The Arkansas Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission has implemented a program that is designed to promote and honor the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. This annual event, “A Day of Service”, targets homeless individuals and others who may not have certain resources available to them. Speakers such as Martin Luther King III and Isaac Farris (Dr King’s nephew), Erick Braeden (Y & R’s Victor Newman), as well as entertainers across the state have come to help celebrate Dr King’s life and motivate other to do the same. These events are always free and open to the public and we encourage the community to participate in various service projects throughout the day.
A Day of Service: A Day On, Not A Day Off
Annual Commemorative Vigil Honoring the Legacy of Dr. King
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was an American clergyman and civil rights leader who was assassinated at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee, on Thursday April 4, 1968, at the age of 39; King was a prominent leader of the civil rights movement and Nobel Peace Prize laureate who was known for his use of civil disobedience and non-violence. Each year the Arkansas MLK, Jr. Commission hosts a commemorative vigil honoring the life and legacy of Dr. King.
Annual Interfaith Prayer Breakfast
The Interfaith Prayer Breakfast is a “must attend” FREE event for King Holiday. The event attracts hundreds of attendees including city officials, area clergy, dignitaries and prominent inter-faith, business and community leaders. “Dr. King was a great influence on so many in the interfaith community during his lifetime and even to this day. He was able to intersect in the civil rights movement community leaders, Christians, Muslims, Jews, Protestants, Catholics, and they all came together, sang together and marched together,” says DuShun Scarbrough, Executive Director of the Arkansas Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission. Hundreds gather for breakfast, fellow-ship and to hear words of compassion, hope, and action inspired by Dr. King.
Arkansas Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission Strategic Efficiency Plan
Promoting understanding and acceptance of nonviolence and human equality as a way of building community among all Arkansans in an effort to ensure that those involved acquire an enhanced knowledge of the noble tenets and morals of other races and cultures that co-exist within the state's borders.
Reach Arkansans with programs that stimulate their cultural awareness through performance arts, community service, public outreach, educational encouragement, and other self-enriching activities alike
Commitment to the following:
GOAL 1: ENCOURAGE THE DE-ESCALATION OF CRIME WITHIN YOUTH IN PROBLEMATIC AREAS IN ARKANSAS THROUGH APPROPRIATE ACTIVITIES
Measurable Objective: Reach 1-5% of Arkansans between the ages 9 and 25 in a 2-year period
Strategy 1: Encourage neighborhood/community ownership
Strategy 2: Organize a forum to solicit input from the community in response to the recent violence
Strategy 3: Promote racial harmony, principles of nonviolence, peace, social justices, and empowerment through youth training and programs
Strategy 4: Spread awareness through presentations, conflict resolution, team building, and life examples at events planned by the Arkansas Martin Luther King Jr. Commission
Strategy 5: Support community parenting to increase accountability
GOAL 2: ADVOCATE AND ENCOURAGE THE USE OF HELPFUL RESOURCES, SUCH AS JOB TRAINING, CLOTHING/FOOD DONATIONS, SHELTER, HEALTH, AND TRANSPORTATION
Measurable Objective: Reach 1-5% of Arkansans in problematic areas between the ages of 13 and 40 in a 2-year span
Strategy 1: Host Resource Fair: Find and invite career readiness organizations to set up booths at resource fairs and provide information for the public about the resources they offer
Strategy 2: Present resourceful organizations at events planned by the Arkansas Martin Luther King Jr. commission
GOAL 3: PROMOTE THE IMPORTANCE OF EDUCATION
Measurable Objective: Reach 1-5% of individuals between the ages of 9 and 25 in problematic areas of Arkansas
Strategy 1: Partner with Arkansas Department of Education, Arkansas Department of Corrections, and Arkansas Educational Television Network.
Strategy 2: Find and invite tutoring programs, whom will provide information on what they offer, request student attendance/participation, as well as using schools for possible venues
GOAL 4: CONDUCT ASSESSMENTS/SURVEYS WITH PROJECT ATTENDEES TO UNDERSTAND PARTICULAR NEED
Measurable Objective: Achieve 100% feedback, with at least 75% of it positive
Strategy 1: Agency will use data from assessments/surveys to determine success of ongoing projects as well as potential projects to implement through collaboration with community organizations to ensure that subsequent projects are developed
Strategy 2: Engage volunteer corps in conducting assessments/surveys with targeted participants during projects
Strategy 3: Volunteer corps will collect and compile assessments/surveys upon successful completion
APPENDIX: ORGANIZATIONAL CHART
The Arkansas Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission is a state agency empowered to serve all Arkansans. It was created in 1993 by Act 1216 of the Arkansas General Assembly to promote the legacy and philosophy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. throughout the State of Arkansas and abroad. The Arkansas MLK, Jr. Commission works closely with the King Center for Nonviolent Social Change in Atlanta, Georgia and other social service entities alike.
Key stakeholders include Commissioners, Commissioner Staff, Partners in Education, Several Federal Agencies, Many State Agencies/Boards/Commissions, Many County/City/Other Local Entities, Sponsors, Donors, Volunteers
The Commission is under the direction of Mr. DuShun Scarbrough – Executive Director includes the following Commissioners:
1. Chairperson Sharon Ingram (Governor Appointee) At-Large
2. Dr. Kermit Parks (President Pro Tempore Appointee) At-Large
3. Mr. Andy S. Montgomery (Governor Appointee) District 1
4. Mr. Demondrae Cook (Speaker of the House Appointee) At-Large
5. Mr. Derek Scott (Governor Appointee) District 3
6. Mr. DeWitt H. Smith, III (President Pro Tempore Appointee) At-Large
7. Mrs. Neesa Bishop (Speaker of the House Appointee) District 3
Coretta Scott King Women's Conference
In the spirit of Dr. King, and to honor his right hand and beloved wife, Mrs. Coretta Scott King, The Arkansas Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission will hosts an Annual Coretta Scott King Women’s Conference. The annual women’s conference is held at correctional facilities throughout the state.
Life's most persistent question, Dr. King said, is "What are you doing for others?"
We are determined to effectively assist our youth and help them to see the importance of being a leader and giving their time, talent and experience back to the community. By carrying out this portion of our mission on a large scale via the Dream keepers Program, we have set in motion a new ethic of services to others. This team performs local area service projects where they learn the gratification of helping others and where others learn that there are still young people with the desire to serve.
The Dream Keepers Program will immediately address the specific issues that serve as a hindrance to Arkansas’ progress and the progress of our youth, the lack of understanding of Dr. King’s Message of Service.
Unfortunately, many individuals who are willing and able to serve have not found the proper vehicle through which to offer their services. The King Commission officially launched the Dream Keeper’s Program, which is designed to form teams of young people who will commit themselves to community service. By involving young people in the Commission’s work, the Commission has been dispelling the negative attitude toward our youth. Dream Keeper’s involvement helps youth make choices that will have a positive impact on their lives and their communities.
The Dream Keepers are organized with the following commitments to community service:
- Hold non-violence workshops and forums
- Organize a nonviolence pledge card signing campaign
- In support of people who are victims of crime
- Assist and promote with literacy programs
- Visit the elderly, sick, and/ or shut-in
- Help feed the hungry and shelter the homeless
- Work to eliminate racism and other prejudices
- Volunteer to serve in hospitals and health care facilities
- Clean up a neighborhood or park
- Tutor grade school and high school students
- Work with physically challenged individuals
- Assist with voter registration
The Arkansas Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission teamed up with the State NAACP, Arkansas Fair Housing, the Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site, and the Urban League to form a historic partnership to host a much-needed Round Table discussion on race relations and Dr. King’s Six Principles of Nonviolence with community leaders.
Funding the Dream Youth Oratorical Contest
Arkansas students inspired by the lessons and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. presented original speeches on his teachings during the First Annual MLK Oratorical Contest. The contest was open to elementary school youth from 3rd to 5th grade. Young speakers were judged on performance, originality, and composition. The Arkansas Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission joined forces with AR529 and the State Treasurer’s Office to award College Savings Plans to four contest winners. The AR529 GIFT Plan is a college tuition savings program sponsored by the State of Arkansas and administered by the Arkansas Section 529 Plan Review Committee.
L.E.A.D. Apprenticeship and Dreamkeepers
L.E.A.D. is a mentorship and leadership program designed to enhance our youth through- SOCIAL, ACADEMIC AND CAREER MENTORSHIP. The term “mentoring”, refers to a supportive relationship that is characterized byconstructive role modeling, encouragement towards raised aspirations, and a positive reinforcement of the achievement of goals. L.E.A.D. is an essential program that reaches out to a wide variety of communities for purposes of gathering youth from different walks of life. Within this group of youth, we introduce the six principles of non-violence from the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The program aims towards diversity; through group discussions, workshops and special presentations/speeches; we address the needs of the youth, which include:
• To develop and enhance a sense of student identity, and self-esteem.
• To become effectively integrated into the school, to articulate why they should care about finishing school
• To articulate a sense of purpose about pursuing their particular program of study; and
• To acquire the necessary skills to become independent, and lifelong learners.
We assist our youth and help them to see the importance of being a leader and giving their time, talent and experience back to the community. Therefore as this time, the Arkansas Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission would like to extend an invitation to you in order that you might make a decision to participate, to help reach out to youth of Arkansas and their communities while ensuring the success of the L.E.A.D. program.
MLK Birthday Bash
MLK Birthday Bash
The Arkansas Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission (AMLKC), partners with area schools and volunteer organizations to host commemorative events during "King Week" to teach youth about the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Nonviolence Youth Summit
The Arkansas Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission (AMLKC), with the assistance of the Arkansas Department of Human Services (DHS), has implemented a program that is designed to encourage youth ages 10 to 18 to engage in positive leadership development and roles within their communities. These summits educate the youth of Arkansas on professional development, leadership, Arkansas history, crime prevention, and so much more. The AMLKC’s mission with these summits is to teach and reach youth in all regions of the state. These summits are always free and open to all with free lunch and other giveaways provided to those that attend. The AMLKC with the support and aid of DHS has had great success in holding Nonviolence Youth Summits, which have each garnered the attendance of hundreds of youth.