On Monday, January 15th, our campus once again welcomed Global Citizen 365, as well as thousands from the community, to our renowned Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, followed by a concert by The Philadelphia Orchestra.
To Interim President Ava Willis-Barksdale, our continued support of this endeavor did not require a second thought; "As this year’s focus reflected on the 50th anniversary of Dr. King’s Poor People’s Campaign, which, in part, suggested that all people should have what they need to live, we were proud to participate. We believe that Stephen Girard also had this concept in mind in his desire to provide education to children for whom it was not guaranteed."
Two floors of the Armory teemed with volunteers, non-profits and community members. But the action wasn't limited to the gymnasium: from Good Friends to Founder's, our campus was alive with the energy of service. Todd Bernstein of Global Citizen reflects,"The Greater Philadelphia King Day of Service has found a home at Girard College for the ninth straight year, which really makes sense. The magnificent campus facilities accommodate thousands of volunteers from throughout our region and the civil rights history and involvement of Dr. King opening up this school to deserving students of all backgrounds make it the perfect place to hold this annual event.”
After a hard day's work, volunteers were treated to the sounds of The Philadelphia Orchestra and guest choirs and performers. After the concert, over 300 guests visited our historical collection in Founder's Hall for self-guided tours.
LaVonna Ricketts, Assistant Director of Operations and Business Systems, coordinated much of the day's events with our partners. She says, "The Global Citizen Martin Luther King Day of Service at Girard College is an incredible experience. As an alumna of Girard, current employee, and native Philadelphian, I can’t express how happy I was to see so many people gather on the campus that I love, in the city that I love, and put their hearts, minds, and bodies to work. This day is not only about service, but there is also a crucial focus on community, advocacy, education, and civil rights. I encourage everyone to participate annually if possible. There is tremendous value in this work, not only this day, but every day."