A History of MLK
By Jo Crawford
In 1986, 20 years ago, after one of the annual MLK assemblies created to honor the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. , a few people felt that there must be a better way to honor the slain civil rights leader than at a one day event…and they found one. They would create a project which would honor King on a daily basis by giving students, staff and ultimately community residents an opportunity to help realize his dream of a more just America every day of the year.
In April vacation in 1987 the MLK Action Project ( a social justice outreach project) was launched – each day of the vacation week there was a trip to a different shelter and one trip to the Boston Food Bank. 40 very excited students signed up and 310 hours were donated. Now 25% of the school population `is involved and 2000 to 3000 hours are donated annually to honor Dr. King. While a primary focus is inner city volunteering in order to expand students’ awareness of needs in a larger community, there are many local events for senior citizens and also monthly trips to a Framingham shelter.
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Some MLK Action Project traditions:
Also By Jo Crawford
The annual Jimmy Mack March to Defeat AIDS through education and research is in October. The 20th walk was October 2007.
The annual Thanksgiving dinner at the school for Lincoln and Sudbury senior citizens.
Bridge Over Troubled Waters Holiday Gift giving to 50 homeless young people living on Boston streets.
The annual February alternative vacation trip to work with Habitat for Humanity, all but one in Philadelphia. 2007 was the 19th trip and new this year Katrina Project spring vacation trip planned
The annual Martin Luther King, Jr Award Assembly held to honor Dr. King’s January 17th birthday.
The award is given to a person of the greater Boston community who has demonstrated a serious; continuing commitment to the ideals of Dr.King.
The first award was presented in 1988 to Kip Kiernan, founder of Rosie’s Place and the Boston Food Bank. There have been total of 20 awards to date.
*The MLK Award of Promise was created in 2003. This award recognizes the efforts of young men and women from the L-S community who have already shown promise in keeping alive Dr. King’s dream of a more just world. The recipient must have graduated from L-S five years or more ago. The first award was given to Philip Cryan LS ’97.
Agencies visited on a regular basis
Greater Boston Food Bank
Pine Street Inn
Walk for Hunger in Boston
Urban Walk for Haiti
AIDS Walk in Boston
Supporters of Sudanese