“Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” ~ Martin Luther King Jr.

This timeless quotation from the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. captures the sentiment of this era in the collective march for justice and peace.

Despite the coronavirus pandemic, you can still find ways to commemorate the birthday of one of the world’s greatest leaders, who was born on Jan. 15, 1929. Throughout this month, families and friends have been coming together to brainstorm and carry out a host of ideas. You can also check with non-profit organizations in your area for virtual celebrations and assorted ways to help those in need, perhaps extending your service beyond today.

The King Center in Atlanta has been hosting a series of activities. For the federal holiday, the center is streaming a “Beloved Community Commemorative Service” with a variety of tributes, performances and youth presentations, followed by its annual wreath laying at King’s tomb.

The program includes a “Call to Commemoration” by Dr. Bernice A. King, a keynote speech by T.D. Jakes and performances by gospel artist Jekalyn Carr and saxophonist Angella Christie.

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture offers for “The People’s Holiday,” a digital concert of jazz and poetry. Performers include poet Evie Shockley, bassist Christian McBride, and students from The Juilliard School.