MLK Community-wide Day of Service on Monday, January 21

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 21, 2019 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 Gryphon Place. They can be contacted at (269) 381-1510 ext. 225.

The 2019 MLK Celebration theme, Kneeling for Justice Then and Now: As You Choose, 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 Gryphon Place. They can be contacted at (269) 381-1510 ext. 225 or to submit a project site visit their Project Needs webpage.

Community Events

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day 2019, Monday, January 21
City of Kalamazoo Communitywide Day of Service
8 a.m., City Hall, 241 W. South St. 

MLK Park Ceremony, Monday, January 21 - Instead of walking, participants will take a bus from WMU Bernhard Center and Kalamazoo College Red Square to the MLK Park. After the MLK Park, buses will return to Kalamazoo College and WMU. One bus will take participants to an event at The State Theatre at 5 p.m. A 6 p.m. bus will return to Kalamazoo College and WMU.

3:30 p.m. depart from WMU Bernhard Center and 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 22
7:00 p.m. at City Hall during the scheduled City Commission Meeting. 



Holiday Trees Accepted through January 31 at 1204 Bank Street

When the time comes to take down your holiday decorations, please bring real holiday trees to the Bank Street Market parking lot (located at 1204 Bank Street). Real trees are biodegradable, easily recyclable, and may be dropped off at any time through January 31. Please be sure to remove all ornaments and other decorations.

Applicants Sought for Foundation for Excellence Board of Directors

Applications are now being accepted for two open Stakeholder Director positions on the Foundation for Excellence (FFE) Board of Directors. The roles represent the Faith Community and Affinity Organizations/Non-Profits. Community members that would like to apply are encouraged to complete the online application form at or by using the paper/PDF version available at Applications will be accepted beginning January 1 until 11:59 p.m., on January 31, 2019. The form is brief and expected to take about ten minutes to complete.

The paper applications are also available at the Kalamazoo Public Library branch locations and in the City Manager’s Office on the second floor at City Hall. Please return paper applications to: FFE Governance Facilitator, Kalamazoo Community Foundation, c/o Sharon Brown. 402 E. Michigan Ave., Kalamazoo, MI 49007. Questions can be directed to Sharon Brown at (269) 381-4416 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

If you need assistance accessing a computer to complete the online form, one is available at the Kalamazoo Community Foundation located at 402 E. Michigan Avenue, Kalamazoo, MI 49007. Please call (269) 381-4416 in advance to schedule an appointment.

FFE respects and promotes the diversity that exists in our community through a policy of inclusiveness where all persons are treated fairly regardless of their differences or inclusion in any of the following classifications: age, ancestry, citizenship, color, disability, ethnicity, familial status, gender identity, genetic information, height, marital status, national origin, pregnancy, race, religion, sex/gender, sexual orientation, veteran status, and/or weight.

About the Foundation for Excellence

The Foundation for Excellence is a unique innovation by the City of Kalamazoo and private donors to address systemic challenges to the prosperity of the city. The Mission of the Kalamazoo Foundation for Excellence is to support the goals of the City of Kalamazoo, fund aspirational investments in the city, and empower Kalamazoo residents to achieve the lives they want for themselves and their families.

A fundraising effort will be launched to create a fully endowed foundation that can sustain this funding in perpetuity.

“This inaugural year of Board operations was a crucial step in creating a governance body with a consciously positive and forward-looking culture,” said City Manager Jim Ritsema. “We are all very excited to build upon the great work that has already been made possible by FFE.”

The fifteen-member Board has specific requirements of residency and affiliation: two seats are automatically filled by the City Manager and Mayor; the City Commission nominates and appoints two additional City Commissioners; one seat is filled by the Commission from an at-large resident of Kalamazoo; three seats are filled by representatives from any three of the City’s officially recognized neighborhoods; finally, one seat is filled by professionals from each of the following sectors: housing, healthcare, faith-based organizations, education, business/banking, arts community, and affinity organizations. Nine of the 15 seats must be filled by City residents.

A current list of Board members as well as the newsletter containing information on the board can be found at Members will govern the Board’s operations and make recommendations to the City Commission to provide funding each year for aspirational projects and Shared Prosperity initiatives that realize the community vision established in the Imagine Kalamazoo 2025 Strategic Vision and Master Plan.

Contact FFE Coordinator Steve Brown with questions at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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

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