FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 16, 2007
MAYOR BLOOMBERG TO KICK OFF A DAY OF SERVICE IN HONOR OF DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING JR.
Mayor's Volunteer Center and City Year New York Corps Members Lead over 700 Volunteers in "A Day On, Not a Day Off"
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg tomorrow will kick off the City's annual day of service at Boys and Girls High School in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn to celebrate the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The Mayor's Volunteer Center and City Year New York have partnered to organize and recruit over 700 New Yorkers for the MLK Day of Service, a variety of community service projects in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn, including the revitalization of Boys and Girls High School, PS/IS 308 and the Bedford-Stuyvesant Restoration Center. While MLK Day is often considered a "day off" from school or work, the goal of a "day on" is to honor Dr. King's idea of service as the great unifier among diverse people. The Mayor will be joined by Schools Chancellor Joel I. Klein, Mayor's Volunteer Center Executive Director Nazli Parvizi and City Year New York Co-Executive Directors Ken Grouf and Itai Dinour.
"This day celebrates the life and legacy of a man who brought hope and healing to our country," said Mayor Bloomberg. "Dr. King encouraged the world to come together to strengthen communities, end poverty and forge dignity and respect between all human beings. It's wonderful to see so many young New Yorkers use this day as a chance to give back and honor the teachings of a great man."
Martin Luther King Day also marks the third anniversary of City Year's Young Heroes program in New York. This year, 200 sixth, seventh, and eighth graders from the Bronx and East Harlem will be sworn in as Young Heroes, as they begin 15 weeks of community service and service learning on Saturdays. Supported by a $1 million sponsorship from Bank of America, City Year's Young Heroes national program is set to launch its 12th year of introducing school-age youth from across the country to local citizen service programs.
The 2007 Young Heroes program launch represents Dr. King's philosophy that no matter how young or old, all people have the power to serve their communities and make a difference.
These first-time volunteers will participate in a public art project called "Garden in Transit." The project is created, organized and funded by Portraits of Hope. The Young Heroes will paint large, colorful flowers onto self-adhesive material to be displayed on yellow taxicabs in the fall of 2007, to help celebrate Taxi '07, the 100th anniversary of New York's first motorized taxi led by the Design Trust for Public Space.
"Dr. King believed in the power of service to unite diverse groups of people to make a difference," said City Year NY Co-Executive Director Grouf. "We are proud to partner with the local community and the Mayor's Volunteer Center to demonstrate the positive change New Yorkers can make in their communities."
City Year is a national service organization that unites a diverse corps of young adults, ages 17 to 24, for a demanding year of full-time service, leadership development and social entrepreneurship. Founded in 1988 in Boston, City Year now has more than 1,200 corps members serving in 16 sites across the U.S. and one site in South Africa.
The day's 700 volunteers highlight the diversity of New York City's residents and that of the community of Bedford-Stuyvesant. Volunteers from the public and private sectors will come together, including employees from Bank of America; Americorps programs; and hundreds of volunteers from Bedford-Stuyvesant and throughout the five boroughs who have registered for the day through the Mayor's Volunteer Center. The day's activities will be sponsored by Bank of America.
The Mayor's Volunteer Center of New York City brings together individuals, corporations, government agencies and non-profit organizations in order to connect people and facilitate meaningful volunteer opportunities that significantly improve the quality of life in New York City. Throughout the year, the Mayor's Volunteer Center promotes and organizes thousands of volunteer opportunities in partnership with community organizations and non profits in all five boroughs.
Stu Loeser/Evelyn Erskine (212) 788-2958
Jessica Barba (City Year) (646) 897-7476