The MLK Day of Service Advisory Board under the auspices of Broward College is pleased to release the application package for the 2020 Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service. We seek to award funds up to $5,000 to support projects honoring the MLK Day of Service, that 1) include meaningful service that meets an identified community need; 2) engage volunteers in service; 3) recruit a diverse cross-section of the community as volunteers; 4) support the legacy of Dr. King; and 5) provide opportunities for sustained service and ongoing community involvement. Funding of awards is contingent on the availability of funds.
History of the MLK Day of Service
On November 2, 1983, President Ronald Reagan signed into law HR3706, the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday bill written and introduced by Representative Katie Hall. Beginning in 1986, Martin Luther King Day — the first federal holiday honoring an African American — was observed on the third Monday in January. The National Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service was created in 1994 through federal legislation co-authored by former Pennsylvania U.S. Senator Harris Wolford and Atlanta Congressman John Lewis, both veterans of the Civil Rights Movement with Dr. King – and signed by President Bill Clinton. Wolford and others led some 3,000 volunteers in 150 service projects, along with corporate sponsors, community leaders, and students throughout the region all to honor Dr. King’s legacy and uplift the community as he would have, with “A Day On” of service, not a “Day Off.”
Since that time the project has expanded across the country and has grown tremendously. In the Pennsylvania region in 2011, a record 75,000 people of all ages and backgrounds volunteered in some 1,200 service projects; the Annual Greater Philadelphia Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service remains the largest event of its kind in the nation with a record 1,800 service projects throughout the region. Through funding secured by State Senator Darryl Rouson from the Florida Legislature, St. Petersburg College, serving as the fiscal tracking agent in collaboration with a Community Advisory Board made up of citizens of the City of St. Petersburg, initiated the first Annual MLK Day of Service in St. Petersburg, Florida which served as the pilot for the State of Florida. The primary focus of the Day of Service is to perpetuate the goal of promoting the MLK Day of Service, “A Day On, Not a Day Off." To that end, community organizations were encouraged to develop and complete community service projects that would positively impact the community and honor Dr. King’s legacy of social uplift, racial equality, and non-violent activism.
As a result of the success of the 2013 implementation of the MLK Day of Service in St. Petersburg, the Florida State Legislature provided additional funding to expand the MLK Day of Service from St. Petersburg to include Hillsborough, Manatee and Sarasota, and Broward Counties to be administered by Hillsborough Community College, State College of Florida, and Broward College respectively.
MLK Day of Service Broward College
Through funding from the Florida Legislature, Broward College, in cooperation with the MLK Day of Service Advisory Board made up of citizens from Broward County, seeks to perpetuate the same goals for the upcoming year by promoting the MLK Day of Service. This project offers awards to organizations and groups to develop and complete a service project that will positively impact the community while honoring Dr. King’s legacies of non-violent activism, racial equality, service to others and social uplift.
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For more information about this initiative, please contact:
Programs & Data Analyst, Strategic Philanthropy/MLK Day of Service Project Manager
Kelly Alvarez Vitale
President, Strategic Philanthropy
AVP, Community Partnerships & Institutional Events