MLK Challenge

Participants in the MLK Challenge 2019

"I loved it. The best decision I've made in college was partaking in this day." -— 2017 Sophomore Participant

"I learned that service is always abundant for those who look for it. All it takes is just stepping outside of the path of convenience. There will ALWAYS be service to do, so when people ask, the measure is of simply saying yes." — 2019 Senior Participant

When asked to describe the day: "a day of service and remembrance, but also fun! A great chance to meet new people and feel like you're impacting the community as well." — 2019 Sophomore Participant

What is the MLK Challenge?

At the most basic level, the MLK Challenge is a day of service … but it is so much more, too!

100% of participants in 2018 & 2019 would reccomend the day to others. 

Elements of the MLK Challenge and Dr. King Quotations

  • Groups are determined randomly so all involved can meet new people. 100% of 2018 & 2019 participants indicated that they met someone new!
    "We have flown the air like birds and swum the sea like fishes, but have yet to learn the simple acts of walking the earth like brothers." 
  • Service is presented not as a "to-do list" to simply complete, but as a challenge to be solved
    "The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character — that is the goal of true education."
  • Projects are based on local community needs, but are not necessarily the agency's typical needs (instead of sorting food at a food pantry, building more shelves for storage and organization).
    "Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?'"
  • Typically projects are manual or physical labor jobs and/or fundraising requests that allow the expansion of or improve the ability to fulfill the agency's mission.
    "An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity."
  • Once presented with the challenge, groups will meet their challenge through:  brainstorming, problem solving, teamwork, and time management.
    "Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase."
  • Throughout the day, the life and commitment that Dr. King modeled for social action is discussed and reflected upon. 
    "I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up, live out the true meaning of its creed, 'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal'."
  • At the end of the day, participants are challenged to pledge to complete an additional 100 hours of service in the upcoming year (or a number of their choosing).
    "And as we walk we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back....No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream."