18th Annual MLK Challenge

To honor the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., Student Engagement is hosting a revamped Martin Luther King Jr. Challenge throughout the spring 2022 semester. The purpose of this semester-long challenge is to engage the Central Piedmont community in advancing racial and social justice, developing a deeper knowledge of self-identity and community activism, and honoring the legacy of the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Questions

MLK Challenge information for faculty/staff.

Contact service-learning@cpcc.edu with any questions or to learn more.

Submit an Activity for Points

Be sure to submit this form for each activity you do.

MLK Challenge participation tracking form

Self-Guided Activity Point Breakdown

In general, self-guided activities will use the following point breakdown. However, some activities may award more points based on length.

  • Self-Paced Multi-Media Reflections (YouTube Videos, Articles, Podcasts, Etc.)

    25–100 points (determined by length)

  • Watch a Documentary and Complete a Reflection

    75 points

  • Support a Local Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC)-Owned Business

    15 points

  • Read a Book on Racial or Social Justice and Complete a Reflection

    300 points

Poverty and Income Inequality YouTube Video (25 Points)

In this 4-minute video, Martin Luther King III talks about MLK’s fight for liveable wages. Reflection: Write a short paragraph reflection on this piece. How did you feel hearing from MLK’s son about his father’s fight for liveable wages? How did you feel about certain imagery in this video (e.g., sanitation workers wearing “I am a man” signs)?

MLK Challenge participation tracking form

U.S. Rep. John Lewis' Firsthand Account of Surviving "Bloody Sunday" YouTube Video (25 points)

In this 4-minute video, Rep. John Lewis recounts the brutality that activists faced at the hands of Alabama state troopers at the first attempted march from Selma to Montgomery. Reflection: Write a short reflection on this piece. What was your reaction regarding Sheriff Jim Clark requesting all white men over the age of 21 to come to the courthouse and be deputized?

MLK Challenge participation tracking form

Televised Interview with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. YouTube Video (75 points)

In this 30-minute interview, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. talks about times he faced discrimination, the bus boycott, and his path to leadership at the young age of 32. Reflection: Write a short reflection on this piece. What was your reaction to hearing MLK speak about his experiences and thoughts in his own voice? What are your thoughts on the idea of “token integration”? Do you think token integration is still present in the United States?

MLK Challenge participation tracking form

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s 1967 Speech on The Three Evils of Society: War, Racism, and Poverty YouTube Video (100 points)

In this 45-minute video, Dr. King talks about the frustrations of young people suffering from poverty. He also discusses his frustrations at having funds allocated away from anti-poverty programs, explaining that there is “socialism for the rich and capitalism for the poor.” Reflection: Write a short reflection on this piece. What was your reaction to Dr. King's speech regarding the country’s allocation of funds?

MLK Challenge participation tracking form

Podcasts

  • “We Celebrate the REAL MLK Day” by Still Processing

    The third week of January, we commemorate the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s death. While MLK’s birthday is celebrated on a national level, we spend time processing why his death holds a significant importance as well. We examine the months leading up to MLK Jr.’s death, including his iconic speech, “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop,” and discuss the ways in which his ideals shifted after his “I Had A Dream” speech. MLK day is a celebration of King’s birthday, and we suggest that maybe what we should really be marking is the day of his assassination.

    Listen to the “We Celebrate the REAL MLK Day” podcast.

    Reflection

    In a short written or recorded reflection, describe your biggest takeaways from the podcast. With “I Have A Dream” being MLK’s most famous speech, were you surprised by his shift in ideals? Do you find the idea of opinions/views shifting to still be relevant today?

    Submit your reflection to the MLK Challenge participation tracking form.

  • “Interviews with the Dearly Departed: Martin Luther King Jr.” by On Purpose with Jay Shetty

    Dr. King shares the best advice he received from his mother, why we treat others wrong, and what your life's blueprint should include for a meaningful human experience. He also explains his dissatisfaction with the results that followed his famous "I Have A Dream" speech.

    Listen to the “Interviews with the Dearly Departed: Martin Luther King Jr.” podcast.

    Reflection

    In a short written or recorded reflection, what is the best piece of advice you have received, and how has it shaped your life? Was there anything mentioned in this episode that you want to apply to your life? If so, why?

    Submit your reflection to the MLK Challenge participation tracking form.

  • "Code Shift" by NPR

    What's Code Switch? It's the fearless conversations about race that you've been waiting for. Hosted by journalists of color, our podcast tackles the subject of race with empathy and humor. We explore how race affects every part of society — from politics and pop culture to history, food, and everything in between. This podcast makes all of us part of the conversation — because we're all part of the story.

    Access the NPR "Code Shift" podcast library.

    Reflection

    In a short written or recorded reflection, answer the following questions: Which episode did you choose, and why did that episode stand out to you? What were the main points of the episode? What are your takeaways, and why do they matter?

    Submit your reflection to the MLK Challenge participation tracking form.

  • "Intersectionality Matters!" by Kimberlé Crenshaw

    Intersectionality Matters! is a podcast hosted by Kimberlé Crenshaw, an American civil rights advocate and a leading scholar of critical race theory.

    Access the "Intersectionality Matters!" podcast library.

    Reflection

    Which episode did you choose, and why did that episode stand out to you? What were the main points of the episode? What are your takeaways, and why do they matter?

    Submit your reflection to the MLK Challenge participation tracking form.

  • "Mass Incarceration" by NPR’s Throughline

    The United States imprisons more people than any other country in the world, and a disproportionate number of those prisoners are Black. What are the origins of the U.S. criminal justice system, and how did racism shape it? From the creation of the first penitentiaries in the 1800s, to the "tough-on-crime" prosecutors of the 1990s, how America created a culture of mass incarceration.

    Listen to the "Mass Incarceration" podcast.

    Reflection

    In a short written or recorded reflection, how familiar were you with the mass incarceration of the U.S. prior to listening to this episode? This is a heavy topic, so use this space to think about what this means to you, how it shapes the world around us, and ways to improve the system.

    Submit your reflection to the MLK Challenge participation tracking form.

Documentaries

  • "Slavery by Another Name" by PBS

    Did Slavery really end with the Civil War? The documentary "Slavery by Another Name" explores how, in the years following the Emancipation Proclamation, systematic approaches were taken to re-enslave newly freed Blacks in the United States. This system included new brutal methods of forced labor in which men were arrested and forced to work without pay, bought and sold, and coerced to do the bidding of masters.

    Spanning the 60 years following the Civil War, this 90-minute documentary includes interviews with key Black history scholars like Khalil Muhammad, Mary Ellen Curtin, Risa Goluboff, and Adam Green, in addition to moving reactions from descendants of both victims and perpetrators of the forced labor system. Giving voice to the thousands of victims from this period, "Slavery by Another Name" will challenge assumptions that slavery ended 150 years ago.

    Watch the "Slavery by Another Name" documentary.

    Reflection

    In a short written or recorded reflection, answer the following questions: In an educational system where we are taught that slavery ended along with the Civil War, was this information surprising? Why do you think students are not taught the whole truth in history? Why does learning about this still matter today?

    Submit your reflection to the MLK Challenge participation tracking form.

  • "I Am Not Your Negro"

    "I Am Not Your Negro" is a journey into black history that connects the past of the Civil Rights movement to the present of #BlackLivesMatter. It is a film that questions black representation in Hollywood and beyond. And, ultimately, by confronting the deeper connections between the lives and assassination of these three leaders, Baldwin and Peck have produced a work that challenges the very definition of what America stands for.

    Watch the "I Am Not Your Negro" documentary. (You need a library card to access this film.)

    Reflection

    In a short written or recorded reflection, answer the following: What information in this documentary was surprising? What are the similarities and differences between the Civil Rights Movement and Black Lives Matter? Do you think movements like these will continue?

    Submit your reflection to the MLK Challenge participation tracking form.

  • "White Like Me"

    "White Like Me," based on the work of acclaimed anti-racist educator and author Tim Wise, explores race and racism in the U.S. through the lens of whiteness and white privilege. In a stunning reassessment of the American ideal of meritocracy and claims that we've entered a post-racial society, Wise offers a fascinating look back at the race-based white entitlement programs that built the American middle class, and argues that our failure as a society to come to terms with this legacy of white privilege continues to perpetuate racial inequality and race-driven political resentments today.

    Watch the "White Like Me" documentary. (You need a library card to access this film.)

    Reflection

    In a short written or recorded reflection, answer the following: How do the topics in this documentary connect to life in America for people of different races? Did you learn of any privileges you do/do not have? What were your biggest takeaways, and why do they matter?

    Submit your reflection to the MLK Challenge participation tracking form.

BIPOC-Owned Businesses in Charlotte

Reflection: Which business did you visit, and what did you purchase? How was your experience?

Submit your reflection to the MLK Challenge participation tracking form.

Virtual Museum Tours

Reflection: Which museum did you visit, and which exhibits did you observe? What did you learn, and why is it relevant to life in America today?

Submit your reflection to the MLK Challenge participation tracking form.