“When presented with injustice and inequity, my mind scales so quickly to validating pain and hurt and also how to innovate and redesign. Service requires you to both be hopeful and critical in equal measure.”
– College Possible Milwaukee AmeriCorps coach.
Martin Luther King Jr. (MLK) Day is ‘a day on, not a day off,’ at College Possible Milwaukee.
MLK Day is the only federal holiday designated as a national day of service, encouraging everyone in America to volunteer and improve their community. Dr. King’s values are the driving force behind this day of service and this year, January 18, 2021, was no different.
Even with the COVID-19 pandemic still impacting our daily lives, College Possible Milwaukee staff and AmeriCorps members participated in volunteer opportunities safely from their homes and neighborhoods. The service opportunities ranged from writing letters of encouragement for Jewish Family Services, to cleaning up litter around neighborhoods and making how-to videos for Advocates of Ozaukee. In addition to Advocates of Ozaukee and Jewish Family Services, College Possible Milwaukee also partnered with Luther Manor to benefit the Milwaukee community.
The day started by reflecting on MLK’s values and quotes, reminding ourselves why this day is so important:
“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’”
—Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 1957.
College Possible Milwaukee AmeriCorps members and staff held this ideal in their minds throughout the day. After a short lunch break, everyone met together for a mindful and thought-provoking reflection on the day and the impact we made. Groups read various MLK quotes and identified how our day reflected MLK’s values. Discussions involved the challenges that some of the populations we serve face today, as well as how the pandemic exacerbates these challenges. In our ever-changing world, it is important to take time to appreciate the progress made while acknowledging that there is still an opportunity for growth and improvement. Through days of service, College Possible Milwaukee chooses to reflect and focus on what progress can be made in the Milwaukee community, specifically in the neighborhoods of the scholars we are so grateful to serve.