Monday, January 22, 2018

Martin Luther King Jr. Day: Building Solidarity the HI Way

Over the week leading up to and beyond the Martin Luther King Jr. National Remembrance Celebration last month, nearly 20 hostels and communities of hostellers across the country honored his legacy with service projects, community receptions, meals, conversations, and workshops.

In Portland, both the Hawthorne and Northwest hostels brought together hostellers from the states, Singapore, Canada and Columbia, as well as Portland community members–a total of 5 guests and 2 community members–at the Lan Su Chinese Garden on January 19th to help prepare the garden for Chinese New  Year.  From 10am to 1pm, 300 lanterns were assembled. They will be used to light up the garden’s lake during the Chinese New Year festivities.

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Guests and volunteers assembling lanterns for the Chinese New Year.


Participants received free admission to the garden, which included a public tour directly following the service work and authentic Chinese music in the garden’s tea house. Afterwards, folks headed to HI-Portland NW Hostel  for a stir fry dinner and a discussion about the day, Martin Luther King Jr. and the value of giving back to our community through volunteering and stewardship.

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In total, 266 hostel guests and 117 community members from across the country came together with volunteers to honor Martin Luther King Jr. Day through HI-USA’s initiative. One of HI-Santa Monica’s staff said of their event, “We were actually blown away by the participation… To listen in on the various perspectives and each guest identified the similarities and differences between each culture was fascinating. ”  Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a day to commemorate not only his life but honor his work of cultural inclusiveness. At HI-USA we stand behind that. “Overall it was a very positive experience … So many different people coming together,” reported by Mel at HI-San Francisco Fisherman’s Wharf.

Our vision is that hostellers become caring world citizens who are catalysts for intercultural exchange and understanding and who are stewards of the earth.

Click here to see more pictures of MLK events all over the U.S.