• 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 Facebook event here or their website for more information.

FOOD PANTRY FEATURE: We're in need of low-sodium foods

This month's Food Pantry Feature is low-sodium foods. We know: this is a pretty broad category of foods, but the demand in our pantry is great.

Have you been there? Your doctor reviews your lab report and tells you to reduce your salt intake ... immediately. For many of us, lifestyle changes like this are challenging enough on their own. But combatting food insecurity on top of that? What would you do if access to low sodium foods wasn't possible?

That's where the MLK comes in. Low-sodium foods are among our most-requested items. Many seniors in our Food 2 Friends program follow a sodium-restricted diet, as well as so many others that we see at our Mobile Food Pantries and on-site food pantry. For those who have or are at risk of kidney disease, heart disease, high blood pressure, or simply anyone trying to adopt a healthier lifestyle, low sodium foods are essential.

Are you able to donate some low sodium foods throughout the month? We need items like: low sodium soups, canned beans, canned vegetables, diced tomatoes, etc. You can also look for low sodium packaged rice & stovetop pasta dishes, low sodium spice mixes... really anything that says "Low Sodium" or "No Salt" on the packaging! We accept donations of non-perishable food, fresh produce, household cleaning and personal care items at our loading dock Monday - Friday 8:30 am – 5:00 pm. Thank you!

When you give, the MLK can keep helping. Click here to donate.

HERE TO HELP View all: Google Calendar / Facebook events Volunteers wanted! The MLK is currently seeking Volunteer Cooks to prepare meals for our Breakfast program. You don't have to be a morning person either, you can meal prep in advance! If you're interested in volunteering with us, please fill out an online volunteer application. Online registration is open: You can now register for Zumba, "Toning in '21," Yoga, and Sabores Latinos online! With this system, you can conveniently register, reschedule, and cancel appointments at your convenience. We suggest you make an account for easy account management (after you sign up for your first class, it will prompt you). If you aren't able to register online, you are always able to contact Mel via email or by phone to register: (401) 846-4828. Facebook Groups: We've recently opened two private Facebook groups: one group for Parents & Families of MLK Students, and one group for MLK Community Center Volunteers. Please join the conversation! (Parents: we've been sharing reminders, registration links for MLK family events, and the Preschool Graduation Zoom link!)

  • Grab & Go Breakfast Mon-Fri, 7:30 - 8:30 am. (Marcus Wheatland Blvd entrance)

  • Food Pantry: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 10 am to 2 pm and Wednesday evenings from 4 pm to 6 pm; first Saturday of each month from 10 am to 12 pm

  • Food 2 Friends delivery for homebound seniors. Contact Ed for more info

  • Mobile Food Pantry visits to communities throughout Newport County. Schedule

  • Daily Bread: Mon-Fri at the Marcus Wheatland Blvd entrance, while supplies last

  • Produce to the People @ the MLK (formerly Veggie Days): weekly vegetable distribution, Thursdays 10 am to 1 pm or while supplies last.

  • Produce to the People @ Newport Heights: The Center's weekly free vegetable distribution is hitting the road for the summer! Beginning June 1st, every Tuesday throughout the summer from 10 am - 1 pm (or while supplies last), get free, local produce for you and your family. Located at W Evans St., between Girard & Fahey, behind the Florence Gray Center in Newport.

  • Grab & Go Lunch: Every Tuesday and Thursday from 11:30 am to 1 pm. Now sponsored by Blount Fine Foods. Free! Menu TBD.

  • Live from the [Loading] Dock, Summer Concert Series: Rain date: Wednesday, June 23rd at 4:30 enjoy the sounds of Yacouba Dibate on the kora (traditional West African stringed instrument), thanks to the generosity of our music sponsor Jeff Brooks, Realtor - Hogan Associates. Hot dogs and hamburgers will be served. Other dates: Weds, July 14th & Weds, August 11th (details TBD).

  • Live from the [Loading] Dock, Summer Concert Series: This summer, bring a blanket/lawn chair to the Center's front lawn on the 2nd Wednesday of the month for upbeat music from diverse musicians and a meal. On Wednesday, July 14th at 4:30 pm, enjoy the sounds of 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.

  • Preschool for registered students. DHS accepted & generous scholarships available. Contact Tanya by email or by phone: (401) 846-4828 x117

  • Preschool graduation will be held on Thursday, June 24th at 12:45 pm over Zoom. Notices are going home with each student in the coming days, or email for the link.

  • After School program for registered elementary school students. DHS accepted & generous scholarships available. Contact Jeanine by email or by phone: (401) 846-4828 x209

  • Summer Adventure Camp: Offered June 28 - August 20, 2021 Monday - Friday, 8 am to 4 pm for registered campers. Rising 1st through 5th graders eligible. Campers enjoy daily field trips around Aquidneck Island, and make & maintain academic strides in math, literacy, science, & more through daily lesson plans. DHS accepted & generous scholarships available. Contact Jeanine by email or by phone: (401) 846-4828 x209. Registration documents available to download online

  • **REGISTRATION CLOSES JUNE 15th: For Families of MLK Students - Newport Music Festival Family Concert: On Friday, July 9th at 4:15 pm, the Newport Music Festival is putting on a special concert for families of the MLK Community Center's education programs, thanks to generous sponsorship from Betsy Blair & Jim Van Winkle with additional support provided by BankNewport and NewportFed Charitable Foundation. GRAMMY Award-winning Chicago-based quartet Third Coast Percussion will perform. The concert will be held behind the Center. Registration in advance is required, but a special code is needed to reserve online. Please ask your child's teacher for the registration code or email Tanya and we can provide you with it. More info & performers here

  • SafeSitter Babysitting Safety Course: This free class, presented by LifeSpan, will introduce aspiring babysitters ages 11-14 to essential babysitting safety guidelines, including first aid, CPR, sitter safety, and more. Wednesday, July 14th, 8:45 am - 2:30 pm. Space is limited & classes book fast, so reserve your child's spot ASAP: Jeanette Nessett, LifeSpan: email or call (401) 444-8088.

  • NEW: LEAD - Peer Group for LGBTQQ+ Youth: Beginning July 7th and continuing on Wednesdays at 3 pm, high school-aged youth are invited to join this new peer group for anyone who identifies as LGBTQ+ and/or questioning. (L.E.A.D. = Love, Equity, Acceptance, and Dreams) More information to follow, but mark your calendar, and please spread the word!

  • Yoga Class: Yoga is offered at the Center every Tuesday and Friday morning at 8 am. All skill levels & all community members welcome! RSVP online or with Mel: email or call (401) 846-4828 x124.

  • Toning in '21 Fitness Class: Every Wednesday at 8:30 am, this full-body workout aims to improve balance, bone health, flexibility, and strength of participants in a safe, welcoming, and fun environment. All skill-levels & all community members welcome. RSVP online or with Mel: email or call (401) 846-4828 x124.

  • *NEW DAY & TIME: Zumba Fitness Class: Every Monday morning at 8:30 am. All skill levels & all community members welcome. RSVP online or with Mel: email or call (401) 846-4828 x124.

  • Free, Safe, and Confidential HIV & Hep C Testing: Get tested for HIV & Hep C at the MLK by appointment on Thursday, June 17th, 12 - 2 pm. This program is held in a confidential, private setting, separated from other Center programming. Participants are welcome to enter through the Center's Edward St entrance, where someone from APRI will meet you at your appointment time. To make an appointment: Call or email APRI: (401) 831-5522

  • MARK YOUR CALENDAR: COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic: Stop by the MLK on Friday, June 18th between 2 pm and 5:30 pm for a free COVID-19 vaccination. Attendees will receive a supermarket gift card for their participation. More information to follow.

  • Free COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic: Stop by the MLK (front lawn, beneath the tent) this coming Friday, June 18th between 2 pm and 5:30 pm for a free COVID-19 vaccination, thanks to Matt's Local Pharmacy. Open to adults 18+ with ID; no appointment necessary. Bring proof of insurance if you have it. Single dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be administered. Spanish-speaking staff on-site to assist. Attendees will receive a supermarket gift card for their participation.

  • NEW: Sabores Latinos: Every Monday at 5 pm, Spanish speakers are invited to join Yoli and Chef Carmen for Sabores Latinos, the MLK's first cooking class offered completely en Español. Yoli will teach recipes from around the Latin world, while Chef Carmen of Sprout & Lentil will teach plant-based recipes & nutrition. Participants cook alongside the instructor, take home a meal for their families, and learn a new recipe. Classes will alternate between traditional (taught by Yoli) & plant-based (taught by Chef Carmen). Spanish speakers are invited to attend & RSVP online or via email or call (401) 846-4828.

  • LivFit Cooking & Nutrition: Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 5 pm. to approximately 6 pm. Participants explore healthy, low-cost recipes using ingredients commonly found in the food pantry. Participants cook alongside the instructor, take home a meal for their families, and learn a new recipe. RSVPs required with Kristin via email or text (401) 368-7614.

  • Lunch & Learn, the MLK's lunchtime meal and lecture series for older adults, will return to the MLK for a recurring schedule starting in May. Registered seniors can enjoy a hearty meal, socialization, and a fun activity or informative speaker every 1st and 3rd Tuesday of the month at 12 pm. RSVP with Mel: email or call (401) 846-4828 x124

  • Dolly Parton's Imagination Library, presented by the Bazarsky Family Foundation in partnership with the MLK Community Center, puts books into the hands and hearts of children all across Newport County. They partner with local communities to mail a hand-selected, age-appropriate, high-quality book each month to registered children from birth to age five, completely free of cost & regardless of family income. Registration & more info

  • Food Pantry Donations: We accept donations of non-perishable food, fresh produce, household cleaning and personal care items at our loading dock Mon-Fri 8:30 am – 5:00 pm. Please ring the bell upon arrival. A list of our current needs available here.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center (401) 846-4828

No temenos la capacidad de traducir cada entrada del blog a español porque usamos una herramienta de traducción en el internet. Por favor, disculpe cualquier error gramática. Por favor, llame al Centro si tiene alguna pregunta.

Celebrando el 16 de junio, clínica de vacunas gratis en MLK, diversos músicos y más


Viernes, 11 de junio de 2021


Niko Merritt deSankofa Community Connection hizo una visita a nuestro programa extracurricular para enseñar a los estudiantes sobre June 16th y dirigir un taller de fabricación de adornos. Los estudiantes aprendieron sobre la historia y la importancia de June 16th, la festividad que conmemora la noticia del fin de la esclavitud en los Estados Unidos, que se observa el 19 de junio. Antes de este día festivo, la Sra. Niko hizo que cada estudiante decorara un adorno, que se exhibirá en el Árbol de la Libertad de Newport durante el próximo Día de Renovación y las festividades del 16 de junio. Los adornos de los estudiantes fueron numerados y se les entregó una hoja de papel que coincidía con el número de adorno para que se la llevaran a casa. Se invita a los estudiantes y sus familias a buscar sus obras de arte de adorno en el árbol de la libertad en la celebración del 19 de junio del 19 de junio y llevarlas a casa desde allí. Se invitó a miembros de la comunidad de todas las edades a crear un adorno en uno de los museos de arte de Sankofa y Newport. drop-in art workshops.

La Newport Middle Passage Project's Speaker Series regresa por tercer verano consecutivo. La serie comienza el miércoles 16 de junio a las 6:30 pm con un free virtual lecture dirigido por Fred Zilian, profesor adjunto de Historia y Política en la Universidad Salve Regina.

La "Conferencia virtual de la celebración del decimoquinto día: Afroamericano no-libertad, 1877 - 1960", abordará el período desde el final de la Reconstrucción hasta el final de la década de 1960, un período de "no-libertad" y desigualdad para los afroamericanos. El decimonoveno es una festividad que celebra la emancipación en 1865 de aquellos que habían sido esclavizados en los Estados Unidos. También se conoce como Día de la Emancipación, Día de la Libertad, Día del Jubileo o Día de la Liberación. Para obtener más información o registrarse para el evento virtual del 16 de junio, click here.

Sankof y the New port Art Museum Invite a la comunidad a unirse a la celebración del Día de la Renovación y la celebración festiva del diecinueve de junio, el sábado 19 de junio de 11:00 am a 12:30 pm. El evento comenzará con una ceremonia de la bandera en el Ayuntamiento de Newport, seguida de una procesión a la Casa de Reuniones de los Grandes Amigos, luego a The Liberty Tree, con la narración de la RI Black Storytellers, music, exhibiciones de obras de arte de miembros de la comunidad y una dedicación al evento Liberty Tree / Day of Renewal escrito por el Dr. Edward E. Andrews, Profesor Asociado de Historia y Clásicos en Rhode Island College. Para obtener más información sobre la celebración del 16 de junio de este año en Newport, consulte este artículo en Newport This Week.