Kalamazoo residents are encouraged to commemorate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by taking part in the annual community-wide day of service on Monday, January 20. Now in its 19th year, the Community-Wide day of service invites residents to put the teaching and philosophy of Dr. King in action, taking time to volunteer for causes that will make our community stronger and make our city a better place.
The Community-Wide Day of Service is a collaboration between the City of Kalamazoo, United Way of Kalamazoo and Battle Creek Region, Western Michigan University Office of Diversity and Inclusion, Kalamazoo College, and the Northside Ministerial Alliance.
Community members are invited to participate in any type of community service, for any cause or organization that is important to them. Gryphon Place is also coordinating volunteers and volunteer opportunities. Gryphon Place may also be reached by phone at (269) 381-1510 ext. 242. Volunteers may also register onsite at City Hall on Monday, January 20 between 8:00 and 9:00 a.m.
Mayor David Anderson will welcome volunteers with light breakfast at City Hall at 8:30am in the Community Room at City Hall, before community service begins. Starting at 4pm, community members will meet at the Kalamazoo Transportation Center for a commemorative walk to Martin Luther King, Jr. park for a wreath laying ceremony, which is expected to begin around 4:40pm. A community reception will follow at the Kalamazoo State Theatre. For information on public transportation to and from events, visit www.kalamazoocity.org/mlk or contact Metro at (269) 337-8222.
Over the past 18 years, the City and other community organizations have come together to make this holiday a meaningful experience and an opportunity to do something good for others. It has been a day that reflects the life, teaching, and spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., bringing people together around the common focus of service to others and breaking down the social and economic barriers that divide our nation.
In coordination with the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community-Wide Day of Service, the City of Kalamazoo will again present Social Justice Youth Awards to deserving young residents of the Kalamazoo area. The awards recognize the achievements of students aged 12-19 in the areas of racial justice, community service, volunteerism, and leadership. The City of Kalamazoo awards the Dr. Lewis Walker Award, which honors Dr. Walker’s legacy as a trailblazer for the progression of racial equity in Kalamazoo. The recipient of this award will receive a $500 scholarship along with a certificate of recognition. Six additional Social Justice Youth Awards will be presented by the program’s sponsors: Consumers Energy, Schupan and Sons, Fifth Third Bank, Life EMS, Lodge-Dennis, and Kalamazoo Nonviolent Opponents of War. These award recipients will receive a $300 scholarship and a certificate of recognition. All awards will be presented at the City Commission meeting on Tuesday, January 21.