actions you are taking to advocate for social change.
Black Employment Portfolio
Juneteenth Move for Equity Celebration
June 20, 2022
Hosted by Supporters of 8CRE and NIH
Supporters of 8CRE invite you to “Move For Equity” on Monday, June 20, 2022, the observed Juneteenth federal holiday. They encourage us to move for equity by walking, running, stretching, dancing, doing breathing exercises, or another form of fitness for a distance of 1.9K or a duration of 19 minutes. Additionally, NIH Fitness Center will host a 19-minute exercise in celebration.
The 8 Changes for Racial Equity (8CRE) were proposed in 2020 by members of the NIH community serving in various roles who are motivated to ensure the NIH workplace culture is one free of racism, discrimination, and harassment.
Register for the virtual event here:
Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope... and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.
- Robert F. Kennedy, politician
Educate. Acknowledge. Advocate.
Juneteenth is a recently signed law and federal holiday that commemorates the end of slavery in the United States for Black Americans.
As we consider the importance of Juneteenth to the Black Community:
Educate yourself and your community about the importance of this holiday as it is not only Black History, its American History.
Acknowledge the importance of this milestone and collectively, we can continue to the pursuit of liberty for all.
Become an advocate of equity and justice within your home, and across your community.
Exploring Black Mental Health
Juneteenth is an undeterred day within the Black community that memorializes the pursuit to freedom. As we think on what freedom is, let us not forget that freedom does not limit itself solely to the body. True freedom is embodied through the mind, body, and spirit. For Black Americans, slavery’s historical trauma has directly impacted their lives. To this very day, as we speak about the importance of our past, we must also reconcile our future and in doing so, acknowledge the profound effect that violence has had on the Black community's emotional and mental wellbeing.
Historically, Black men and women have been socialized to be silent and were forced to internalize dehumanization and constant acts of extreme violence against our community, which has left lasting psychological effects. Mental Health America reports that 4.8 million (16%) Black people within the United States report having a mental illness1 however, only 1 out of every 3 Black Americans receive the treatment needed due to socialization, negative connotation, shame, and lack of trust of medical professionals. The disparities in healthcare for Blacks are a result of their concerns often being minimalized, misdiagnosed, and often, ignored. Through subjugation of enslavement, oppression, colonialism, racism, and segregation, these traumatic experiences have had lasting psychological impact on the lives of Blacks.2
Explore resources that speak to the importance of Black mental health that is often discussed within the Black community.
Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health is the most shocking and the most inhumane.
- Harriet A. Washington
Juneteenth Points to View
Watch a collection of videos that help us better understand the history of observing Juneteenth, and what Juneteenth observance looks like today.
Racial Justice at NIH
NIH’s racial equituy programs are set up across its network of institutes and centers and externally with partnerships designed to establish an equitable and civil culture within the biomedical research enterprise and reduce barriers to racial equity in the biomedical research workforce.
The beauty of anti-racism is that you don’t have to pretend to be free of racism to be an anti-racist. Anti-racism is the commitment to fight racism wherever you find it, including in yourself. And it’s the only way forward.
- Ijeoma Oluo
Volunteer by Helping Out at the Hospital NIH Clinical Center Volunteer Services.
With the help of 195 dedicated volunteers, The Children’s Inn at NIH is able to help serve children and families coming from around the world for groundbreaking research studies at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
The mission of the CFC is to promote and support philanthropy through a program that is employee focused, cost-efficient, and effective in providing all federal employees the opportunity to improve the quality of life for all.