• MLK Community Center

Celebrating Juneteenth, Free Vaccine Clinic at the MLK, Diverse Musicians, & more

Updated: Jun 13


Friday, June 11, 2021


Niko Merritt ofSankofa Community Connectionpaid a visit to our AfterSchool program to teach students about Juneteenth and lead an ornament-making workshop. Students learned about the history and importance of Juneteenth, the holiday commemorating the news of the end of slavery in the United States, observed on June 19th. In advance of this holiday, Ms. Niko had each student decorate an ornament, which will be displayed on Newport's Liberty Tree during the upcoming Day of Renewal and Juneteenth festivities. Students' ornaments were each numbered, and they were given a slip of paper that coincides with their ornament number to take home. Students and their families are invited to search for their ornament artwork on The Liberty Tree at the 6/19 Juneteenth celebration and take them home from there. Community members of all ages were invited to create an ornament at one of Sankofa and Newport Art Museum'sdrop-in art workshops.

The Newport Middle Passage Project's Speaker Series returns for its third consecutive summer. The series kicks off on Wednesday, June 16th at 6:30 pm with a free virtual lecture led by Fred Zilian, Adjunct Professor of History and Politics at Salve Regina University.

"Juneteenth Celebration Virtual Lecture: African American Un-Freedom, 1877 – 1960's," will address the period from the end of Reconstruction to the end of the 1960s, a period of "un-freedom" and inequality for African Americans. Juneteenth is a holiday celebrating the emancipation in 1865 of those who had been enslaved in the United States. It is also known as Emancipation Day, Freedom Day, Jubilee Day, or Liberation Day. For more information or to register for the June 16th virtual event, click here.

Sankofaand theNewport Art Museum invite the community to join in observing the Day of Renewal and Juneteenth holiday celebration, on Saturday, June 19th from 11:00 am - 12:30 pm. The event will begin with a flag ceremony at Newport City Hall, followed by a procession to The Great Friends Meeting House, then to The Liberty Tree, with storytelling by the RI Black Storytellers, music, displays of artwork by community members, and a dedication to the Liberty Tree/Day of Renewal event written by Dr. Edward E. Andrews, Associate Professor of History and Classics at Rhode Island College. For more information on this year's Juneteenth celebration in Newport, check out this article in Newport This Week.

GET VACCINATED AT THE MLK: Free COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic, in Partnership with Matt's Local Pharmacy

Not vaccinated against COVID-19 yet? Well, you're in luck! Next Friday, June 18th from 2 pm to 5:30 pm, stop by the MLK Community Center for a free COVID-19 vaccination clinic, presented in partnership with Matt's Local Pharmacy in Middletown, RI. This clinic is open to all adults 18+. Identification required; please bring proof of health insurance if you have it. No appointments necessary. The single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be administered.

All participants will receive a free supermarket gift card! Spanish-speaking staff and volunteers will be on-site for assistance. Please help spread the word!

Facebook event

LIVE FROM THE [LOADING] DOCK CONCERT SERIES: June's event postponed; announcing July 14th's performer

The MLK Community Center is bringing live, upbeat entertainment for all ages to the community free of charge - live from our loading dock - on the second Wednesday* each month throughout the summer. (June's event was postponed due to a forecast of inclement weather! Join us for Yacouba Diabate on the rain date: Wednesday, June 23rd!) Mark your calendar for the summer's other events: July 14th & August 11th

Kicking off "Live from the [Loading] Dock" on Wednesday, June 23rd at 4:30 pm is West African native Yacouba Diabate on the kora, thanks to the generosity of event sponsor Jeff Brooks, Realtor - Hogan Associates. This music series is presented in conjunction with Common Fence Music.

WATCH: Yacouba Diabate on the kora

"Live from the [Loading] Dock's" second performancer, on Wednesday, July 14th at 4:30 pm, is the Robertico Arias Percussion Ensemble. Arias, a Dominican Republic native, is a talented musician and master percussionist. This event made possible thanks to the generosity of event sponsors Caleb & Broad and Point Wine & Spirits. This music series is presented in conjunction with Common Fence Music.

WATCH: Robertico Arias, with accompaniment, playing at a community event in Providence


This coming Monday, June 14th, the Center will not be open to accept donations after 2:30 pm and Education programs will close from 2:30 pm onward so staff can participate in a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion workshop. There will be no After School program on Monday, Preschool will close at 2:30 pm, and donations will not be accepted at this time. The Center will still hold Sabores Latinos class, however. The Center will reopen for regularly scheduled programming again the following morning, Tuesday, June 15th. Thank you for your cooperation!

MOBILE FOOD PANTRY SPONSOR: A1 Roofing and Construction

Thanks to the generosity of Mobile Food Pantry sponsors, the MLK's Mobile Food Pantry brings non-perishable food, fresh fruits & veggies, milk, meat, eggs, personal care and household cleaning items into Newport County communities where transportation is often a barrier.

Thursday, June 17th’s sponsor for the Mobile Food Pantry serving Donovan Manor & Edgar Court in Newport (from 12 - 2 pm) is A1 Roofing and Construction.

Pictured: Lawn signs on-site at Donovan Manor / Edgar Court, announcing the upcoming 6/17 Mobile Food Pantry sponsored by A1.

A1 is a roofing contractor in based in Newport with more than 30 years of experience in construction and roofing. They are licensed for both residential and commercial construction and roofing in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. A1 is proud to be not only GAF Master Elite Certified, but also a Carlisle Certified Applicator, IKO Certified, and a CertainTeed Shingle Quality Specialist. Every A1 job is performed with quality materials, as well as the latest roofing techniques and safety standards. For more information on A1 and their services, visit their website.

THESE COMMUNITY CHAMPIONS "GIVE 100%:"Local fundraisers where 100% of proceeds benefit the MLK

Our friends at St. Columba's in Middletown are making scones, tea sandwiches, and other treats for a festive Devonshire cream tea to-go tomorrow Saturday, June 12th. Order as many teas as you'd like ($15 for each box, or $25 with an accompanying flower arrangement), and stop by the parish hall between 3 pm and 5 pm this Saturday to pick up. Clotted cream, strawberry jam, and tea bag of your choice included: you add the hot water, sugar, & milk/lemon. 100% of proceeds benefit the Center.Reserve online ahead of time!

Caleb & Broad's motto has always been "Good Food for Good People." In that spirit, the DO GOOD apparel collection was born, to do good in the community: When youpurchase a piece from this collection, 100% of proceeds support the MLK. There's something for everyone to wear this summer: women's t-shirts, men's t-shirts, and baseball hats! Get 'em now, though: this promotion ends soon.

Be sure to stop by the Island Carpet showroom in Middletown for the Memorial Day yard sale's rain date tomorrow Saturday, June 12th between 10 am and 3 pm. 100% of proceeds benefit the MLK.

Carpet remnants in all of the most popular sizes (5'x8', 6'x9', 8'x10', and 9'x12') will be available. As if you needed even more of a reason to attend, there will also be a food truck on-site!

Check out the