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Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. National Day of Service


MLK Day of Service - Make it a Day On, Not a Day Off

In the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. ’s belief in the power of education, we plan to begin the new year and new semester on Monday, January 21, 2019 by honoring our mission and Dr. King.

The College invites members of faculty, staff, and students to campus for a "day on" celebration, featuring activities and conversations inspired by Dr. King's life's work.

As an institution of applied learning, we will commemorate Dr. King’s concept of education, distinguished by intelligence and character, through this day of action. We look forward to hosting the SUNY Cobleskill community in service and learning on the first day of the spring semester, on the day reserved in honor of Dr. King.



Sign up • Show up • Speak up

Register Now


Questions?  Contact Dr. Scott Ferguson, Chief Diversity Officer
Knapp 222 • 518-255-5462 • fergusss@cobleskill.edu 


A Big Difference at a Small Cost

Did you know that food pantries can purchase 1 lb. of food from distributors for only 16 cents? That means a $16 donation provides 100 lbs. of food!

You can donate a canned good to our food drive – but by making a monetary gift, you'll maximize your impact. There are more than a dozen food pantries in the Cobleskill area who will appreciate your contribution.

Drop off canned goods or a monetary gift at our registration tables on MLK Day, or make a convenient gift online today.


Donate Online Now


Special Thanks to Ryder Elementary School and the Cobleskill-Richmondville School District for their participation in collecting food pantry items for our drive.


MLK Day of Service Schedule 


printer iconGet a printable version of the schedule with locations

Campus-only Activities

9:30 - 10:15am • Campus Registration

10 am • The Presidents' Forum
with Dr. Marion Terenzio & SGA President Cheyanne Matulewich

12 - 1pm • Campus Luncheon
Complimentary, sponsored by CAS (for students, faculty and staff) 

Campus & Community Activities

12:30 - 2:15 pm • Registration

1 - 4 pm • Day of Service Activities (see below for descriptions)

4 - 5 pm • Keynote speaker Dr. Jodi Merriday
opened with spoken word artist and student Ericka Caesar

6 pm • Tabling Activities

7 pm • Movie screening of Selma
opened with spoken word artist and student Ericka Caesar


Opportunities for service and dialog continue with more activities throughout the month of January.

See the full list >>


Service Activities


2 - 3:30pm • Bouck Ballroom

A respectful dialog on progress made and lost toward Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s vision hosted by Empire of Change.

1 - 3pm • Wheeler 130

Local agencies are looking for your help on how they can use new grant money to reach out to young adults who may be caught up in the sex trade and are looking for a way out. Your expertise as young adults is exactly what is needed! Come provide a service to local agencies – with your opinions. The Applied Psychology Department and the Wellness Center will host Andy Gilpin (Associate Executive Director at Captain Youth & Family Services), John Kelly (Safe Harbor/Law Enforcement coordinator at Saratoga Center for the Family) and George McDonnell (Director at Schoharie County Youth Bureau) to discuss the perils of trafficking and utilize your ideas in making the available resources known to those under the age of 20 who need resources from the Safe Harbor program.

Session 1: 1 - 1:30pm • Wheeler 100

Session 2: 3:30 - 4pm • Wheeler 100

Drop-ins Welcome

We all have dreams and aspirations. Sometimes it's hard to figure it out what it is you want to do. Once you decide, your journey towards resilience and persistence begins. Kadeem Phillip, SUNY Cobleskill alumnus class of 2013, will present a workshop about following your dreams and about his journey to follow his dream as an artist. Kadeem will share his journey and inspire attendees to chase their dreams, understand the struggles that may come along, and know that in the end it is worth it. Kadeem’s artwork will be displayed on the MLK Day of Service. He will also raffle off one of his paintings to a lucky attendee at his presentation.

1 - 4pm • Wheeler 230

Drop-ins Welcome

Participants will view Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech and then work alongside Early Childhood faculty to create a large multi-cultural paper quilt. Individuals will be provided with an array of creative materials to make their own quilt square - symbolizing their personal reflection of Dr. King's speech. The completed quilt will be displayed in a prominent location to celebrate our diverse community.

2 - 3pm • Wheeler 100

Watch the film “Plastics China” and join a conversation, led by Dr. Anne Rogan and the SUNY Cobleskill Eco's, about how short video messages could help our campus and community move toward a plastic-free environment in order to improve our health and the health of all of Earth’s creatures. 

3 - 3:30pm • Wheeler 203

Cajitas (meaning small boxes) is a form of artistic expression of one’s ethnicity, heritage, background, etc. Learn about Cajitas and how to make your own, however you would like to represent and express yourself. Presented by Veronica Collazo, SGA Secretary.

2 - 4pm • Wheeler 204 & 205

Drop-ins Welcome

The Student Alumni Association / Havlock Society will be assembling (cutting and tying) fleece blankets from donated material. Ten blankets will be created and given to Albany Medical Center. Directions will be available for those who may want to continue making these blankets for donation or for those interested in making one of their own. During the month of January, the Advancement Office will serve at the collection point for any blankets made after January 21 and deliver them to the Albany Medical Center.

1:30 - 3:30pm • Wheeler 208

Drop-ins Welcome

SUNY Cobleskill’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, & Ally Union (LGBTAU) host a service project session to create greeting cards for The Rainbow Cards Project, a non-profit organization based in the United Kingdom. The Rainbow Cards Project vision and mission are: “At The Rainbow Cards Project, we believe that small gestures can have big impacts, so our aim is to combat the isolation, prejudice and fear LGBTQ+ people often face, one card at a time.” Completed cards will be sent to the United Kingdom to be distributed all over the world.

1 - 4pm • CASE (Lower Level of Van Wagenen Library)

Drop-ins Welcome

Create alphabet books for local preschools and MLK commemorative buttons with the Center for Academic Support and Excellence. Supplies will be provided.

1 - 4pm • Off-site

Transportation provided: meet at Knapp Circle outside Bouck Atrium for van pick-up.

This activity will be off-site, helping the local Richmondville food pantry organize and clean its storage and pick-up areas.

1 - 2pm • Bouck Ballroom

Join us in organizing donated food into deliveries for food banks.

1 - 2pm • Bouck Ballroom

This time of year, area food banks are in extra need of personal care and hygiene products for clients. Participants will be sorting donated personal care items to be distributed to food banks. Please bring personal care items to donate, such as: soap, deodorant, shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrushes, tampons, lotion, etc.

1:30 - 3:30pm • Wheeler 208

Drop-ins Welcome

The Alumni Association will provide materials for attendees to create cards expressing gratitude to donors to MLK activities and to SUNY Cobleskill, faculty/staff, students, and others.


printer iconGet a printable version of the schedule with locations


Keynote Speaker


Dr. Jodi Merriday

Dr. Jodi L. Merriday

"Speak Truth to Power: Trending Topics in Diversity"
#LivesMatter • #TimesUp • #MeToo • #LiveLoud • #Dreamers

Dr. Jodi Merriday will introduce listeners to five tools that cultivate social intelligence, bridge building, and inclusivity. She will facilitate dialog about controversial trending topics to explore differences, unpack prejudice, and encourage respect and appreciation for diversity. The "WiFM (What's in it for me?)" framework is used to contextualize the value of multiculturalism and explore class(ISM), rac(ISM), sex(ism), able(ISM), and homo/transphobia. Participants will be trained to become social justice ambassadors and equipped with diplomacy skills that enable them to cultivate meaningful diverse relationships

Dr. Merriday is an enagaging and charismatic Diversity and Inclusion, Title IX and Multiculturalism speaker. She is a Social Justice Ambassador who has over 25 years of experience in higher education as an Assistant Professor, Lecturer and Administrator at such institutions as Georgia State University, Spelman College, Fordon State College, Philadelphia Community College and The Art Institute of Philadelphia. Dr. Merriday is a registered Neutral and Advanced Mediator, Arbitrator, Certified Ombudsman, Certified Workplace Mediator and Managing Workplace Conflict Trainer. She received her M.A. in Sociology from Temple University, M.Sc. from the London School of Economics and Political Science in Development Management and Ph.D. from Temple University in African American Studies.

Join us to hear Dr. Merriday's guest lecture "Speak Truth to Power" at 4pm in Bouck.


Evening Activities

Bouck Atrium & Ballroom • 5 - 7pm


MLK Trivia Challenge

Test your knowledge of MLK and the Civil Rights Movement in our trivia challenge, presented by the Council for Student Activities. Correct answers get you a chance to spin the prize wheel.


MLK Had a Dream Photobooth

MLK had a dream...what's yours? Share yours in our photobooth and post to social media with our official MLK Day of Service hashtags.


Diversity Feedback Board

SUNY Cobleskill’s Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Appointed Action Group is currently working with President Marion Terenzio to draft a statement on diversity for the campus. View the draft of the diversity statement and leave your comments on our board with post-it notes.


Future Service Project Sign-Ups

SUNY Cobleskill clubs and organizations will host opportunities for attendees to sign up for future volunteer projects including blood drives, Earth Day, the organ donor registry, and voter registration.


Journey of a King

Academic Peer Advocates (APAs) will provide education on the history of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


Selma Movie Showing • 7pm

Free movie showing of Selma in Bouck Ballroom, opened with spoken word by student Ericka Caesar.

“A chronicle of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s campaign to secure equal voting rights via an epic march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, in 1965.” (IMDB.com)


And Remember...

  • Bring a personal care item for the drive
  • $16 = 100 lbs. of food for local food pantries. Make a donation online now or drop off your donation at the registration table
  • Dress in your SUNY Cobleskill swag on MLK Day
  • Join us on social media by tagging your posts with #CobyServes
  • If you're a faculty or staff member, you have flexible options for MLK Day. Learn more >>


Sign Up Before You Show Up

Use the form below to register and mark which activities you want to participate in with us.



The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service is coordinated by Office of the Vice President for Student Development, the Office of the Provost, the Chief Diversity Officer, the Office of Alumni Relations, Educational Support Services, and the Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Appointed Action Group. </p