The Bryn Mawr community came together for virtual events focused on the City of Baltimore to participate in Martin Luther King Jr. National Day of Service. The morning was organized by Bryn Mawr’s Parent Committee for Diversity Equity and Inclusion.
For health and safety reasons, the on-campus events shifted to a virtual format, beginning with a presentation by Dr. Lawrence Brown, the author of The Black Butterfly. Dr. Brown engaged participants as he discussed the history of Baltimore and reasons behind the city’s continued disparity and segregation of neighborhoods. Families were then encouraged to enter breakout rooms to learn more about several non-profit organizations in Baltimore that support the community, including Healthcare for the Homeless, Baltimore Hunger Project, Meals on Wheels, Living Classrooms Foundation and Downtown Baltimore Child Care.
“I believe that the best way to honor Martin Luther King Jr is to host a day of service instead of a day off — a day where we are listening, learning and engaging in activities that address the inequalities that plague our country and communities,” said Diane Nichols, senior director of equity and institutional practice at Bryn Mawr.
After learning about the unique needs of each organization, families were encouraged to participate in service projects in the safety of their own homes. Students brought finished projects to Bryn Mawr’s campus and they were delivered to the organizations, including:
318 snack bags, 12 cans of chicken, and 48 water bottles for the Baltimore Hunger Project
140 street survival kits for Healthcare for the Homeless
100 mugs of love and 26 adorable cards for Meals on Wheels
335 children’s masks and 143 adult masks for Downtown Baltimore Child Care
“The response from the school community was staggering--we brought in load after load of supplies for people experiencing homelessness and hunger, struggling to maintain independent living, and caring for Baltimore's littlest citizens in a pandemic. Dr. Lawrence Brown, in his talk, reminded us not to mistake charity for justice. So we are especially proud that, led by Diane Nichols and the Parent Committee for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, the pursuit of justice continues. Seeing the Bryn Mawr community take an active role in learning about and supporting our Baltimore neighbors speaks volumes about this community,” said Theresa Jones P’31 and Kendra McKenzie P’25 co-chairs of the Parent DEI Committee.