Martin Luther King Jr. Day: how you can honor his legacy

MLK Day 2021

As we celebrate the life and legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., HCA Healthcare shares how you can honor MLK Day 2021 through action and contemplation.

The Martin Luther King Jr. holiday on Jan. 18, 2021, is the 26th anniversary of the day of service celebrating the life and legacy of civil rights leader, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Observed each year on the third Monday in January as “a day on, not a day off,” MLK Day is the only federal holiday designated as a national day of service to encourage community involvement. Whether you are working on the 18th or not, we encourage you to participate in honoring Dr. King’s legacy in the following ways:


Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s celebration may look a little different. Parades and marches, typical forms of remembrance, are mostly on pause this year. With safety precautions in mind, we can still honor the legacy of Dr. King by using this day of service to make a difference in our communities. Whether you plan on grabbing a paintbrush, mentoring a young person, or helping to clean up a public space in the next few days, know that what you do makes a world of difference.

Visit the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service site to find a volunteer opportunity in your community during COVID-19. HCA Healthcare colleagues can also visit Your Cause on our organization’s intranet to find volunteer opportunities.


Take time to learn about and reflect upon Dr. King’s teachings, legacy and impact. As we navigate evolving challenges in the world around us, we can use this day to examine our own thinking and behaviors and to consider how we might learn from historical events to drive meaningful change today.

Learn more about Dr. King and his teachings:


Take your learnings a step further and evaluate how you can apply the foundational principles of Dr. King’s teachings to your everyday life. How can you contribute to making the world a more diverse and inclusive place?

HCA Healthcare is committed to fostering a more diverse and inclusive environment for our colleagues and a compassionate, culturally competent healthcare environment for our patients.  Colleagues can explore training and education on our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion intranet site to learn more about building an inclusive organization.


Lastly, be willing to engage in discussions with friends, family, and colleagues – especially those whose backgrounds and experiences differ from yours.

In a new three-part video series, BRAVE Conversations: Igniting Change, HCA Healthcare’s Chief Diversity Officer, Sherri Neal sits down with Richard Branton, the son of a legendary civil rights leader, to discuss racial equality, social justice, and what it means to be a truly diverse and inclusive organization. Each video has a discussion guide that includes highlighted excerpts from Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech for further reflection and conversation within the context of what Richard shares about his life and experiences.

HCA Healthcare colleagues can watch Part 1 of the video series on our intranet here.

Commit this MLK Day

At HCA Healthcare, we are committed to the care and improvement of human life, not only in our hospitals but also in the communities we serve. Throughout COVID-19, our colleagues have selflessly served both virtually and in-person. When thinking about where to volunteer on MLK Day, it doesn’t matter where you show up. What matters is that you show up and make a difference.

Cherry blossom trees surrounding the Martin Luther King Jr Memorial, a large stone with the image of Martin Luther King Jr carved into it

About HCA Healthcare

HCA Healthcare, one of the nation's leading providers of healthcare services, is comprised of 183 hospitals and more than 2,300 sites of care, in 20 states and the United Kingdom. Our more than 283,000 colleagues are connected by a single purpose — to give patients healthier tomorrows.

As an enterprise, we recognize the significant responsibility we have as a leading healthcare provider within each of the communities we serve, as well as the opportunity we have to improve the lives of the patients for whom we are entrusted to care. Through the compassion, knowledge and skill of our caregivers, and our ability to leverage our scale and innovative capabilities, HCA Healthcare is in a unique position to play a leading role in the transformation of care.

Recent articles