While there were no classes in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, more than 100 attendees participated in Newark Academy’s inaugural MLK Day of Service on January 21. With sponsorship from the Community Service Council, Black and Latino Families Network, Alumni, Board of Governors, Office of Equity and Inclusion and NAPA Engagement and Inclusion Committee, as well as help from NA Student clubs, including the Asian Diversity Group, Do Something Club, Gay-Straight Alliance, Hubun, Indian Club, Mi Casa, POWER and Umoja, the participants spent a day of frigid temperatures as a collective community warming others’ life.
Director of Community Service Sarah Fischer and Director of Equity and Inclusion Gardy Guiteau welcomed the group before Masters of Ceremonies Alan Lin ’19 and Ava Sharahy ’19 gave remarks. Ruqaiyyah Lucas-Caldwell ’20 then introduced Keynote Speaker, Tanya Fields. Tanya is a food justice activist, educator, urban farmer, food blogger, and founder and executive director of the BLK ProjeK, a Bronx-based food justice and health organization serving underserved women of color by creating women-led economic development opportunities and is committed to urban farming and elimination of food deserts.
Winter Storm Harper passing through and negative degree wind chill that weekend didn’t stop the NA community from coming together. Students, parents, faculty and alumni had the opportunity to learn about MLK’s vision for the Poor People’s Campaign and its relevance to the work of community organizer and urban farmer Tanya Fields.
“As an African American woman living in the Bronx, Tanya was struck by the topics of food insecurity in her community and desired to make an effort to change that,” Kaya Patel ’22, publicity representative for her class, recalled. “Her urban farming revolution and transportation of healthy foods around the Bronx have changed the lives of many.”