The Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. once remarked that “The time is always right to do what is right.” This sentiment remains as true today as it was when he first said it. Our work to make our society — our very democracy — the inclusive, racially, socially and economically just set of communities that Dr. King envisioned has, unfortunately, only just begun. ADP campuses across the country are committed to helping students become the informed, engaged citizens that will work toward this more just society. Take a quick look at how just a few of them commemorated this special day. And then let us know how you and your campus continue to make Dr. King’s dream a reality.
Illinois State University
An Illinois State University alumnus shared his diary reflection written after teaching the day after Dr. King’s 1968 assassination. Read more here.
St. Cloud State University (Minn.)
SCSU held a CARE MLK breakfast and a day of service.
University of Arkansas – Fort Smith
UAFS’s ADP hosted a series of events to commemorate MLK day, including: a ministerial alliance prayer service, a parade, an awards banquet, an ecumenical service, a breakfast and discussion panel, a symbolic march and the annual ADP unsung heroes program
Weber State University (Utah)
Week of service and Free MLK Breakfast & Freedom March Jan 18 @ 8:30 a.m. THEME: The Fierce Urgency of Now.. Dismantling the School to Prison Pipeline.
Winona State University (Minn.)
The American Democracy Project held a democratic deliberation aligned with its theme of economic inequality. WSU students moderated the deliberation by following the Making Ends Meet guide and collected feedback for Public Voice in Washington, D.C. in May.
The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) has reopened the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service grant competition. The competition has been reopened in order to allow applicants to act as pass-through entities. Pass-through entities must select sub-recipients on a competitive basis through a sub-grant. Acting as a pass-through entity (sub-awarding) is not required.The new application deadline is Thursday, June 25, 2015 at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time.
All modifications to the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service grant competition are highlighted in yellow within the Notice of Federal Funding Availability (Notice). Please review the Notice carefully and take note of the changes: http://go.usa.gov/3PUR3
For applicants that have already submitted a grant application, you can request to have your application returned to you by sending an email to MLKGrants@cns.gov. Please include your Application ID Number and the Legal Applicant Name in your request. In cases where your application is returned to you for additional work, all applicants are still required to adhere to the new deadline of Thursday, June 25, 2015 at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time.
Visit NationalService.gov/MLKNOFA to access technical assistance including upcoming assistance calls, and contact information for questions specific to these funding opportunities.
By Gabriel Arteaga, Interim National Manager, The Democracy Commitment
Since 1994, every third Monday of every January, the United States celebrates Martin Luther King, Jr. National Day, which is the only federal holiday observed as a national day of service – a “day on, not a day off.”
Earlier this year, TDC and ADP put out a call for campuses to share with us their efforts to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in 2015. We received very impressive and fulfilling responses from our member institutions, which we felt put into perspective MLK’s underlying question of public service, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘what are you doing for others?’”. While we wish we could highlight every MLK campus event, we selected only a few at random to help us spotlight the wonderful and uplifting educational and volunteer activities that were organized in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by our campuses.
Highlights from MLK Day of Service:
- The MLK Day of Service at Macomb Community College is their largest volunteer event. On January 19th, Macomb college president, Dr. James Jacobs, kicked-off their event and welcomed attendees followed by announcing this year’s Macomb MLK Student Essay Contest Winner, Dakota Jackson. His essay titled, As Friends. As Family. As Equal along with essays from runner-up winners, Elizabeth Powell and Robert Berry can be found on the Macomb MLK Day of Service website here. Congratulations winners and Macomb Community College for your dedication and valuable service to your community.
- As described by their website, Eastern Michigan University has a “strong tradition of discourse, learning opportunities, creative expression, and community building in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.” EMU held a wide-variety of different events including a march through campus, student forums and academic programs. In addition, EMU hosted their 29th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Presidents Luncheon where individuals both inside the campus and in the community are recognized for their exemplarily work and dedication.
- The University of Alaska Anchorage welcomed Dr. Bernard Lafayette, a Civil Rights Movement activist and Freedom Rider who worked alongside Dr. King Jr., to speak at their 21st Annual MLK Student Appreciation Luncheon. Dr. Lafayette gave a riveting speech about his first-hand experience and perspective during this pivotal time in our nation’s history.
- The Missouri State University’s MLK celebration elected the theme, “The Dream Still Matters.” It had an impressive agenda that included a community service luncheon, a service day with hundreds of volunteers, a voter registration drive for students, an interactive forum to discuss civil rights and MLK’s work, and a student scholarship dinner.
- Salem State University (Mass.) kicked off their 29th Annual celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., with a candlelight vigil and freedom march through campus. The theme of their celebration was “Our Journey Toward Justice,” SSU’s MLK Day planning committee expressed on their website that it was important to discuss and renew, “our shared responsibility to advocate for justice and equity in all that we do by reflecting and learning together.” Their MLK Day of Service activities brought together students, staff, faculty, alumni, and community members to volunteer with a wide variety of different non-profit organizations like, Girl’s Inc., Habitat for Humanity, and St. Joseph’s Food Pantry, to name a few. To view a full list of all the activities and volunteer opportunities that SSU hosted for MLK Day of Service, please visit their website at http://www.salemstate.edu/mlk_celebration/.
Want to know more about the logistics of each event? Contact us so that we can connect you with each campus coordinator or reach out to the campus directly to see how you can start planning your very own MLK Day of Service event at your school next year.
It’s never too early to start organizing!
ADP in the News is a compilation of brief updates about American Democracy Project (ADP) activities at participating colleges and universities and is a semi-regular news feature on our blog. Below you will find the latest edition of this series.
If you have an ADP event you’d like posted in this format, please email email@example.com.
Populism and Higher Education for the Age of the Smart Machine
Harry Boyte mentions an American Democracy Project co-sponsored national event in his exploration of what political populism means in the 21st century. The event “The Changing World of Work—What Should We Ask of Higher Education?” took place at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. on January 21, 2015. Read more about Boyte’s ideas here.
Seeking Political Support, Colleges Prod Students to Vote
This article on engaging student voters highlights registration efforts at ADP schools San Francisco State University (Calif.), Salisbury University (Md.) and Montclair State University (N.J.) and TDC’s Cuyanoga Community College (Ohio). The article also features quotes from AASCU’s George Mehaffy and ADP partner TurboVote’s Sam Novey. Read more about registration initiatives on these campuses here.
Longtime Flint Community Activist is up for Michigan Liberator Award
Community activist and University of Michigan-Flint’s American Democracy Project board member Jayashree Kommaredi was nominated for a Michigan Liberator Award in January. The award celebrates individuals and businesses in Michigan who have fought against human trafficking. Read more about Kommaredi and her work here.
Students ‘Tweet-up’ for Obama’s address
Students at Illinois State University gathered to watch President Obama’s State of the Union Address last month. The campus’ American Democracy Project organized the event. Students watched the address and were encouraged to join the national conversation on Twitter, using the hashtag #iSOTU. Read more here.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service
- Day of Service draws 255 volunteers to assist agencies
About 255 volunteers from University of Central Missouri participated in the university’s fifth annual MLK Day of Service. The participants volunteered at local nonprofits. Read more here.
- Group Aims To Unite Fort Smith For MLK Celebrations
The American Democracy Project at the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith participated in the university’s festivities in honor of MLK Day. The group organized an Unsung Heroes Program to honor local nonprofits. Read more here.
By Stephanie R. South, TDC National Coordinator
In 1994, Congress passed the King Holiday and Service Act, designating the Martin Luther King Jr. Federal Holiday as a national day of service. Taking place each year on the third Monday in January, the MLK Day of Service is the only federal holiday observed as a national day of service—a “day on, not a day off.”
Many American Democracy Project and The Democracy Commitment colleges and universities organize and sponsor MLK Day educational and volunteer activities, and we want to know what it is that your campus has planned for this year.
Please take a moment to fill out this survey. Please note, information provided may be featured in upcoming ADP and TDC blog posts.
You’ll find more information on and resources for MLK Jr. Day of Service here: http://www.aascu.org/programs/ADP/MLKDay/.