Do Good Year-Round

Be a better Philadelphia citizen

The election is over, and a new administration has begun, but your duty as a citizen continues. In our democracy, we elect leaders to represent and act in furtherance of our interests. We must stay informed, stay engaged, and hold those leaders accountable.

Find out who your state and federal representatives are and reach out to let them know what you want to see happen in Pennsylvania and the nation. You can contact the Pennsylvania Governor’s Office via phone, fax, mail, or online here.

For local issues, find out who represents you on the City Council and reach out about what you think Philadelphia needs. Here you can find the schedule for the Philadelphia City Council meetings as well as instructions on how to sign up to speak. You can review the agendas on the calendar here and watch meetings live here.


Hire the next Mayor of Philadelphia

Interview the candidates

Hey Philly: Let’s Hire a Mayor!

Join us for a series of free public events where a panel of questioners with expertise in hiring – along with audience members like you! — will interview our 2023 mayoral candidates using a job description created by the people of Philadelphia.

The first event will be held on Tuesday, January 17, 6:30 – 8:30pm at the Fitler Club Ballroom, 1 South 24th Street.

This event is free and open to the public. Registration is required. Please RSVP here.

Do the Right Thing

You know you want to watch the trailer again

You are welcome.

Things to Do on the King Day of Service in Philadelphia

MLK Day — the King Day of Service — is the perfect opportunity to engage with other Philadelphia citizens on civic projects that matter. So, Volunteer. And, attend a discussion, see a film, listen to live music …

Things to Do on the King Day of Service in Philadelphia

MLK Day — the King Day of Service — is the perfect opportunity to engage with other Philadelphia citizens on civic projects that matter. So, Volunteer. And, attend a discussion, see a film, listen to live music …

It’s gratifying — and then some — to scroll through the volunteer opportunities for the Martin Luther King Day of Service in Philadelphia on Global Citizen 365’s website — and see so many slots filled. Philly has, and has often boasted about of having, the nation’s largest day of service on King Day. In this case, boasting is fine.

Know what would make things even more fine? If you — you!!! — joined up with friends, or went solo, to pitch in at any number of community projects — and then went back on a non-holiday to help out some more.

Need more inspiration? MLK weekend also brings plenty of programming — especially free programs — to enjoy at the African American Museum, Uncle Bobbie’s, Eastern State Penitentiary, the Philadelphia Film Center, Girard College …

Here, ways you can volunteer, take part, observe, and celebrate the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service in Philadelphia:

Volunteer for the King Day of Service

PACK PERSONAL CARE ITEMS. The African American Museum in Philadelphia (AAMP) starts the long weekend early. On January 13, 5:30 – 7:30pm, the museum’s Big Give Back is asking volunteers to pack up personal care items for people in need of shelter. The recipient: The Center for Hope, a program of the Urban Affairs Coalition. (Donate those items too.) 701 Arch Street. Note the date here!

YouthBuild Charter School students paint a sign in their Philadelphia school.

FIX UP AN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL. Join YouthBuild Philly Charter School in revitalizing Bluford Elementary in Carroll Park. Bluford recently lost its charter because of building conditions and will be officially taken over by the School District next year. Volunteers will spruce up common areas, start a garden, paint walls and murals, and develop learning aids on January 16, 9am – 2pm. Register here. 5720 Media Street

RESTORE CHEW REC CENTER. This Southwest Philly sports and recreation site reopened in November after four years of dealing with lead poisoning. Now, the spot needs volunteers to weed, clean up debris, paint, and cover soil. January 16, 9am – 2pm. Sign up here. 1800 Washington Avenue

A demonstrator for Books Behind Bars.

SEND BOOKS TO INCARCERATED PEOPLE. Volunteers for Books through Bars read book request letters, choose books from the onsite library, and pack those books to send to people imprisoned in and beyond PA. The organization prefers groups of 5 to 15 to volunteer, with this warning: Once you start helping here, you will want to come back. January 16, times vary. Register through website. 4722 Baltimore Avenue

END GUN VIOLENCE. Join the illustrious Cecil B. Moore Freedom Fighters, Black Clergy of Philadelphia and Vicinity, and “57 Blocks” project to rally for peace and discuss a place-based strategy to help end gun violence and promote racial justice. January 16, noon – 2pm. Register here; address provided upon registration.

Caring for Friends in action.

COOK, PACK, SORT FOOD — KIDS WELCOME. Caring for Friendslocation in Northeast Philadelphia is looking for volunteer groups to help out in their commercial kitchen on January 16, including 5 – 5pm. Staying at home, or too far from the Northeast? Color cards that they’ll share with the folks they serve. 12271 Townsend Road

RESCUE FOOD. Philadelphia’s Share Food Program is so popular, they’ve already filled a number of volunteer slots — to stock church pantries, pack boxes in the warehouse. What’s left on January 16, 10am – noon or 1 – 3pm? Download their Food Rescue app and pick up foods they’ll redistribute. So, you’d be UberEats, but for a good cause. Register here. 2901 W. Hunting Park Avenue

Watch and Listen on (and before) MLK Day

Dance artist, journalist, administrator and educator Norma Porter moderates the Day of Dance panel at the African American Museum in Philadelphia.

DANCE, DANCE, DANCE. Dancers from the Philadelphia Ballet 2 lead children in classes in ballet and African dance on January 14, 11am – 1pm at the African American Museum in Philadelphia. From 1 – 4pm, professional Black choreographers and dancers offer a glimpse into the personal experiences of their profession in a panel discussion. Discounted admission. 701 Arch Street

LEARN ABOUT THE REAL MLK AT UNCLE BOBBIE’S. Marc Lamont Hill opens up his amazing bookshop-coffeeshop to keep up the tradition of exploring who Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was — the man behind the modern mythology. Lamont Hill is there to lead the talk. January 14, 2pm. Free. Register here. 6001 Germantown Avenue

Jamel Shabazz’s photograph Unity from the African American Museum in Philadelphia.

MEET LEGENDARY PHOTOGRAPHER JAMEL SHABAZZ. Shabazz, the genius behind the portraits of Back in the Days among countless other real Black life scenes, discusses his creative process after 45 years of doing what he does. Come early — 1pm — wearing your finest throwback hip-hop gear for a photo he’ll take in front of the African American Museum in Philadelphia. Stay late to pick up signed copies of his latest books, Jamel Shabazz: Albums and A Time before Crack. January 15, 2 – 4pm. $5. 701 Arch Street

WATCH MLK/FBI. The Philadelphia Film Center hosts two must-see films on January 15. The first, at 3pm, is MLK/FBI, is Sam Pollard’s 202 documentary about the U.S. government’s role in the surveillance — and death — of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Tickets for this screening are: $14, $12 for senior, $10 for ages 12 and under. 1412 Chestnut Street

WATCH DO THE RIGHT THING. At 5:30pm on January 15, the center screens a remastered version of Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing. This classic story of Brooklyn in the 1980s stars Lee, Rosie Perez, Samuel L. Jackson, John Turturro, Danny Aiello, Ossie Davis … Afterwards, audience members take part in a discussion about making the right kinds of change in Philly neighborhoods. Free (registration requested). 1412 Chestnut Street

LISTEN TO CIVIL RIGHTS ICONS. January 16, 11am – 4:45pm, Eastern State Penitentiary’s annual MLK Day highlights Dr. King’s Letter from a Birmingham Jail. Local leaders read excerpts of the acclaimed writing — along with words by fellow social justice advocates Frederick Douglass, Angela Davis, Malcolm X and Ida B. Wells, who, like Dr. King, experienced incarceration. Family programming, noon – 2pm; voter registration throughout the day. Free. 2027 Fairmount Avenue

HEAR THE PHILADELPHIA ORCHESTRA. Play Lift Every Voice and Sing, Children, Go Where I Send Thee, and Anthem of Praise as a grand finale to events taking place at Girard College on January 16, 3pm. Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducts; Charlotte Blake Alston narrates. Free, but reservations recommended. 2101 S. College Avenue

Visit on King Day

SHOW UP AT THE CENTER OF IT ALL. Girard College has been the “Signature Site” for the Martin Luther King Day of Service. This year, the site will host a jobs fair, a health and wellness fair, civic engagement expo, workshops … along with talks, music, activities for children, and, for you last-minute planners, ways for you to volunteer. Registration not required. January 16, 8am – 5pm. 2101 S. College Avenue

Vision & Spirit: African American Art is on exhibit at the African American Museum in Philadelphia through February 19, 2023.

EXPLORE AAMP FOR FREE (and kids: Get your finances in order). All day on January 16, 10am – 5pm the African American Museum in Philadelphia offers free admission, including to its exhibition, Vision and Spirit. At 2pm, Teana Sykes, founder and creator of Tea Talk, hosts an interactive financial literacy activity for middle schoolers and high school students — to put them onto the path of long term financial health. Free. 701 Arch Street

Vision & Spirit: African American Art is on exhibit at the African American Museum in Philadelphia through February 19, 2023.

LEARN YOUR CIVIL RIGHTS HISTORY. The National Constitution Center waives admission on January 16, 10am – 5pm. Inside, all ages of visitors can witness one of two readings of King’s I Have a Dream speech, listen to live performances of civil rights-era songs, tour the civil rights exhibit, and donate school supplies. Free. 525 Arch Street



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