MLK Day of Service

Oxy students doing community service in a garden setting

The MLK Day of Service has become a hallmark event coordinated by the Office of Student Leadership, Involvement & Community Engagement (SLICE), regularly attracting more than two hundred participants.

One of life’s most persistent and urgent questions is, ‘what are you doing for others?’

-Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.; minister, civil rights leader

In honor of Dr. King’s spirit of service and peace, the aim of the the MLK Day of Service is to engage Oxy students, staff, faculty, and alumni in community-based projects. 

Many of the community partners we work with have well-established relationships with SLICE or other offices (such as the UEPI and the CCBL), and we strive to sustain these relationships by creating mutually beneficial projects and educational opportunities for our students. Most community partners speak very highly of Oxy students and they are appreciative of the service project collaborations. Similarly, students are provided with the opportunity to become familiar with important community-based work and some even decide to return as volunteers or interns.

The day often involves more than 200 students, staff, faculty, and alumni working with multiple community partners across the city of Los Angeles. Daylong projects may include canvassing, gardening, outdoor beautification and cleanup, food harvesting, library sorting, food distribution, and building/repairing homes. By coordinating projects that offer meaningful co-curricular learning, the MLK Day of service upholds Oxy’s mission of excellence, equity, community, and service.

Community Partners from Past MLK Days of Service Include:

Midnight Mission
Downtown Women's Center
The Rock Community Center
Rockdale Elementary School
Girls on the Run
A Place Called Home
Wildlife Waystation
Hathaway Sycamore
Door of Hope
Debs Park
Legacy LA
Solano Canyon
California Coastal Commission
John Muir H.S. / Chicken Petition Project
The Eagle Rock Association (CERB)
Food Forward
Eagle Rock High School
Ronald McDonald - Pasadena
Harrambee Ministries
St. Barnabas
LA Gay & Lesbian Center
Nature Park Pasadena
LA Community Garden
Company of Angels
North Central Animal Shelter


Typical Schedule for the Day:

8:00 am - Check in & continental breakfast
8:45-9:15 am - Opening Ceremony
9:30 am - Buses depart to sites
10:00 am - Site orientation and work begins!
2 pm - Work concludes with lunch & reflection on site (this time will vary from site to site)
3 pm - Travel back to campus

A few things to remember:

  • Check in begins at 8:00 am at Hillside Theathre (Greek Bowl). The opening ceremony begins at 8:45am and buses and vans will leave promptly at 9:30 am. As you can see, we have a very tight schedule so please BE ON TIME!
  • You will sign up for your site online through a seperate Site Selection link you'll receive after you submit your Registration Application.  This email will include detailed list of site and project descriptions.
  • Once you arrive, find the check-in table for your site, conncet with your Site Leaders, pick up your official MLK t-shirt, grab some breakfast and lunch and find a seat in the Greek Bowl.
  • Many of the projects will take place outdoors. Please dress appropriately. CLOSE TOES SHOES ARE MANDATORY- NO FLIP FLOPS OR SANDALS! Wear comfortable clothes you don't mind getting dirty and bring a hat if you need to. We suggest layers and long pants.
  • Make sure to wear or bring sunblock.
  • Bring your own water bottle/container. Although breakfast and lunch will be provided, you need to make sure you are hydrated throughout the day.
  • We encourage the use of social media! Follow us on Instagram or twitter at @oxyslice. Tag us in your photos and use the hashtag provided.
  • Above all, bring your positive attitude! On Saturday you'll be honoring the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and representing the college. We know you'll have fun doing both.

SLICE would like to thank the following Oxy departments for their help in making this an outstanding event!

Office of Religious and Spiritual Life
Intercultural Community Center
Residential Education & Housing Services
Office of Alumni Relations & the Office of Marketing and Communication