Tag Archives: MLK Day of Service

MLK Day of Service 2019

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This MLK Day, CommunityGrows joined the African-American Arts and Culture Complex (AAACC) to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on the 2019 Day of Service. The event began at the AAACC with opening remarks from co-Executive Directors Melonie and Melorra Green, speakers Mayor Breed and District 5 Supervisor Vallie Brown, a spoken word performance by Arvaughn Williams, and AAACC’s very own Bushmama Africa, who called on “the ancestors to create a cover of protection on us and reverence for our ancestors” (AAACC website). The morning set the tone for the rest of the day as volunteers split off into groups to work on service projects in the neighborhood. Our BEETS led two volunteer groups on the Mall and at the AAACC.

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This year, over 40 volunteers came out to work on maintenance and beautification projects at Buchanan Mall, the Fillmore mini-park, and the AAACC parking lot and garden plots. Volunteers also were involved with a letter writing campaign to political prisoners and some joined artist Kristine Mays on a community art project (see her art installation, Brutally Soft, at AAACC Jan 17-March 24). Everyone did an amazing job and we are so grateful to all of the volunteers.

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Following the volunteer portion of the day was a (well deserved) community lunch. For the afternoon portion of the day, the AAACC had two film screenings for volunteers to learn more about political prisoners Mumia Abu-Jamal and Assata Shakur. Thank you to the presenters who started and facilitated the discussion.

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A huge shout-out to Pearci and the staff at AAACC for hosting this event, and thank you to all the volunteers who took time to come out and work with us. We appreciate your support and commitment to community.

#MLKDay of Service: Honoring Dr. King

Holiday Wreath and Card Making
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Make it a day on, not a day off. This was the rallying phrase as thousands of people across the U.S. turned out on Monday, January 15th, to celebrate and honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s life and legacy. The day of service began nearly 25 years ago, after Congress passed the King Holiday and Service Act of 1994. The day is meant to honor the dedicated and passionate service that Dr. King gave to both his community and to the nation as a whole.

Corporation for National and Community Services. Leading the Day of Service efforts, the CNCS writes that the initiative “empowers individuals, strengthens communities, bridges barriers, creates solutions to social problems, and moves us closer to Dr. King’s vision of a “Beloved Community.”

Taking Part in the Celebration. On Monday, CommunityGrows joined the African American Arts and Culture Complex, Citizen Film, and 3.9 Art Collective for our own day of service. The morning started with breakfast and an amazing performance by Brandon Hughes titled, “Imagine King Was Here.” Following his performance, Acting Mayor London Breed gave a moving speech about the importance of taking ownership of and building up our communities. After some final remarks from the AAACC Co-Executive Directors Melonie and Melorra Green, volunteers divided into three groups to complete projects to beautify the community.

 

Community Projects. One group joined the 3.9 Art Collective to create art for seniors, one group joined Citizen Film to clean up and plant in the Buchanan Mall, and one group joined CommunityGrows to weed and lay stones in the AAACC garden. The day ended with a barbeque and social hour in the parking lot.

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Photos: Sophie Constantinou at Citizen Film
Photos: Sophie Constantinou at Citizen Film
Photo: Sophie Constantinou at Citizen Film
Photo: Sophie Constantinou at Citizen Film
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Thank You. We at CommunityGrows want to thank all the volunteers who showed up and continue to support our programs and organization! We also want to give a shout-out to Broadmoor Landscape Supply for donating the rocks for our garden and to the AAACC, Citizen Film, and 3.9 Art Collective for a successful event!

Thanks again to everyone who volunteered to serve the community!

Martin Luther King, Jr., from: Nobel Foundation (http://nobelprize.org/) [Public domain]. Wikimedia Commons.

Honoring Martin Luther King Jr.

On Monday January 16, 2017 CommunityGrows joined the African American Arts and Culture Complex (AAACC) to honor Martin Luther King Jr with a presentation and workday in various sites in the Western Addition. Great volunteers joined us from all over the Bay Area, with an especially large contingent from Lick-Wilmerding High School in San Francisco. 1.16.17-MLK DAY-Peter Merts_20170116_007-2eVolunteers met at the AAACC to sign in and enjoy a light breakfast. Then they were treated to a short presentation by John William Templeton, who spoke of the impact Dr. King had on the African American community in San Francisco. 1.16.17-MLK DAY-Peter Merts_20170116_012eMr. Templeton is well known for curating a brochure entitled The African American Freedom Trail, and authoring books such as Come to the Water: Sharing the Rich Black Experience in San Francisco,  and Our Roots Run Deep: The Black Experience in California.  He is founder of ReUNION: Education Arts Heritage, an instructional video network designed to provide culturally responsive curriculum to schools globally.  Templeton also operates SF Soul Shuttle tours which highlight the African American history and culture of San Francisco. 1.16.17-MLK DAY-Peter Merts_20170116_022eAfter the presentation, volunteers divided into groups to work at three sites: Buchanan Mall, the AAACC, and Koshland Garden. They were able to clean a large parking lot adjacent to the AAACC, collecting trash and renewing the native plant garden along the periphery.1.16.17-MLK DAY-Peter Merts_20170116_024e1.16.17-MLK DAY-Peter Merts_20170116_036e In Buchanan Mall, a five-block greenway on Buchanan Street, volunteers were able to collect trash and spruce up the garden.1.16.17-MLK DAY-Peter Merts_20170116_033e1.16.17-MLK DAY-Peter Merts_20170116_043e A few blocks away at Koshland Garden, CommunityGrows staff Melissa Tang and Paul Bergkamp sent teams of volunteers with our BEETS (Band of Environmentally Educated and Employable Teens) to different areas of the garden to flip compost, lay wood chips, pick up trash, prune trees and vines, weed, mulch and harvest peas, broccoli and mustard greens.1.16.17-MLK DAY-Peter Merts_20170116_058e1.16.17-MLK DAY-Peter Merts_20170116_089e1.16.17-MLK DAY-Peter Merts_20170116_090e At lunch-time everyone met back at the AAACC to have a great lunch and receive thanks for the amazing work they did. 1.16.17-MLK DAY-Peter Merts_20170116_116eThank you everyone for a great day to uphold the values of giving back and volunteering for this important cause. A special thanks to Peter Merts for his beautiful photos! His photos can also be found on our CommunityGrows flickr photostream here.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service

IMG_5354On Monday, January 18, 2016 over 90 volunteers came out to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service. This event was sponsored by the African American Arts and Culture Center (AAACC) and CommunityGrows. Volunteers began arriving at 8:30 AM on a morning reprieved from the wonderful rain we’ve been having in the Bay Area.  IMG_5350After a light breakfast of bagels and coffee, Mohammed Soriano Bilal, Director of the AAACC directed everyone to the buildings Burial Clay Theatre to hear an inspirational talk by John William Templeton. IMG_5362Mr. Templeton curated a African American Freedom Trail brochure which leads visitors to the various historic landmarks, such as the Third Baptist Church of San Francisco founded in 1852, that illustrate the remarkable contributions of African-Americans to the city. He is also the author of “Come to the Water: Sharing the Rich Black Experience in San Francisco,” “Our Roots Run Deep: The Black Experience in California” and other books.  He is founder of ReUNION: Education Arts Heritage, an instructional video network designed to provide culturally responsive curriculum to schools globally.  Templeton also operates SF Soul Shuttle tours which bring the African American history and culture of San Francisco, including where to dine, meet, shop and worship. He spoke about Martin Luther King coming to San Francisco and his importance for the African American community.
Then over 90 volunteers, many from the San Francisco Teacher Residency Program, Playworks, Lick-Wilmerding and University High School divided into three groups and traveled to three garden sites to work. A group from Lick-Wilmerding under the leadership of CommunityGrows staff Kelly Ernst-Friedman and Melissa Tang, worked in the garden and parking lot of the AAACC picking up trash and mulching and gleaning the native plants.IMG_5364
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IMG_5389A large group from Playworks joined CommunityGrows staff Adrian Almquist, Crystal Jones,  and BEET (Band of Environmentally Educated and Employable Teens) Jennifer Nazara to work in Koshland Garden.IMG_5478IMG_5461IMG_5489IMG_5485Another large group from University High School joined CommunityGrows staff Jay Jordan, Cha’Shay Woldridge and BEET Adrian Valencia to work at Rosa Parks Elementary School garden.IMG_5411 IMG_5447IMG_5421IMG_5425
IMG_5403At the end of the workday morning, groups convened by at the AAACC for a delicious lunch and BBQ. So much good work was done to make these gardens and spaces shine. All the volunteers were awesome. Thank you so much to everyone for this very successful day!IMG_0650For MANY more photos check out our CommunityGrows Flickr Photostream.