- January 26, 2022
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. lived a life dedicated to service to others and calling attention to and helping to fight injustice. This is the theme of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Dream Week and Day of Service that will take place from Wednesday, January 12 to Wednesday, January 19. “Martin Luther King Day
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. lived a life dedicated to service to others and calling attention to and helping to fight injustice. This is the theme of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Dream Week and Day of Service that will take place from Wednesday, January 12 to Wednesday, January 19.
“Martin Luther King Day is the only federal holiday designated as a National Day of Service to encourage all Americans to volunteer to improve their communities,” Lori Boos, Program Manager for AmeriCorps STEP locally, told Webb Weekly. “For the past quarter-century, AmeriCorps as a national service organization has been charged with leading this effort. As a local organization, STEP AmeriCorps has celebrated MLK Day since it became a local program in 2007. This year’s theme of “Has the Dream Been Realized?” is relevant because it makes us as community members remember that while progress has been made, there is still much work to be done to make our communities more equitable. Dr. King believed the Beloved Community was possible and fought for systemic change.”
She continued, “We are called to action by his example. Making time to walk in the Peace Walk, taking part in one of the learning opportunities offered during Dream Week, or making a donation to FireTree Place or Dwell Orphan Care is a great way to engage with the community you live in, while honoring the legacy of MLK. I’m reminded of one of MLK’s greatest quotes: ‘Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.’”
According to Boos, this year’s Dream Week is a collaboration between STEP AmeriCorps, members of the former Beloved Community Council, Penn College, Lycoming College, and the local chapter of the NAACP.
Links and QR codes for this year’s virtual events will be published closer on the STEP AmeriCorps Facebook page as we get closer to each event. Please also watch the Facebook event page for updates based on changes that may need to be made due to COVID.
“We are so excited to offer ways to honor MLK and what he stood for during this community-wide event! Please share with your friends, co-workers, churches, and neighbors!” said Boos.
To kick off the week on Wednesday, January 12 from 5 to 6 p.m. Lycoming Tri-County Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) meeting will be held virtually on Zoom. “The NAACP is a multi-racial civil rights organization founded 112 years ago. This storied organization has a long history of fighting for civil rights and the end of racist practices in our country. This local branch seeks to educate, raise up Black voices, and cultivate the community energy of residents in our region to make changes here.”
Monday, January 17 at 10:45 a.m.: In-Person Peace Walk. The Peace Walk begins and ends at Christ Community Worship Center (436 W. 4th Street in Williamsport). Pastor Marwyn Reeves will be speaking. Please pre-register at http://www.stepcorp.org/mlk. The First 125 pre-registrants will receive a t-shirt. The walk will feature readings from MLK’s “The Letters from Birmingham” at four different points along the route, which is about 1.5 miles long. A shortened route is also available.
Virtual Peace Walk: If you cannot make the walk or prefer to walk on your own, conduct your own peace walk sometime during Dream Week!
Monday evening, January 17: Speaker G.I. Drew Hart, Theology Professor, Church Anti-Racism Leader, Social Change Practitioner will speak at 7 p.m., in the Penn College Academic Center auditorium. This event will also be live-streamed)
Tuesday and Wednesday, January 18 and 19: Blood Drive at Penn College. Help meet a critical need in our community by donating blood! Appointments are needed. Call 1-800-REDCROSS.
Wednesday, January 19: Race and Wealth Gap Learning ‘Simulation’ — two times available — 12:00-2:30 p.m. and 6:30-9:00 p.m. on Zoom.
What is the Racial Wealth Gap Learning Simulation?
The Simulation is an interactive tool that helps people understand the connections among racial equity, hunger, poverty, and wealth. It is an excellent first step for people unaware of structural inequality, a support tool for those who want a deeper understanding of structural inequality, and a source of information for experts who want to know the quantifiable economic impact of each policy that has widened today’s racial hunger, income, and wealth divides.
ALL WEEK: Service project — Donation Drive — we will be collecting donations to benefit Dwell Orphan Care and Firetree Place. Donations will be accepted all week from Monday, 1/17 through Friday, 1/21.
Dwell Orphan Care (only NEW items)
• New Children’s toys
• New Lego Sets
• New Family Board and Card games
• New Art Supplies and crafting kits
• New socks and underwear (kids, youth, and adult sizes)
FireTree Place (NEW or LIGHTLY used items)
• Prepackaged and unopened snack food items
• Fidget toys
Donations may be dropped off at the following points during Dream Week
1. STEP Inc., outside the information desk, 2138 Lincoln Drive, Williamsport
2. Penn College, CC Bush Campus Center, 200 College Ave, Williamsport, PA
3. New Covenant United Church 202 E. 3rd St, Williamsport, PA
4. FireTree Place 600 Campbell Street Williamsport.
The community is invited to attend any or all of these activities in solidarity with the timeless principles of Martin Luther King Jr. and participate in creating the mutually beneficial social changes he envisioned in the beloved community. Dr. King’s words of wisdom inspire all of us to our highest potential as he said, “We have before us the glorious opportunity to inject a new dimension of love into the veins of our civilization.”
All events are free and open to the public.