Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Activism and Service 2017

January 20-21, 2017: Day of Activism and Service

On January 20 -21, 2017, the Center for Community Engagement will host a “Day of Activism and Service” as part of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service. Workshops will provide an opportunity for students to build skills and knowledge in issues related to activism. Drop-in activities will help extend skills and knowledge to action – students can begin exploring opportunities to engage in our community, ways to be advocates, allies, and activists, and reflect on how Martin Luther King Jr. serves as a model activist.

Threaded through the whole event will be the legacy of Martin Luther King, giving students the chance to read more his work and learn more about him.

Looking for a ride or have room to spare in your car to the Women’s March on Montpelier? Sign up for the Chellis House carpool here!




Click HERE  for the full MLK Day of Activism and Service schedule! Workshops don’t require an RSVP to attend, but if you can let us know whether you’re coming to the Black Lives Matter workshop (Friday, Jan. 20, 4-5:30 PM) with Ebony Nyoni of Black Lives Matter VT, it would be helpful to have a sense of numbers! Sign up for her workshop here!



On your own: explore Vermont’s African American culture and history!

Clemmons Family Farm is one of the largest African-American-owned historic family farms in Vermont (of the nearly 7000 farms in Vermont, only 19 are African American-owned or operated as of 2012. Of the 1.2 million acres of farmland in Vermont, only 740 acres are owned or principally operated by African Americans.). The farm, located in Charlotte, honors the lives of Jackson and Lydia Clemmons and serves as an African-American Heritage and Multicultural Center. Check out stories and videos of the farm’s founders and their families on their website! Beginning in 2017, indoor and outdoor multi-cultural events at the Clemmons Family Farm will feature African American diaspora and multicultural performance arts, visual arts, lectures, presentations and retreats– by and for artists, photographers, writers and musicians.

Visit the Rokeby Museum between mid-May and late October
The Rokeby Museum is a National Historic Landmark in Ferrisburgh, Vermont known for its Underground Railroad history. Its exhibit “Free and Safe: The Underground Railroad in Vermont,” shares the stories of Simon and Jesse, two historically documented fugitives from slavery who were sheltered at Rokeby in the 1830’s. The exhibit chronicles their journeys from slavery to freedom and introduces the abolitionist Robinson family who called Rokeby home for nearly 200 years. The Rokeby Museum is recognized as one of the most well-documented Underground Railroad Sites in the country. Once a thriving Merino sheep farm, Rokeby boasts eight historic farm buildings filled with agricultural artifacts, along with a variety of hiking trails.

The Rokeby Museum relies on volunteers to continue its role in the community. If you’re interested in volunteering, e-mail New guides are trained every year in March and April.

Visit the Vermont Folklife Center right here in Middlebury!
The Vermont Folklife Center recorded over 60 hours of interviews with Daisy Turner, who was born in June 1883 to ex-slaves Alexander and Sally Turner in Grafton, Vermont and lived to be 104. Qualified researchers can access the full collection of Turner Family materials in the Folklife Center Archive upon request. You can also check out this audio documentary series on Daisy Turner produced by the Folklife Center: “Journey’s End: The Memories and Traditions of Daisy Turner and Her Family.” Visit the Vermont Folklife Center’s website to access videos on Daisy Turner as well as information about the book that Jane Beck, Vermont Folklife Center founder and Middlebury alumna, wrote about Daisy Turner. You can also find more about the Turner Family in an exhibit at the Grafton Historical Society in Grafton, Vermont.

Visit the Brandon Museum!
Learn about the impact of the Civil War on Brandon and about the town’s anti-slavery movement, including a digital presentation of “Brandon and the Slavery Issue.” The Brandon Museum (located at 4 Grove St. in Brandon) is open from mid-May through mid-October and is free!
Learn more about Martin Henry Freeman and Mary Annette Anderson
Martin Henry Freeman and Mary Annette Anderson were two of Middlebury’s earliest alumni of color – you may recognize their names from our Anderson-Freeman Resource Center, which “provides resources and programming that encourage the holistic development of Middlebury’s increasingly diverse undergraduate students as they attain their goals of academic achievement and personal growth while exploring and sustaining their identities and cultures,” including advocacy and support for historically underrepresented and/or marginalized students including students of color, as first-generation college students, LGBTQ students, and international students. Learn more about these two Middlebury alumni here. You can find out more about Martin Henry Freeman and colonization by viewing a “web museum” students created as part of their j-term class. Check out Professor Bill Hart’s two-part series on these two alumni here and here.
Visit Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park in Woodstock, VT
The Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park offers the first-ever National Park Service walking tour interpreting the Civil War Home Front. This walking tour through the historic streets of Woodstock explores the experiences of civilians swept up in the maelstrom of civil war. The tour is also the inspiration for a larger collaborative effort between the National Historical Park, educators, students, and civic organizations to better understand the indelible mark left by the Civil War on this small community and on the nation.
Learn more about Alexander Twilight
Alexander Twilight, the first African American to earn a degree from an American college or university, graduated from Middlebury in 1823 (Twilight Hall is named after him). Find out more about Twilight through Orleans County Historical Society’s Old Stone House Museum – you can read more about his life and read some of Twilight’s sermons on the museum website.


Check out this guide to learn more about the sites and landmarks mentioned here, and many more, that together form the Vermont African-American Heritage Trail!


Everyhhweek-logo250px year, one week before Thanksgiving, the National Coalition for the Homeless and the National Student Campaign Against Hunger and Homelessness host National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week. The Middlebury College Center for Community Engagement facilitates Middlebury’s participation in this awareness week, hosting a variety of events, volunteer opportunities, education and outreach initiatives, and more that invite students, faculty, and staff to learn more about hunger and homelessness, engage in both the local and broader community, and discuss these issues with those around us. The goal of this week includes both education and engagement: we hope that those in our Middlebury community will learn more about issues of hunger and homelessness and will be introduced to the variety of ways that they can help combat them. This page will provide links to relevant resources on hunger and homelessness and outlines ways to get involved, both through events during this awareness week, and beyond.


Articles and Resources

Check out this fact sheet on homelessness in Addison County and Vermont.

Check out this fact sheet on hunger in Addison County and Vermont.

Read this article on homelessness and gentrification in New York City.

Watch this Hunger Free Vermont video advocating for universal school meals in Vermont.

Podcast Series

Listen to the Center for Community Engagement’s Hunger & Homelessness Podcast Series.
In our first podcast, we chatted with Sam Kachmar, Associate Director of Housing Programs at Charter House.
In our second episode, we learned about John Graham Housing & Services with Director Elizabeth Ready.
Our third episode interviewed Lily Bradburn, Local Food Access Coordinator at HOPE (Helping Overcome Poverty’s Effects).
Our fourth installment featured Erika Paine of the Apartment Management Division at Addison County Community Trust (ACCT).
Our fifth episode will feature Middlebury Foods, an entirely student-run nonprofit that sells and delivers fresh produce and much more each month in five Addison County towns.

Find out more about each of these organizations by listening to our podcast series! Interested in volunteering with these community partners? Scroll down to find contact information for each organization under “get involved.”

Book Recommendation
Read “Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City,” a new book by Matthew Desmond, sociology professor with the Justice and Poverty Project at Harvard and 2015 recipient of the MacArthur Genuis Grant. In this gripping non-fiction work, Desmond details the experiences of homelessness, eviction, and poverty of 8 Milwaukee families and explores the roles of tenants, landlords, and the city in cycles of eviction and poverty. Find out more about the book here. Consider checking it out from Davis Family Library.
Learn more about author Matthew Desmond and read stories of homelessness he’s collected at
Listen to this podcast interview with the author to find out more about the project.


Hunger & Homelessness Drop-in Coffee Chat: Monday, November 14, 4:30-6:00 PM, Center for Community Engagement (DKE House, 20 Old Chapel Road). Join student leaders and community partners for an informal chat on issues of hunger & homelessness. Refreshments will be served.

SNAP Training with Hunger Free Vermont: November 16, 8 PM. Middlebury Foods is hosting a SNAP training with a representative from Hunger Free Vermont. Learn more about 3SquaresVT (formerly known as food stamps and known nationally as SNAP), which is currently one of the most reliable, consistent, and dignified means to prevent hunger.

Challah for Hunger: November 18. Purchase challah from Hillel in McCullough Student Center. Proceeds go to HOPE (Helping Overcome Poverty’s Effects).

Habitat for Humanity Build: November 19, East Montpelier, VT. Habitat for Humanity: Middlebury Chapter will be working with the Central Vermont Habitat for Humanity Chapter to help build a Low Energy Passive House. Sign up at go/hfh.

Food Drive: Staff Council is coordinating a Food Drive between now and Friday, November 18th to benefit the Addison County Food Shelf. Donate food at the Center for Community Engagement, the CFA, McCullough, Davis Family Library, Sunderland, or the Admissions Office.

John Graham Housing and Services’ Third Annual Addison County Vigil and Sleep-Out to End Homelessness: December 3, 4 PM on the Green (vigil), 6 PM at Falls by Otter Creek (Sleep-out). Friends, family, community partners, and neighbors will be sleeping out at the Marble Works in Middlebury to raise awareness about homelessness. Every dollar and donation goes directly to providing housing for homeless families. Sleep out as an individual or form a team and run a fundraising campaign. Ask friends and family to sponsor you to sleep out. Visit this link to set up your campaign. Consider attending the Candlelight Vigil at 4 PM on the Middlebury Green and become a fundraiser. Its easy to do, and by setting up your own fundraising page you can connect with homeless families in a tangible way by raising funds for their housing. We’ll pitch our tents or makeshift shelters at the Marble Works and spend just one night enduring the cold, anxiety and uncertainty that some of our neighbors live with each day. Come join us!


Join the Charter House Coalition Student Group
Roger Winters, Amirah Fauzi, Co-Presidents,
The Charter House Coalition is a non-profit, volunteer-based organization dedicated to providing basic food and housing in and around Middlebury, VT. Charter House Coalition student organization helps organize student volunteers to make and serve meals to Charter House guests, promoting a sense of community to all members of our community. As volunteers, students can participate in any meal preparation and service and winter shelter shifts. Charter House also hosts several interns throughout the academic year and summer to assist in their meal programs, organic garden initiatives, staff the family shelter, and coordinating volunteers.

Join Friends of John Graham
Maya Peers-Nitzberg ’16.5,
John Graham Shelter serves individuals and families by offering short-term emergency shelter, casework, and referrals to other agencies. They seek volunteers to assist with childcare or to serve as long-term mentors. Friends of the John Graham Shelter make balanced, nutritious dinners every Thursday at the shelter for residents. On Wednesdays, a cohort of students helps the residents with English language learning, homework and tutoring. A variety of new volunteer opportunities will be available this year. Contact the student leaders for more info!

Join Habitat for Humanity: Middlebury Chapter
Sarah Scott ‘17 and Gabbie Santos ’17,
Habitat for Humanity works to address the challenges of affordable housing by helping with local builds, fundraising, and assisting with local chapter events. The Middlebury College Chapter also organizes an alternative spring break trip every year – visit go/habtrips to sign up!

Volunteer with Addison County Community Trust (ACCT)
Elise Shanbacker, 802-877-2626,
Addison County Community Trust works to create affordable housing while regarding Smart Growth ideals; the non-profit currently owns and operates over 600 units of permanently affordable housing. They seek volunteers to work on rehab and beautification projects for ACCT properties.

Volunteer with HOPE (Helping Overcome Poverty’s Effects)
Jeanne Montross, Executive Director, 802-388-3608,
Lily Bradburn, Food Access Coordinator, 802-388-3608 ext. 225,
HOPE is a locally controlled, locally funded poverty relief organization. They run the largest food shelf in Addison County, the RetroWorks thrift store, and provide numerous poverty-relief services to members of the community. Through their food shelf, HOPE tries to provide healthy, nutritious food through their Local Food Access Program and as a member organization of the Vermont Gleaning Collective. Volunteers are needed to help with the organization’s new gleaning project and help process produce.

Join Middlebury Foods
Charlie Mitchell ’18, 978-335-3875,
Middlebury Foods is an independent nonprofit organization run entirely by a group of fun, passionate, and dedicated Middlebury students. Middlebury Foods seeks to provide residents of Addison County with easy access to fresh and affordable food. They deliver groceries every month in five Addison County towns. This is a great opportunity for students interested in food justice, community service, and/or social entrepreneurship.

Have your team or organization cook community supper! Or attend as an individual!

Bridport Community Supper
Katie Welch,
Bridport Community Suppers seek volunteers to host free meals for the Bridport community every Friday night during the coldest months (roughly November through April). Each week, 4-6 volunteers plan, prepare, and share meals.

Charter House Coalition Community Supper

Dottie Neuberger,
Each week, a volunteer group prepares a Community Supper for about 200 guests every Friday night at the Congregational Church in Middlebury. The group also seeks individuals, weekly, to prepare and preserve food to share at Community Suppers; contact Dottie for more information about how your group can get involved with processing (washing, prepping, freezing, etc.) produce, baking desserts, or preparing meals.