Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Wide Day of Service

The City of Kalamazoo, Gryphon Place and the Western Michigan University Office of Diversity & Inclusion alongside Kalamazoo College and Northside Ministerial Alliance are sponsoring a community-wide day of service on Monday, January 15, 2018 in honor of the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Social service organizations around Kalamazoo County provide opportunities for community volunteers to take a day-on rather than a day-off. Participants will join thousands of volunteers across the county as we celebrate the life and work of the slain leader by participating in various outreach activities throughout the county. Volunteers are the backbone of the Community-Wide Day of Service. We will be recruiting individuals and groups to serve social service organizations throughout Kalamazoo County. Volunteer registration is being coordinated through Volunteer Kalamazoo. They can be contacted at (269) 382-8350.

The 2018 MLK Celebration theme, What is Your Position in Times of Challenge and Controversy, was formed based on the principle that we are stronger as a community in advancing social justice and addressing historical inequality in the non-violent and empathetic manner promoted by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. This theme also speaks to the immediacy of issues regarding equity that affect community members in Kalamazoo and its surrounding area. Art, education, faith and health are highlighted within the theme. Volunteer registration is being coordinated through Volunteer Kalamazoo. They can be contacted at (269) 382-8350 or to submit a project site visit their website.

As part of the celebration, the Annual Dr. Lewis Walker Social Justice Youth Award will be presented to student(s) between the ages of 12-19 from the Kalamazoo community that have demonstrated leadership achievements in the area of racial and social justice through community service activities and volunteerism. The award is given in honor of Dr.. Lewis Walker, a trailblazer for the progression of racial equity in Kalamazoo. Along with the community service award, the winner(s) will receive a $200.00 monetary award. 

Nominations are only accepted from adults who work with young people in various capacities through Tuesday, January 2, 2018 at 5:00 p.m. We request that parents not nominate their own children. You can nominate someone online here, or if you would prefer to mail or fax your nomination, nomination forms are available online in  pdf (416 KB)  and doc (153 KB)  formats or from the City Manager's Office at City Hall. 

Community Events

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day 2018, Monday, January 15
City of Kalamazoo Communitywide Day of Service
8 a.m., City Hall, 241 W. South St. 
March to MLK Park, Monday, January 15
3:30 p.m. depart from the flagpole at Kanley Chapel, WMU to to Kalamazoo College Red Square (corner of Thompson and Academy streets)
4:00 p.m. depart from Kalamazoo College Red Square to MLK Park (corner of Rose Street and West Michigan Avenue)
4:30 p.m. Arrive at MLK Park
Presentation to Dr. Lewis Walker Youth Social Justice Award Winners, Tuesday,  January 16
7:00 p.m. at City Hall during the scheduled City Commission Meeting.

City of Kalamazoo

Home to the Kalamazoo Promise, three institutions of higher education, two nationally recognized healthcare systems, cutting-edge medical research, world-class brewing and dining, outstanding parks, and an extensive variety of music, art, theatre, and cultural attractions.


 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 (269) 337-8047
 (269) 337-8182
 241 West South Street
     Kalamazoo, MI 49007

Keep in Touch