MLK Day of Service 2022

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“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

House Painting in Porters Quarters

Martin Luther King Jr. Day is observed on the third Monday of January, and MLK Day of Service challenges Americans to transform the King Holiday into, “a day on, not a day off!” If you are looking for a meaningful community service opportunity this MLK day, you can volunteer to paint homes in Gainesville’s historically Black Porters Quarters neighborhood.

Wedged between UF and Downtown Gainesville, Porters Quarters was founded in 1884 by landowners Watson Porter and Olivia Porter, who sold the land exclusively to Black families. Today’s Porters residents are threatened by rapid gentrification. Community-centered neighborhood beautification will help residents remain in their homes.

Volunteers are needed to paint two homes in Porters on Monday, January 17 from 10 A.M. to 2 P.M. Volunteers can park at Porters Community Center (512 SW 6th Avenue). Organizers will provide painting supplies, food, and music. Remember to wear painting clothes and close-toed shoes. To sign up, call Faye Williams, President of Porters Quarters Community Connection at (352) 226-2623.

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Internship Opportunities

There are currently two internship opportunities for students who are interested in documentation and preservation of Black History in Alachua County:

Alachua County African & African American Historical Society Internship The Alachua County African & African American Historical Society is a volunteer-operated organization invested in the preservation, dissemination, and teaching of Alachua County’s African and African American histories. Its members include distinguished historians, educators, scholars, and community leaders, among others. An internship with the Alachua County African & African American Historical Society offers opportunities for students in the humanities and social sciences to engage in productive experiential learning, and to research and document the Black Presence in Alachua County and beyond. Interns will perform research using census data collection, databases, oral histories, and other historic documents. Training in historiography and mentoring is an essential part of the internship. Successful students will receive a certificate of completion in the program. Students must have at least a 2.5 college GPA, computer skills, and cultural competency (knowledge, skill and attitude to be effective with diverse populations). To apply, contact Dr. Jacob U’Mofe Gordon at jgordon07@gmail.com 

Cotton Club Museum Social Media and Marketing InternThe Cotton Club Museum and Cultural Center fosters and facilitates an understanding of and appreciation for the African American experience and African-derived culture. The museum is seeking a social media and marketing intern to assist the museum’s Communications Committee. The museum uses Wix, Facebook, and YouTube and they are seeking someone who has experience working within these platforms. While the museum remains closed due to COVID-19, they have been providing virtual events and content and could use extra technological support. The Cotton Club Museum has no paid staff and is powered by an all-volunteer board of dedicated individuals. They are looking for someone who is available 6-10 hours a week with flexible hours. To apply, contact Casey Smith at casey3343@gmail.com

Find an Opportunity Near You

For MLK Day of Service opportunities outside of Alachua County, check out AmeriCorps’ MLK Day of Service site. Making time to volunteer for MLK Day of Service is a great way to engage with your community while honoring the legacy of Dr. King.