ICYMI: AmeriCorps Leads Biden Administration and Americans’ Volunteer Efforts on Martin Luther King, Jr., Day of Service
Vice President Harris joined AmeriCorps CEO Michael Smith and thousands of Americans who volunteered nationwide
On, Monday, Jan. 16, AmeriCorps, the federal agency for national service and volunteerism, led the 29th annual Martin Luther King, Jr., Day of Service, the only federal holiday also recognized as a National Day of Service, to encourage all Americans to volunteer to honor the life and legacy of Dr. King and improve their communities. Tens of thousands of Americans across the nation served to help create the Beloved Community of Dr. King’s dream.
AmeriCorps provided resources for volunteers to find service projects, service organizations to recruit members and for the media to connect the public to volunteer opportunities in their area. Biden-Harris administration and other elected leaders joined AmeriCorps-led service projects and grantee organizations to foster a sense of unity and inspire others to continue service all year long.
Vice President Harris joined AmeriCorps CEO Michael D. Smith and US Department of Education Secretary Cardona at George Washington University for the campus’ annual service event that draws hundreds of students, staff and faculty. Led by Honey W. Nashman Center for Civic Engagement and Public Service’s Jumpstart, the administration leaders and campus volunteers created activities for children to learn numbers and recognize colors.
Other Biden-Harris administration and national service leaders joined service projects in local communities across the nation, including:
- US Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, Deputy Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Adrianne Todman and Deputy Secretary of Commerce Don Graves served alongside Smith and other leaders at City Year DC.
- US Deputy Secretary of Commerce Don Graves called on Americans to honor Dr. King’s legacy through service this MLK Day.
- US Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona, US Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Marcia L. Fudge and Peace Corps Director Carol Spahn joined Smith for a panel at the George Washington University Student Center discussing why America needs to continue to embrace the teachings of Dr. King and galvanize his ideas by taking action.
- Governor Wes Moore and US Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Jewel Bronaugh also served with Smith at United Way of Central Maryland, one of a dozen service sites included in the statewide MLK Day of Service.
- US Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Maryorkas, Administrator of US Small Business Administration Isabel Guzman, Deputy Secretary of Veteran’s Affairs Donald Remy and Department of Defense Assistant Secretary of Defense for Readiness Shawn Skelly served alongside AmeriCorps leadership with The Mission Continues in Washington, DC.
- Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy Dr. Arati Prabhakar served at Howard University Middle School for Math and Science with the George Washington University Nashman Center and Everybody Wins to promote childhood literacy.
- Administrator of National Aeronautics and Space Administration Bill Nelson and US Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo joined Food Harvest Ministry’s Food Giveaway event at the Good Success Baptist Church.
- Administrator of the Office of Management and Budget Shalanda Young helped clean up Anacostia Park with the Student Conservation Association and National Park Service in Washington, DC.
- US Secretary of Agriculture Thomas J. Vilsack joined Economic Opportunity Authority in Savannah, Ga. helping plant, maintain and cultivate a community garden.
- US Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra and Public Health AmeriCorps director AJ Pearlman joined Latin American Youth Center’s MLK Day of Service.
- US Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm served at Miriam’s Kitchen to help prepare hot meals and provide socks and toiletries to more than 100 community members in need.
- US Secretary of Veterans Affairs Denis McDonough and AmeriCorps General Counsel Fernando Laguarda restored headstones of Black veterans at Lebanon Cemetery in York, Pennsylvania.
- Director of the Office of Personnel Management Kiran Ahuja joined volunteers at Boston Cares where they painted a mural for Southwest Corridor Park, nearby a former residence of Dr. King.
- US Mission to the United Nations Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield spoke at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial event in honor of the observance.
- US Secretary of District of Columbia Kimberly Basset and DC Mayor Muriel Bowser joined Serve DC for the 2023 MLK Day of Action, helping assemble winter kits for older Americans.
Other elected officials joined service projects in local communities across the nation. Check out the participation highlights:
- Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) joined hundreds of Pennsylvania residents at the Girard Annual Greater Philadelphia Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service.
- Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) kicked off City Year Chicago’s annual MLK Day service project at Parkside Elementary School. The event hosted more than 400 volunteers to help create more engaging spaces for students.
- Senator Jon Ossoff (D-GA) prepared care packages for seniors with Meals on Wheels.
- Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) teamed up with AmeriCorps volunteers, Rhode Island Department of Education, and Federal Hill House to prepare and distribute meals to those in need.
- Democratic Whip of the House of Representatives Katherine Clark (MA-05) joined volunteer projects across Massachusetts.
- Representative Brendan Boyle (PA-02) joined Philadelphia union carpenters at a carpenter’s apprentice training facility to build planter boxes for local neighborhoods.
- Representative Sean Casten (IL-06) served at the Chicago Forest Preserve’s cleanup with local volunteers.
- Representative Suzan DelBene (WA-01) joined Woodinville Mayor Mike Millman and Mid Sound Fisheries Enhancement Group volunteers to plant trees in a local park.
- Representative Chuy García (IL-04) volunteered with From Our Hearts Chicago on distributing kits with hygiene and warming items to the unhoused community.
- Representative Jahana Hayes (CT-05) kicked off MLK Day service projects in Connecticut, including a children’s march.
- Representative Chrissy Houlahan (PA-06) packed meals and sorted food with Helping Harvest, which serves food-insecure families in the greater Berks region.
- Representative Rick Larsen (WA-02) joined AmeriCorps volunteers, the City of Bellingham, and Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association to help restore the estuary at Little Squalicum Park.
- Representative Bob Latta (OH-15) served with volunteers in Toledo, Ohio, who helped sort and package much needed medical supplies for the people of Ukraine.
- Representative Katie Porter (CA-47) joined Community Action Partnership of Orange County and 100 Black Men of Orange County to help assemble food boxes.
- Representative Terri Sewell (AL-07) packed care packages for community members affected by the tornado in Selma, Ala.
- Representative Ritchie Torres (NY-15) joined Bronx residents in packaging food for families in need during a MLK day of service.
- New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy served at Center for Food Action to help pack snacks for those in need.
- New York Governor Kathy Hochul joined Met Council’s MLK Day of service project, helping pack food boxes for local pantries and new migrants.
- Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro served in communities across the state including making blankets and creating wellness kits for community members.
- Washington, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser joined the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Peace Walk with residents of the District of Columbia.
- State Senator Josh Newman (CA-29) joined hundreds of volunteers to assemble and package food boxes for neighbors in need.