Life’s most persistent and urgent question is,

What are you doing for others?

— Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The 6th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Engagement provides the Class of 2020 with opportunities to engage in and enhance the communities surrounding Bard College. Students will work with various volunteer organizations in the Hudson Valley to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy of promoting social justice, compassion and selfless contributions to our community.

The Center for Civic Engagement will arrange transportation for off-campus events as well as provide meals during lunch. In the evening, all first-year students will participate in a reflection dinner in their Residence Hall communities led by their PC, to discuss the Day of Engagement and ways to continue to have a positive lasting impact on Bard’s surrounding communities.

The 6th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Engagement provides the Class of 2020 with opportunities to engage in and enhance the communities surrounding Bard College. Students will work with various volunteer organizations in the Hudson Valley to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy of promoting social justice, compassion and selfless contributions to our community.

“There is another element that must be present in our struggle that then makes our resistance and nonviolence truly meaningful. That element is reconciliation. Our ultimate end must be the creation of the beloved community.”

—Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

April 15, 1960, in Raleigh, North Carolina

Students will partake in engagement opportunities including working with children, animals, sustainability, health care organizations and teaching science.

Jump to 2017 Event Signups

Below are the testimonials of a group of students who have participated in the Day of Engagement.

Student Testimonials

Isha

Isha, ’18  // Physics and Philosophy Major

According to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., life’s most persistent question is: what are you doing for others? My experience in the MLK Day of Engagement let me connect with children in the community and enrich their interests in science and scientific inquiry. Doing such a selfless activity not only helped the children, but helped the community and Bard students who participated.  We were able to broaden the children’s understanding and be their role model. I believe that civic engagement enriches many children’s lives. We can use our privilege to do good in the community for children and provide opportunities.

Elliot

Elliot, ’16 // Physics and Philosophy Major

My experience working at Ulster ReStore Bicycle Project last year changed my perspective on volunteering. I witnessed first hand the impact volunteering has not only on others but on the volunteer.  The act of giving back is something that we all should undertake as a way to show appreciation for others. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. envisioned this for everyone and after giving back last year, I realized it was by far one of the greatest things I could have done for someone else.

Shar

Shar, ’16 // Math and Computer Science Major

Being involved on campus and in the local communities has been the most rewarding college experience for me. Community engagement has given me a stronger sense of responsibility and provided me with the opportunity to build supportive relationships with my peers and community members. I believe the MLK Day of Engagement is a great opportunity for our first year students to get involved and see what it means to be a part of the Bard community.

Dariel

Dariel, ’17 // Sociology and History Major

I am passionate about finding solutions to racial inequalities, and closing the achievement gap between white students and students of color. Taking part in MLK Day was one of the first steps I took to getting involved, and actually start doing something about these issues. With this in mind, I began brainstorming ideas for a mentorship program I wanted to start for young men of color from low income backgrounds in Kingston and Hudson NY. I was no longer just talking about the plight these young men of color face in education and in America…I was doing something about it. The MLK Day of Engagement was one of the sparks that lit the fuse.

Amelia

Amelia, ’17 // Sociology Major

Letterbox Farm Collective is our neighbor, right here in the Hudson Valley, and by helping them out we are getting to know our own community.  We are doing good, getting important work done, and lending a hand to neighbors who can help us to learn and grow. I had such a wonderful time volunteering at Letterbox last year, that a few of us continued to go back.  We began helping out on various farms like Letterbox around the community. Not only have we been greatly appreciated by the farmers and animals at Letterbox, but we have started a long chain reaction within our community.

2017 Event Signups

E-Waste

The Red Hook Conservation Advisory Council and Bard Office of Sustainability, are hosting an electronic waste collection day for residents. Gloves and hot chocolate will be provided to volunteers, along with deep appreciation!

Oblivion Magazine

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This writing workshop will encourage Bard students to look more deeply into the manifestations of both their privileges and their social hindrances.

Operation Unite

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Operation Unite Education and Cultural Arts Center's mission is to help local youth through their transition into adulthood. Help out by doing some small renovations in the Operation Unite headquarters.