Update January 14: The rowing community is invited to a special Martin Luther King Day event featuring special guest Dr. Anna Malaika Tubbs, author of the NY Times bestselling book The Three Mothers, which describes how MLK’s mothers, Malcolm X, and James Baldwin shaped a nation. You won’t want to miss his important words!
Click here to register – if you can’t make it, register anyway to receive a recording of the event.
“Anyone can be great because everyone can serve.” -Martin Luther King Jr.
Following the efforts of the A Most Beautiful Thing Inclusion Fund which has introduced more than 2,000 young people to the sport and invested more than $450,000 in programs across the country, Arshay Cooper is working on a project for Martin Luther Day King Jr on January 17, 2022, which he calls “Day On”.
“We all know King Day is considered a service day,” Cooper said. “But Coretta Scott King said ‘King Day is not a day off but a day on.’
“Serving, and serving that day, has always been a part of my life and my job. Growing up watching professional basketball and football, the thing that stood out to me the most was the break advertising with the NBA Cares and NFL Cares foundations. It definitely changed some of my thoughts about professional athletes after seeing their service to others. With that, I’m working on “Day On” to show that Rowing Cares. I’ve already contacted a number of programs, and Brick City Rowing, Princeton University, Boston University, BLJ, Seattle Scullers, Cal, UW and many other college, high school and masters teams will be joining me and AMBTIF for a national day of service.
“I’ll be announcing it on #GivingTuesday and would like to say that you and your team are on our side to partner and give back to the local community. Only time permitting. No pressure. So please , talk to your team.”
Cooper encourages programs to partner with local groups that are already working to improve opportunities in their communities.
“My suggestion is that we challenge athletes to find a community partner with strong community roots, such as a YMCA, public school, Americorps, boys and girls club, local churches or nonprofit organizations, a food bank, shelter, hospital, etc. We want to stay away from “We’re saving this community” and partner with these groups, empowering people to help and understand how they do their jobs. ”
Cooper notes that many charities and service organizations can sometimes have too many volunteers on King’s Day and encourages interested parties to do some research ahead of time to find organizations that really need the power of the person on the 17th. January. He adds that opportunities abound.
“This may include repainting a school yard, cooking at a local shelter, or helping with school library organization and book collection. With Covid, food insecurity is at an all-time high, so maybe help at a food bank.’
Cooper offers his expertise and encouragement to individuals and groups who wish to participate.
“I’m here to help with ideas, so let me know if you’re up for it,” he said. “On King’s Day morning, I will be hosting a virtual event with a special speaker to prepare and get us excited for this day.”
We will update this news as the efforts come to fruition, stay tuned.