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Volunteer events, civil rights march planned for MLK Jr. Day

The national holiday will be marked with massive volunteer efforts and a rally.
Pedestrians pass the mural honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and other civil rightCharles Mostoller

Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday is shaping up to draw large crowds to a variety of events and activities in Philadelphia.

The regional MLK Day of Service is expected to draw a record 145,000 volunteers to work on more than 1,800 projects.

Meanwhile, Reclaim MLK, a civil rights march and rally that was first kicked off in Philly in 2015.

During the 22nd annual Greater Philadelphia King Day of Service, Mayor Kenney and other city notables will be gathering at the Girard College armory, where more than 100 volunteer projects will be underway.

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"The King Day of Service honors Dr. King's legacy by transforming the national holiday into a day of citizen action," organizers said in a news release.

The Reclaim MLK coalition's rally on Monday, the " March for a Better America," was in part organized by Mother Bethel AME Church at South Sixth and Lombard streets.

"In preparation for the ascension of right wing extremism into the highest levels of American public life, marchers will come together to advance an alternative vision of America’s future — one grounded in equality, justice, and shared prosperity for all Americans," said organizers from the coalition, officially known as Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Action, Resistance, and Empowerment March (DARE).

The organizers say during the march they will unveil their "21st Century Declaration of Rights, a vision for a more equal and just America."

More than 30 other labor, civil rights and activists groups will be participate in the march along with the coalition, which seeks a new approach to celebrating Dr. King's legacy.

"The focus on the King Holiday has increasingly moved toward service and away from activism and organizing," DARE coalition organizers said. "While we support efforts such as the Day of Service, we also strongly believe that we must continue to push the progressive agenda of Dr. King and others of his time."

To find a King Day of Service volunteer opportunity near you, visit http://mlkdayofservice.org/

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