POTUS et al participate in community service projects, memorial events in celebration of MLK Jr. Monday.
FLOTUS overlaps 47th birthday celebration with commemoration.
Obama: “This kind of service project is what’s best in us. We’re thrilled with everybody who’s participating.”
Remarks at the Stuart Hobson Middle School
THE PRESIDENT: This is just an outstanding program, an example of what Martin Luther King’s birthday should be all about. I want to thank all the mentees and mentors who are participating.
Dr. King obviously had a dream of justice and equality in our society, but he also had a dream of service, that you could be a drum major for service, that you could lead by giving back to our communities. And that’s what this program is all about and that’s what these participants are all about.
Michelle and I the girls are extraordinarily proud that each year on Martin Luther King’s birthday this is how we celebrate, is making sure that we’re giving a little something back to the community. And I hope that all the projects that are taking place all across the country on this day are getting similar attention, because this is part of what America is all about. And after a painful week where so many of us were focused on tragedy, it’s good for us to remind ourselves what this country is all about. This kind of service project is what’s best in us and we’re thrilled with everybody who is participating.
Pool Report #2:
POTUS remarks on MLK day of service: “This is part of what America is all about. And after a painful week where so many of us were focused on tragedy its good for us to remind ourselves of what this country’s all about. This kind of service project is what’s best in us. We’re thrilled with everybody who’s participating.”
POTUS and FLOTUS, along w Malia and Sasha, entered the cafeteria of Stuart Hobson Middle School around 11:15 am, and were greeted by the folks in the room with a rousing rendition of “Happy Birthday” for the first lady, who is celebrating her 47th birthday today. POTUS looked relaxed and enjoyed singing along, while FLOTUS looked embarrassed and hugged Sasha from behind.
When they finished, she said, “All right let’s get to work. This is embarrassing.”
The first family then toured the room to observe mentors and mentees from different programs – organized by Greater DC Cares’ Mentoring Matters Initiative –
painting “dancing fruit” on pillars, which according to a hand out was intended to “encourage healthy eating habits.” Most of the participants were seated at small tables painting college logos (a Michigan M, a few GW’s, a Penn State Nittany Lion) on to square pieces of what looked like mounted canvas, for hanging in classrooms “to get kids thinking and talking about higher education.”
POTUS was wearing a white open collar shirt with a light pattern, sleeves rolled up, and brownish gray khakis.
FLOTUS wore a gray sweater and black pants and gray Chuck Taylor sneakers.
POTUS, before his remarks, worked his way around the room, shaking hands and saying hello. FLOTUS got busy painting a piece of fruit on a pillar, while the girls sat down at separate tables and helped paint college logos (could not see which ones).
“Doing great work. Great work,” POTUS told one table.
At another table he asked two students what year they were in school. One said he was a freshman. The other was a sophomore.
“Sophomore in high school. Well you guys are doing great work,” POTUS said.
After he finished greeting everyone, POTUS came over to pool for short remarks. Below is a partial transcript.
“This is just a outstanding program, an example of what Martin Luther King’s birthday should be all about … Dr King obviously had a dream of justice and equality in our society but he also had a dream of service, that you could be a drum major for service, that you could lead by giving back to our communities. That’s what this program is all about.”
“Michelle and I and the girls are extraordinarily proud that each year on Martin Luther King’s birthday this is how we celebrate is making sure we’re giving back to the community.”
He said that he hoped all service programs across the country were “getting similar attention,” and launched into the quote at the top which references the “painful week” last week following the shooting in Arizona.
After POTUS finished his brief remarks he began coloring the bicep on a flexing apple on one of the pillars, filling in with yellow marker.
Pool is now holding in vans outside.
THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
January 17, 2011
President and First Lady, Vice President and Dr. Biden, Cabinet Secretaries, Senior Administration Officials to Honor Martin Luther King, Jr., Day of Service
WASHINGTON, DC – In celebration of the Martin Luther King, Jr., Day of Service and in honor of Dr. King’s life and legacy, the President and the First Lady, the Vice President and Dr. Biden, Cabinet Secretaries, and senior Administration officials will participate in memorial events and community service projects in the Washington, D.C., area, Atlanta, Georgia, and elsewhere.
Led by the Corporation for National and Community Service and the King Center, the Martin Luther King, Jr., Day of Service is an opportunity for all Americans to come together to help meet the needs of their communities and make an ongoing commitment to service throughout the year. This year’s Day of Service will include thousands of projects in all corners of the country.
“Martin Luther King, Jr., lived his life for others, dedicating his work to ensuring equal opportunity, freedom, and justice for all,” said President Obama. “I encourage every American to observe this holiday in honor of Dr. King’s selfless legacy by volunteering in their own communities and by dedicating time each day to bettering the lives of those around us.”
For more on the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Day of Service, please visit the Corporation for National and Community Service at http://www.mlkday.gov .
Please see below for a list of Cabinet Secretaries and Administration officials who will be participating in memorial and community service events in the Washington, D.C., area, Atlanta, Georgia, and elsewhere. Any inquiries on the below events should be directed to the corresponding agency or office.
· On January 17, at 11 am, the President and First Lady will participate in a service project in Washington, D.C. Further details are forthcoming.
· The Vice President and Dr. Biden will participate in the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service in Wilmington, DE. Further details are forthcoming.
· On January 18, Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will speak at the opening convocation of the Howard School of Divinity. Her remarks will focus on the Affordable Care Act as a victory for civil rights.
· On January 18, Secretary Steven Chu will host a Martin Luther King, Jr., Day celebration in the auditorium at the Department of Energy. Dr. Clayborne Carson, a professor at Stanford University who has devoted his life to the study of Dr. King and his teachings, will be the keynote speaker. Students from McKinley Technology High school will be in attendance.
· On January 18, Ambassador Ron Kirk will deliver remarks at a Martin Luther King Jr., reception at the World Bank.
· On January 17, Secretary Hilda L. Solis will participate in the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor’s Martin Luther King Day Parade in Los Angeles, California. On January 12, Secretary Solis participated in the Department of Labor’s National Martin Luther King Jr. Day Observance in the department’s Frances Perkins headquarters building. The keynote speaker was Reverend Samuel (Billy) Kyles, who was at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis with Dr. King during the entire last hour of his life. Secretary Solis presented Rev. Kyles with an award. In addition, the Labor Department created a special MLK Day 2011 commemorative poster that will be displayed throughout the department next week.
· On January 17, Secretary Arne Duncan will keynote at a breakfast with Reverend Al Sharpton and the National Action Network in the morning and will participate in a service project with City Year at Kramer Middle School, 1700 Q Street, SE, DC in the afternoon.
· On January 17, Secretary Ray LaHood and White House Domestic Policy Council Director Melody Barnes will join Department of Transportation employees and other volunteers for Martin Luther King Day of Service events at Ballou Senior High School. As part of President and First Lady’s continued call to engage in community service, Secretary LaHood, Director Barnes and students from Ballou Senior High School and George Washington University will paint murals, cover up graffiti, clean up around the school and assist in other projects that will enhance the learning environment for students.
· On January 17, Secretary Eric Shinseki will serve meals at So Others Might Eat (S.O.M.E.) in Washington, D.C.
· On January 17, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson will attend a breakfast with Reverend Al Sharpton, followed by a Kid Power Inc. Citizen Farm Community Service Event at Tubman Elementary School in Washington, D.C.
· On January 17, Ambassador Susan Rice will prepare ‘cold weather’ and literacy kits at Tyler Elementary School, 1001 G Street SE, Washington, DC as part of a service project with Greater DC Cares.
· On January 17, Office of Management and Budget Director Jack Lew will participate in a City Year New York service event at Intermediate School 292 and join over 1,700 volunteers taking part in City Year New York/AmeriCorps activities in Brooklyn and across New York City.
· On January 17, at 12:30 pm, OPM Director John Berry will attend a Youth Service Opportunities Project at the Church of Epiphany in Washington, D.C. In the afternoon he will attend a Kid, Power Inc. event at Calvary Baptist Church.
· On January 17, Peace Corps Director Aaron Williams and Deputy Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet will prepare and serve dinners at Miriam’s Kitchen in Washington, D.C. On January 14, at 10am, the Peace Corps will host the Duke Ellington High School Show Choir to honor the memory and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
· On January 17, USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah will prepare, serve, and share in a community meal with over 60 guests who are experiencing homelessness and hunger with the Youth Service Opportunities Project at the Church of Epiphany, 1317 G St NW, Washington, DC.
· On January 17, Corporation for National and Community Service CEO Patrick Corvington will speak at the 18th Annual Hands On Atlanta Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Service Summit, an event which will include a service project to package up to 10,000 food boxes for hungry Georgians as well as learning sessions on important community issues. On January 14, CEO Corvington headlined a national conference call and roundtable with African American media hosted by White House Media Affairs. The Corporation for National and Community Service will also promote many MLK Day initiatives including Drum Majors for Service, the “MLK Day 25 Challenge: What are You Doing for Others in 2011” initiative, and MLK Day Ambassadors.
· On January 17, the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) will perform a home maintenance project for a “Gold Star” family – those who have lost a loved one in Iraq or Afghanistan. Director Gil Kerlikowkse and other ONDCP staff will do a variety of projects, including painting, light plumbing work and light carpentry, at the homes of several Maryland Gold Star families. ONDCP is also conducting a staff diaper drive and will deliver all contributions to a diaper bank to be distributed to needy families.
· On January 17, White House Domestic Policy Council Director Melody Barnes will join hundreds of George Washington University Students to participate in school beautification projects at five D.C. public schools. Barnes will deliver remarks on Dr. King’s legacy and the importance of service as a solution to our nation’s toughest challenges.
· On January 13, Secretary Robert Gates attended the Department of Defense’s National Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Observance Program in the Pentagon Auditorium in Arlington, Virginia.
· On January 15, Attorney General Eric Holder delivered remarks at the Shiloh Baptist Church annual Martin Luther King Jr. prayer breakfast in Washington, D.C. On January 16, he delivered remarks at the Ebenezer Baptist Church worship service in Atlanta, Georgia.
· On January 13, Secretary Ken Salazar, District of Columbia Mayor Vincent Gray and Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton visited the Washington, DC Martin Luther King, Jr., Memorial to view progress underway at the worksite. The memorial, which is currently under construction, is expected to be completed in 2011. Secretary Salazar was joined by Harry E. Johnson Sr., President of the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial Project Foundation on the walking tour.
· On January 13, Secretary Tom Vilsack attended a celebration in the Jefferson Auditorium located at the Department of Agriculture in Washington, D.C. from 10 to 11 a.m. The ceremony featured Reverend Leroy Gilbert of Mt. Gilead Baptist Church, located in Washington D.C., as the keynote speaker.
· On January 9, Surgeon General Regina Benjamin delivered the keynote address at the 29th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration at the Johns-Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland.
· On January 14, GSA Administrator Martha Johnson participated in the Martin Luther King, Jr. Federal Building Rededication in Atlanta, Georgia. GSA Rep. John Lewis will keynote the event.
· On January 12, the CIA held a Martin Luther King, Jr. Day celebration where Director Leon Panetta made an address. The event also featured poet and activist Nikki Giovanni and a performance by the US Air Force Band Brass Quintet.