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Swarthmore College Day of Service - Monday, Jan. 16

President Valerie Smith sent the following message to the community on January 12, 2017.

To the Members of the Swarthmore Community,

I hope you’ve all enjoyed a restorative break and are looking forward to the start of spring semester. As you return to campus and prepare for the semester ahead, I invite you to reflect on the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?'” 

In the spirit of this call to action, please participate in the Swarthmore College Day of Service on Monday, January 16, as a way of celebrating and honoring the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

See below for more information regarding the series of events taking place throughout the week. Thank you to Dion Lewis, Dean of the Junior Class and Director of the Black Cultural Center; Joyce Tompkins, Director of Religious and Spiritual Life; and Nina Harris, Violence Prevention Educator and Advocate, for their leadership in organizing these events.  


Valerie Smith

Monday, Jan. 16
Swarthmore College Day of Service, Upper Tarble in Clothier, 10 a.m.–noon
The Black Cultural Center and the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life invite everyone to participate in a community service project to benefit the youth of Chester, PA. Students, faculty, staff, and volunteers will assemble packages of collected school supplies to be distributed to:

Chester/Crozer Library
Chester Apartments  
Chester Boys/Girls Club
Norris Street Shelter
Chester Eastside Ministries
Male Achievers Program
Chester CityTeens Ministries  

Pre-registration is required. Contact Bonnie Lytle at 

Social Justice Workshop presented by AORTA Foundation, Scheuer Room, Kohlberg Hall, 2–4 p.m.
“Fighting the Systems: Destabilizing Systemic Oppression”
In this workshop we will develop shared language and a deeper analysis of how systemic oppression operates so that we can better understand how to transform ourselves and our organizations, workplaces, and communities. Together we will map what it looks like when systems such as white supremacy, patriarchy, classism, homo- and transphobia, ableism and other forms of oppression influence and affect our day-to-day interactions, as well as organizational operations and practices. We will leave with a more comprehensive and complex understanding of these systems, as well as action steps and resources to make concrete changes and impacts.

Pre-registration is required. Contact Nina Harris at

Tuesday, Jan. 17
Candlelight Vigil, BCC Porch, 7 p.m.
For those who have suffered while promoting equity and inclusion.

Thursday, Jan. 19
Boycott Film Viewing & Discussion with director Clark Johnson, LPAC Cinema, 7 p.m.
Boycott (2001) is an award-winning HBO film directed by Clark Johnson, and starring Jeffrey Wright as Martin Luther King Jr. Based on the book Daybreak of Freedom by Stewart Burns, the film tells the story of the 1955–56 Montgomery Bus Boycott. It won a Peabody Award in 2001 "for refusing to allow history to slip into 'the past.’"

Friday, Jan. 20
MLK Collection, Friends Meeting House, 12:30–1:30 p.m.
This campus-wide gathering includes featured speaker Clark Johnson, acclaimed director of and actor in films and TV shows, including Homicide: Life on the Street, Homeland, and The Wire, along with time for reflection and a performance by the Swarthmore Gospel Choir.