On Monday, January 16, Abington Friends School will host Renewing the Beloved Community: King Day of Service & Social Justice Symposium. For many years we have brought the community together for an inspirational day of service on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and worked with volunteers from across the region on behalf of those in need.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. used the term beloved community to describe a world where people of all races and backgrounds could live together in harmony and mutual respect. According to Dr. King, the beloved community was not just a dream or an ideal, but a real possibility that could be achieved through the power of nonviolence, compassion, and understanding.
Dr. King believed that the beloved community was essential to the well-being of society, and that achieving it would require individuals to work together and make sacrifices for the greater good. He was adamant that the beloved community was not just a goal to be achieved in the future, but a way of life that should be lived in the present.
Renewing the beloved community refers to the ongoing commitment and process of working to fully envision and live the promise of an equitable, inclusive, compassionate, and just society.
The Social Justice Symposium is an opportunity for educators, diversity practitioners, local leaders, students, and community members to engage in courageous conversations, ask important questions, receive professional development and resources, and connect as one community to commemorate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Event is open to AFS families and the community. All are welcome.
As part of the Day of Service, there will also be a Book and Clothing Drive. We are asking that you please bring gently used books and clothing for all ages and genders.
Please register for only ONE activity per timeframe, per person. We encourage you to spend time experiencing both the symposium and the service projects. All symposium workshops and most service projects are located on the AFS campus. Please note that there are age suggestions noted in the project and workshop descriptions, when applicable – children under the age of 13 must be accompanied by an adult.
A Sampling of Projects and Workshops:
- American Dream Game
- Spend some time in someone else’s shoes in this interactive board game that explores how bias, stereotypes, discrimination, and systemic inequity can block our path toward the “American Dream.”
- Begin Again: (Re)Developing Community and (Re)Designing for Equity through Healing
- In the wake of countless challenges, trials and tribulations, and internal and external conflict, our communities are in need of healing. While it can be easy to fall into a state of learned helplessness or difficult to find joy in the midst of pain, as stewards of the beloved community, we are called to be sources of light even during the darkest of times. In this workshop, through the use of Liberatory Design, we will connect, reflect, and attend to individual, interpersonal, institutional, and structural healing. Participants will leave with an action plan to (re)develop their community by (re)designing for equity.
- Talking About Relationships – Violence Prevention
- Learn about the differences between healthy and unhealthy relationships and dating violence prevention. The program will provide practical guidance for tweens, teens and adults. All material is sensible, sensitive and age-appropriate. Most of all – it is empowering! Women’s Center of Montgomery County Community Education staff member, Giftie. Giftie is a fellowship student in her second year at the Women’s Center who came to the US to complete graduate work in organizational development. Giftie is from Nigeria, where she started an empowerment program for young girls and teens.
- Hat and Scarf Making for Mitzvah Circle
- Make hats and scarves for adults and children in need of warm winter clothing. This project is easy to do! Using fleece, basic patterns and beginner sewing skills you can make a difference by helping keep someone warmer on a cold winter day. This project is best suited for students in 2nd grade and older.
- Placemat Making, Winter Care Kits and Candy Banners with Whosoever Gospel Mission
- Create placemats, candy banners and Winter Care Kits to bring joy to those being sheltered by Whoseover Gospel Mission Project for children in K-4th whose families are in a workshop.