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Campus for the City

MLK Day of Service Focuses on Gun Violence Prevention

MLK Day of Service

Photo Gallery

Photos by Byron Purnell III (B’Captured Productions)

In partnership with Global Citizen, Girard College is proud to serve as the signature project site for the 28th Annual Greater Philadelphia Martin Luther King Day of Service, taking place on Monday, January 16, 2023.

2023 marks the historic 60th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. The overarching focus of this year’s Day of Service will be Gun Violence Prevention, with other areas of focus including Health Justice, Voting Rights, Economic Justice, and Early Literacy.

“We are honored to once again partner with Global Citizen and serve as the signature site for the Greater Philadelphia Martin Luther King Day of Service,” says F. Christopher Goins, president of Girard College. “It is important for our students to meet and work with others who share their passion for service and commitment to social justice.

“Dr. King’s legacy lives on at Girard every day,” he continues, “as our students learn that ‘intelligence plus character…is the goal of true education.’ We invite our neighbors to join us on MLK Day to learn more about our mission, our history, and our bright future as a catalyst for social impact.”

MLK 2023

Pre-registration for volunteer opportunities at Girard College and throughout the region is available at

Girard College students will be hosting several projects to engage the community (see list below).

Events at Girard College begin at 8:00 a.m. in the Cheesman A. Herrick Fieldhouse and Armory. The day is entirely free of charge and open to the public.

Schedule of Events at Girard College

  • 8:00 a.m. Registration and Health & Wellness Fair Begin in the Girard College Armory
  • 9:00 a.m. Opening Ceremony
  • 9:30 a.m. Service Projects Begin, Health & Wellness Fair Resumes
  • 12:00 p.m. Activities in Girard College Armory Conclude
  • 12:00 p.m. Rally for Peace & Justice, led by the Black Clergy of Philadelphia and Cecil B. Moore Philadelphia Freedom Fighters in the Girard College Elementary School Auditorium
  • 3:00 p.m. Philadelphia Orchestra MLK Tribute Concert in Girard College Chapel

Signature Project: Gun Safety Kits

In partnership with Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, volunteers will assemble gun safety kits for distribution to the community. Kits will include gun locks, as well as information on important health and social services, for prevention, immediate response, and coping with the effects of gun violence.

Additional Projects & Services

Gun Violence Medical Kits

Led by Temple University Hospital, volunteers will sort and assemble materials to assist gun violence victims. Studies show that an extremely high rate of gunshot victims die while being transported to a hospital. The kits will include tourniquets, gauze, chest seal, and other items to treat critical wounds, on-scene. These kits will be distributed to organizations throughout Philadelphia, who will also receive training.

COVID Vaccination & Testing; Flu Shots

The Black Doctor’s COVID-19 Consortium will lead COVID testing in the Welcome Center (8am – 12pm) and provide COVID primary and bivalent vaccinations and flu shots in the Armory (9:30am – 12pm).

Virtual Reading Coach Training

Global Citizen, in partnership with the Read by 4th Campaign, is leading a virtual reading coach training, an initiative which protects every child’s right to read in Philadelphia by connecting community volunteers with a citywide movement for early literacy.


  • Reading Activities on Dr. King and Civil Rights
  • CPR Training
  • Fire Prevention Training
  • PPE Distribution
  • Behavioral Health Resources
  • Voter Education and Registration


Rally for Peace & Justice

12:00 p.m., Elementary School Auditorium

Focusing on gun violence prevention, the rally is spearheaded by the Black Clergy of Philadelphia and Vicinity’s 57 Blocks gun prevention program and includes cultural offerings presented by the Cecil B. Moore Philadelphia Freedom Fighters, the organization that led efforts to desegregate Girard College in the 1960s.

Girard College Projects

The College is proud to host several projects to engage the community. Be sure to stop by and meet our students and staff!

Students with Sen. Casey

The Future of Girard
Connect with Girard College students and learn more about their vision for the future of the school.

The History of Girard
Led by Kathy Haas, Director of Historical Resources

  • Learn about the Desegregation of Girard College through the 50th anniversary exhibit created in 2018.
  • Make a wearable button with historical images and slogans that reflect Girard College’s rich history as a tuition-free boarding school, architectural landmark, and civil rights site.
  • Campus tours (exterior only): Student Ambassadors will drive visitors around campus in golf carts

Kathy Haas with students

Children’s Table

  • Scientific Observation Egg Activity
    Activity for smaller children that demonstrates we are all the same on the inside despite many differing outward appearances.
  • What is your Dream? Craft Table
    Activity for older children and adults. To be displayed on campus or taken home.

Student Social Justice Documentary Project

  • Students will be filming interviews with visitors to the MLK Day of Service for an upcoming documentary project on the history and future of social justice advocacy at the College.

Be Holding – A Moment of Joy

You are invited to capture a recent moment of joy by writing or drawing on a quilt panel that will be “stitched” together and incorporated in the world premiere of Be Holding.Be Holding LogoBe Holding is an original artistic performance based on the book-length poem of the same name by Ross Gay. Inspired by Philadelphia basketball champion Julius “Dr. J” Erving, Be Holding explores themes of Black joy, justice, and love in the face of systemic racial violence.

Produced by Girard College and supported by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, Be Holding will have its world premiere in Spring 2023. Learn more and sign up for project news at

Kings In Classrooms: Webinar on Black male educators

He Is Me Institute
12:00 p.m., Register via Zoom
Featuring F. Christopher Goins, President of Girard College

The legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. lives on in the lives and the impact that educators have on their students. When Dr. King spoke about youth, he did so from a place of love and compassion. It is in this spirit that we present “Kings in Classrooms,” a program and fundraiser that brings leading voices on the subject of Black male educators to one space to discuss the current impact and need for more support. Please join us as we hear about some best practices and ideas that are shifting the school experience – thus academic outcomes – for all students.

The Philadelphia Orchestra’s 33rd Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Tribute Concert

Orchestra MLK Concert Flyer

The Philadelphia Orchestra’s 33rd Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Tribute Concert
January 16, 2023, 3:00 PM
Girard College Chapel
Free. Tickets required but do not guarantee entry.

Your Philadelphia Orchestra will return to the Girard College Chapel to celebrate and honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in their annual Tribute Concert. The concert will be led by Yannick Nezet-Seguin and will feature violinist Melissa White, Imasogie Storyteller, Narrator, and Host Charlotte Blake Alston, the Choir of the Philadelphia High School for Creative and Performing Arts, and the Girard College High School Choir. The concert is free, but tickets are required for entry. Register at

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day at Eastern State Penitentiary

Eastern State Penitentiary Logo

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day at Eastern State Penitentiary
January 16, 2023, 11:00 AM – 4:45 PM
Free. In-Person. No reservations required.

Commemorate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy and contemplate the significance and ongoing relevance of his 1963 “Letter from Birmingham Jail” during an in-person, all-day event at Eastern State Penitentiary.

Watch the Press Conference - January 4, 2023

YouTube video

Press Conference Photo Gallery

Photo of group at MLK Press Conference

Details for the 28th Annual Greater Philadelphia Martin Luther King Day of Service were announced at Girard College on January 4, 2023. From left: Chris Goins, President, Girard College; Sharmain Matlock-Turner, President & CEO, Urban Affairs Coalition; Karen Asper Jordan, President, Cecil B. Moore Philadelphia Freedom Fighters; Dr. Tony Watlington, Superintendent, School District of Philadelphia; Rev. Dr. Lorina Marshall-Blake, President, Independence Blue Cross Foundation.

See photos from the MLK Day of Service Press Conference
January 4, 2023
Girard College
Photos by Byron Purnell III

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Global Citizen and MLK Day of Service

Girard College


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