Office for Institutional Diversity

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (MLK)
Week of Engagement

About the National Day of Service

Each year on the third Monday of January, schools, federal offices, post offices, and banks across America close as we celebrate the birth, the life, legacy, and the dream of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. MLK Day is the only federal holiday designated as a National Day of Service. Over the last quarter century, MLK Day of Service has grown and its impact increased as more people embrace the idea that citizenship involves taking an active role in improving communities.

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s National Day of Service is a defining moment each year when across the country, we come together to make communities more equitable and to take action towards creating Dr. King’s dream of a Beloved Community. While Dr. King believed the Beloved Community was possible, he acknowledged and fought for systemic change. It is a time for the nation to remember the injustices that Dr. King stood against and the rights he stood for: equity, freedom, and dignity. Dr. King furthered his cause through nonviolent direct action protest. His example is our collective call to action.

Reed College, like Dr. King, recognizes the power of community engagement. On Monday, January 17 and the days surrounding, we invite you to engage with your community and create constructive action; act on Dr. King’s legacy of social justice and equity; and recommit by volunteering to serve others. The Office for Institutional Diversity invites the entire Reed community to participate in the following direct service and community building opportunities that bring to life our shared mission:

Together We Serve

This year, we are pleased to partner with the Blanchet House, a Portland nonprofit organization dedicated to offering food, clothing, and life-saving shelter and residential programs to community members, and All Saints Episcopal Church, a local community program that runs the Woodstock Pantry to offer warm meals to community members. Sack lunches and winter care kits will be donated to the Blanchet House and All Saints Episcopal Church, making an immediate impact in our local community. Together, we can strengthen ties to our communities and one other while we address critical issues that divide us.
  • On January 18, 1-3 p.m. in the Student Union (SU), help prepare 60 sack lunches to address poverty and hunger in the local Portland community
  • On January 19, 1-3 p.m. in the Student Union (SU), help prepare 200 winter care kits to support the houseless population in Downtown Portland and surrounding communities
  • On January 20, 1-2 p.m. in the Performing Arts Building (PAB) Atrium, join us for a dessert reception to acknowledge and build upon our beloved community at Reed

Please RSVP for any of these events via this foRM

 MLK Day of Engagement is sponsored by Reed's Office for Institutional Diversity, Multicultural Resource Center, and SEEDS (Students for Education, Equity, and Direct Service). Due to Reed's health and safety protocols, MLK Day of Engagement events are only open to the on-campus Reed community at this time. Please contact for more information.