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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.


King Day of Service in Philly — Where to Go, What to Do

Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a perfect opportunity to engage with other Philadelphia citizens on civic projects that matter. Volunteer. Visit a museum. Build peace

King Day of Service in Philly — Where to Go, What to Do

Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a perfect opportunity to engage with other Philadelphia citizens on civic projects that matter. Volunteer. Visit a museum. Build peace

Scroll through the long list of volunteer opportunities on Philadelphia’s Martin Luther King Day of Service, and you could easily become overwhelmed with choices. Personal care item drives. Community center cleanups. Voter registration initiatives. Tutor training — all part of the nation’s largest King Day of Service. This year, sign up. Join in. See what a little volunteering can do for you, your city, our world.

But wait. There’s more. MLK weekend also brings plenty of programming — including free and ticketed programs — at the African American Museum in Philadelphia, the National Constitution Center, Eastern State Penitentiary …

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

Take Part in Philly’s Biggest MLK Events

SHOW UP AT THE CENTER OF IT ALL. Girard College (2101 S. College Avenue) is the Signature Site for the Martin Luther King Day of Service on January 15, from 8am to 5pm. Registration is not required.

There, you can:


  • Assemble hygiene kits for victims of gun violence.
  • Work on a voting-rights-centered printmaking with Mural Arts Philadelphia.
  • Sort, pack and distribute voter information packets.
  • Write thank-you notes to poll workers.
  • Knit caps with Wynnefield’s Sisters Interacting Through Stitches.


  • Rally for Peace & Justice at noon, with the Black Clergy of Philadelphia and Vicinity’s 57 Blocks Project
  • Cultural presentation by the Cecil B. Moore Philadelphia Freedom Fighters, the organization that led efforts to desegregate Girard College in the 1960s
  • Health & Wellness Fair led by the Black Doctors Consortium
  • A marketplace of community organizations offering volunteer opportunities


  • To be a children’s Reading Coach with Read by 4th
  • CPR with representatives with the Philadelphia Fire Department
  • About voting — and register to vote

Bring kids:

  • For story time with books about Dr. King and the civil rights movement, coloring and free books

Book ahead:

Philadelphia Orchestra Martin Luther King, Jr. Tribute Concert at Girard College Chapel. Photo by Margot Reed.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Tribute Concert. At 3pm, Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducts; Charlotte Blake Alston narrates; Girard College High School Choir and the Philadelphia Orchestra perform in Girard College Chapel. On the program: Lift Every Voice and Sing, Smallwood’s Total Praise, Hallelujah! from Handel’s Messiah: A Soulful Celebration, and Hailstork’s Fanfare on Amazing Grace, more. Free; reservations recommended. 2101 S. College Avenue

Photo courtesy of DANCE4LIFE.

SPEND 1, 2, OR 3 DAYS AT THE AFRICAN AMERICAN MUSEUM IN PHILADELPHIAAAMP offers a three-day weekend of programming: two days with discounted admission, one free day, all from 10am to 5pm. Register early for space. 701 Arch Street

January 13($7 adult, $5 student and senior)

1pm: DANCE4LIFE School of the Arts & Training Institute performs.
2pm: Destiny L Music and her Chasing Dreams Band offer a dynamic musical. (There’s a  special virtual café concert 6pm.)

January 14: ($7 adult, $5 student and senior)

10am, noon, 1:45pm and 3:30pm: Take part in “Shifting the Cultural Climate,” a safe space to learn how to become a change agent, moving from violence and injustice to individual power and generational community change.

January 15: (Free)

11am: Explore Philadelphia’s Civil Rights Legacy with Matthew J. Countryman, associate professor of Afro-American & African Studies and History at the University of Michigan, Kenneth Salaam, a Philadelphia Freedom Fighter who marched alongside Dr. King, and Dr. Diane Turner, a scholar and curator at the Charles L. Blockson Afro-American Collection.
2pm: Color with Amir “Amiracle” Campbell — and talk about the power of art.

Clean, Fix: Schools, Rec Centers, Blocks, More

YouthBuild’s 2023 King Day of Service.

Join 200 YouthBuild Philly Charter School students in revitalizing Marian Anderson Neighborhood Academy, a Graduate Hospital neighborhood elementary school on January 15 from 9am to 3pm. 2000 Catharine Street

All opportunities below are posted on Global Citizen 365’s website. Go there for availability, contact information and registration.

Finley Recreation Center in Stenton. Help create a fitness center, or, just help clean up inside and outside on January 15 from 8am to 1pm. There will be educational element featuring Bayard Rustin. 7701 Mansfield Avenue

Philadelphia High School for Girls. Start early on January 15 from 8am to noon on various jobs: outdoor cleanup, rail painting, mural painting, cafeteria and patio cleanup and painting, bathroom beautification. 1400 W. Olney Avenue

2023 King Day of Service. Photo by Theo Wyss-Flamm.

Tustin Playground in Overbrook. This essential neighborhood site — with swings, sprayground, basketball court, pool — is looking for help on January 15 from 9am to 1pm. Your reward: Students from the center’s after school program read from Dr. King’s I Have a Dream speech. 5901 W. Columbia Avenue

West Mill Creek Playground and Rec Center. Work indoors and out in this West Philly neighborhood center on January 15 from 9 to 11:30am. 5100 Parrish Street

TBA spaces with PennClean up, spruce up, paint one of three TBA locations. Meet on January 15 at 9:45am at Houston Hall. Refreshments and transportation provided. Ages 12 and up. 3417 Spruce Street

Christy Rec Center in Cobbs Creek. Give your love — and some elbow grease — to this expansive site on January 15 from 10am to 2pm. 728 S. 55th Street

The 2023 King Day of Service with YouthBuild.

Laura Sims Skatehouse in Cobbs Creek. A beloved West Philly community resource and ice rink is seeking help in cleaning and mopping the lobby, organizing a storage closet, and, weather permitting, picking up trash and debris outside on January 15 from 10am to 1pm. 210 Cobbs Creek Parkway

Sturgis Playground in East Oak LaneAfter breakfast — hot chocolate included! — you’ll get a trash bag to clean up leaves and litter in play spaces, on the football field and on the basketball, tennis and volleyball courts on January 15 from 10am to 1pm. 200 W. 65th Street

Point Breeze. “Ian-Yae’s In Touch” invites volunteers to the Church of the Redeemer Baptist to pick up cleaning materials and get out into the neighborhood on January 15 from 11am to 1pm. Lunch onsite to follow. 2421 Dickinson Street

Donate, Organize, Give Out: Food + Essentials

2023 King Day of Service. Photo by Theo Wyss-Flamm.

Penn Wood High School in Lansdowne. Donate soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes, dental floss, mouthwash, deodorant, body lotion, haircare products, laundry detergent, feminine products on January 15 from 8am to 1pm. 100 Green Avenue, Lansdowne

Germantown Friends SchoolNo need to register, just drive up and donate: menstrual supplies for Germantown’s SPOT Period Hub, new or like-new winter children’s coats for Cradles to Crayons, new children’s books for Reach Out and Read at St. Christopher’s Hospital on January 16 from 9am to noon. 31 W. Coulter Street

Pinn Memorial Baptist Church in Wynnefield. Bring and collect non-perishable canned and dry food goods, and personal care items. Stay to sort and package items for distribution, on January 15 from 9:30am to noon. 2251 N. 54th Street

Society for Helping Church in North Philly. Distribute toiletries and gently used clothing to North Philadelphians in need on January 15 from 10am to 3pm. Homemade soup and sandwiches provided. 1323 W. Susquehanna Avenue

Christian Street YMCA in Graduate Hospital. Assemble “blessing bags” of toiletries, hats and scarves for people experiencing homelessness on January 15 from 11am to 2pm. 1724 Christian Street

COSACOSA in Manayunk. Drop off art and writing supplies — marble composition books, 10-pack Crayola fine line markers, kid-friendly stickers — then stick around to learn more about this organization and their school-based initiatives on January 15 from 11am to 3pm.  4427 Main Street

Cradles to CrayonsThis nonprofit donates all manner of essentials for young children — right now, new and barely used clothing, coats and shoes — and their MLK Day donation drive is their biggest of the year at sites throughout the city and region on January 15 from 11am to 2pm. Various locations

Kensington Neighbors United Civic Association. Prepare fruit baskets; distribute them in the community on January 15 from 2 to 3pm. 2837 Amber Street

Most of the above opportunities are posted on Global Citizen 365’s website. Go there for availability, contact information and registration.

Visit on King Day

Museums open doors and provide extra programming geared toward Dr. King’s legacy.

Katelyn E. Appiah Kubi as Elizabeth Freeman at the Museum of the American Revolution.

HONOR AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY. From January 13 through 15, from 10am to 5pm, the Museum of the American Revolution’s Martin Luther King Jr. Weekend includes first-person performances, historical meet-and-greets, hands-on exhibits, and more pre-MLK Black history. $13-$57. 101 S. 3rd Street 

The National Constitution Center.

LEARN YOUR CIVIL RIGHTS HISTORY. The National Constitution Center waives admission on January 15, from 10am to 5pm. Go for a reading of King’s I Have a Dream speech (11:45am), an all-ages financial literacy workshops with TD Bank (10:45am and 1:45pm), live, especially-for-kids civil rights-era songs (12:45 and 2:45pm), and all-day arts and crafts and story times. All January, you can donate school supplies (pens, pencils, crayons, copy paper, hand sanitizer, folders, and age-appropriate books). Free. 525 Arch Street

Visitors to Eastern State Penitentiary’s MLK Day. Photo by Theo Wyss-Flamm.

LISTEN TO CIVIL RIGHTS ICONS. January 15, from 11am to 5pm, Eastern State Penitentiary’s annual MLK Day highlights Dr. King’s Letter from a Birmingham Jail and I Have a Dream. Local leaders read excerpts of the acclaimed writings — along with words by fellow social justice advocates George Jackson, Angela Y. Davis, Malcom X, and Ida B. Wells. If you’d like, write a postcard to someone incarcerated in PA. $17, free for ages 12 and under. 2027 Fairmount Avenue

Woodmere Art Museum. Photo courtesy of Visit Philadelphia.

BRING THE KIDS. MAKE ART. The Woodmere Art Museum Martin Luther King, Jr. Family Festival features art-making, a performance by singer-storyteller Tahira, and time in the museum itself on January 15 from noon to 3pm. Free. 9201 Germantown Avenue



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