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Social Issues
This 12-Year-Old Girl Celebrates MLK Day With An Inspiring Message
January 20, 2014
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(Photo: AFP/GettyImages)

Today is Martin Luther King Day, a U.S. holiday celebrating the life and message of the civil rights hero Martin Luther King, Jr.

One American who's taken King's message to heart is Olivia Russo-Hood, a 12-year-old grade six student living in Florida. She's also the founder of Save The Earth Projects (S.T.E.P.), an organization dedicated to affecting social change, and the author of a thoughtful blog post on BK Nation titled "You don't need to HAVE something to START something."

In the post, Russo-Hood talks about why she started S.T.E.P., which grew out of a YMCA scholarship program. She writes

This week as we celebrate the birth of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the impact he and his friends had on the civil rights movement, we should think about our responsibilities to those rights...I started something because I had lost almost everything in a FEMA disaster when I was only eight years old. It would have been easy to look at obstacles and what I couldn’t do instead of the opportunities of what I could do. Obstacles present opportunities.

Russo-Hood started Save the Earth Projects even when she had nothing because she wanted to do good, and to commit to action and positive change. Her story is inspiring. But it's not the only story worth looking at on MLK day.

According to the Associated Press, city streets named after Martin Luther King are almost universally declining across the United States (there are about 900 of them). But a non-profit based in St. Louis is trying to revitalize them one-by-one. You can read their story here.

There's also a great collection of photos of Martin Luther King and the freedom riders collected by Life magazine, which give a fascinating glimpse into King's world.

Finally, last summer was the 50th anniversary of "I Have A Dream." Here's our roundup of five different ways of looking at the iconic speech.


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