Penn College, community partners to celebrate King’s legacy

Published 01.12.2023

Student News
Faculty & Staff

Pennsylvania College of Technology is among the participating partners in The Martin Luther King Jr. National Day of Service, a defining moment each year when Americans across the country step up to make their communities more equitable and take action to create the Beloved Community of the Rev. Dr. King’s dream.

MLK Day, which commemorates the civil rights leader's Jan. 15 birthday, is the only federal holiday designated as a National Day of Service to encourage all Americans to volunteer to improve their communities. The MLK Day of Service has grown during the last quarter-century, and its impact has increased as more people embrace the idea that citizenship involves active civic involvement.

Dream Week 2023STEP AmeriCorps, Penn College and Lycoming College, the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank, and United Churches of Lycoming County are once again collaborating for a week full of events.

Dream Week 2023 will kick off Saturday, Jan. 14, with a meal and service provided by United Churches at Sojourner Truth Ministries, 501 High St., Williamsport. Anyone interested in assisting can contact Tammey Aichner.

STEP AmeriCorps will coordinate the Peace Walk, starting at noon Monday, Jan. 16. The walk will begin at the Jackie Robinson statue at Third and Market streets with remarks from Nate Woods Jr., special assistant to the president for inclusion transformation at Penn College. Participants will travel an approximate 1-mile loop and return to the statue.

Also on Monday, STEP AmeriCorps will partner with the James V. Brown Library to provide a story time, craft and Peace March for children within the library at 10:30 a.m.

“Penn College is proud to partner with such wonderful organizations to educate and serve the greater Williamsport community,” said Meghan Delsite Coleman, assistant director of student engagement. “Whether through opportunities to show your support at the Peace Walk or Unity Day, to learn about Dr. King’s legacy during 'Dinner and Discussion,' or impact the community through our many service projects, we invite any and all participants to show solidarity in creating social change.”

The two colleges are hosting the following additional events:

A Night of Expressions of Hope for Our Beloved Community
7:30-9 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 18
Lycoming College

The Dream Week Committee invites the public to join Lycoming College for a night of shared expressions that inspire hope and community. This open mic event is open to all students and community members to share songs, dance, letters, and spoken word in celebration of the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Dinner and Discussion
5:30-7:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 19
Penn College's Thompson Professional Development Center
Dinner and Discussion is a poverty simulation that will help participants understand the impacts of poverty on everyday life. The program, led by trained facilitators from the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank, will feature activities and a discussion centered on structural inequality and empathy. This event is open to the public.

We Have a Dream: A Community Vision Board
4:30-7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 20
Lycoming College
Students and community members will gather to share their dreams for their community, country or the world. Art supplies will be provided so participants can express their dreams through words, drawings and paintings.

Unity Day
Also on Friday, the Wildcat women's (5 p.m.) and men’s (7 p.m.) basketball teams will welcome Gallaudet University to Penn College's Bardo Gymnasium for the inaugural Unity Day, featuring cultural foods and activities focused on the diverse populations in Williamsport (and, of course, excellent basketball).

Dream Week 2023 also features a wide array of service opportunities, including seed starting for the community garden, an American Red Cross blood drive, food packing with the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank, cleaning at local service providers and more. Visit STEP for a full listing of events and programs offered to the public, as well as an "interest form" for ease of registration.