For the past 10 years, Leadership Moncton has celebrated Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a day of community service – one day later, no day off.
This tradition will continue on Monday January 18, but due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, it will practically come about.
“In the past, we’ve had about 500 people get together and get excited,” said Jill Unze, interim executive director of Leadership Moncton. “Then they went out and worked in the church.
“We want to be part of the solution,” she added, “not part of the problem.”
Leadership Moncton has partnered with the California Conference on Equality and Justice, Sixth District Councilor Suely Saro, and DreamKreator Studios to organize the event.
The day begins at 10 a.m. with the online kick-off, where community leaders and special guests speak and musicians and artists perform. This will continue until noon, although a group of one-on-one conversations entitled “Bold Conversations About … Bias” will begin at 11am
These conversations are set up and monitored by the CCEJ. The goal, said Unze, is to raise awareness and understanding of unconscious racism. The deadline to attend has passed, but attendees can check Leadershiplb.org to see if there are any late openings.
The heart of the MLK Day On – service projects – offers three options.
The first is a project called Silver Letters, where volunteers write to residents of a senior care facility. The goal, Unze said, is ultimately to create pen pals for the seniors.
The second project involves a different technology – the city’s Go Moncton app. The Maye Center will train users on how to use the recently updated app. Afterwards, residents in their neighborhood can report on clean-up options and other problems.
Finally, Leadership Moncton has partnered with the Moncton Center for Economic Inclusion and the Moncton Food Support Network to help people put together care packages that will be distributed across a network of nine pantries across the city.
“Anyone can take part,” said Unze. “This will be the biggest event in Southern California.”
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