HIGHLAND PARK, IL — The day of service planned in Highland Park for Martin Luther King Day Monday has been moved online due to the coronavirus pandemic. City and park district officials announced the remote event is set to include live keynote presentations, remote service projects, donations drives and more.
Aimed at honoring the legacy of the assassinated civil rights leader through service, the event is hosted by the city’s human relations advisory group and the Park District of Highland Park.
Three keynote speakers are set to deliver tributes to King, organizers announced. Attendees will have a chance to take part in a moderated question and answer session with the speakers after each address.
They include: Jefford Jason Humes, a visiting scholar at Northwestern University who works in the field of nanotechnology who is due to discuss how King inspired his journey from being an immigrant on Chicago’s South Side to a graduate of a historically black college and a successful career in the sciences. Karen Blackwell, founder and CEO of a social justice-focused benefit corporation, is expected to speak about ways she has applied the example of King’s life to her own. And Lynn Epps, a community activist, will deliver an inspirational speech, according to city staff.
The event is scheduled for 10 a.m. Monday over Zoom teleconferencing software. It will be recorded and later posted on the city’s website.
Several local organizations are collecting donations that day at the parking lot of the Highland Park County Club, 1201 Park Ave. West.
They include: personal items for A Safe Place, new books for youth for Families Helping Familes Chicagoland, pet food and pet items for Go Humane Lake County, Valentine’s for Veterans meal supplies, personal hygiene projects for the National Council of Jewish Women, new stuffed animals for Zac’s Zoo, and clothing and personal items for the homeless Lake County residents collected by the Highland Park/Highwood Rotary Club and Highland Park High School Rotary Interact Club.
Organizers also prepared a brief trivia quiz about King’s life and career.
Local nonprofit groups also prepared several educational videos as part of the day of service event: Know Your Rights and How to be an Ally to the Immigrant Communityfrom the North Suburban Legal Aid Clinic; Wisdom From Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.from the Baháʼí House of Worship; What is Domestic Violence? from A Safe Place and SMILE Grants-in-Aid Promote Inclusiveness from the Parks Foundation of Highland Park.
Find more details about remote service opportunities below:
Families Helping Families Chicagoland
- Print, color, cut-out, and donate bookmarks. Completed bookmarks may be dropped off on Jan. 18 from noon – 3 p.m. at the Highland Park Country Club parking lot. Project details.
Go Humane Lake County
- Letter Writing Campaign in Support of House Resolution 4211 (The Animal Welfare Enforcement Improvement Act) Project details.
- Plastic bag sleeping mats for homeless people. Project details.
Highland Park Community Foundation
- “Thank You” videos for essential workers in Highland Park and Highwood. Project details.
K-9 Reading Buddies of the North Shore
- Read Martin Luther King-related books, poems or stories to elementary school-aged reading buddies. Project details.
League of Women Voters
- “How MLK Has Inspired Me to be a Voter” essay contest Project details.
North Suburban Legal Aid
– “All are Welcome” print, color, and display signs. Project details.
Park District of Highland Park – Heller Nature Center
- Help solve environmental issues at home. Project details.
Ravinia Elementary School
- Print, color, and donate pictures for senior adults. Completed pictures may be dropped off throughout January at: Ravinia Elementary, 763 Dean Ave., Highland Park. Project details.
Scope (Summer Camp Opportunities Promote Education)
- Write letters of encouragement to campers from underserved communities. Project details.