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Todd Bernstein is the founder and director of the annual Greater Philadelphia Martin Luther King Day of Service.
In 1994, Bernstein helped to create the King Day of Service with Harris Wofford and Congressman John Lewis, both veterans of the civil rights movement with Dr. King. Bernstein is also president of Global Citizen, a non-profit organization founded in 1995, which promotes sustainable civic engagement through volunteer service, locally and globally.
In 1996, Bernstein started the nation's first King Day of Service in Philadelphia. The Greater Philadelphia King Day of Service has drawn more than 1.2 million volunteers over twenty years. Each year, it has been the largest King Holiday event in the nation. In 2012, Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden participated.
Bernstein also founded MLK365, which transforms the King Day of Service into a year-round civic engagement initiative. This program promotes and supports sustainable civic engagement by providing ongoing volunteer opportunities, educational programs, and community partnerships across the Greater Philadelphia region.
Bernstein was named by President Barack Obama as a "Champion of Change" and honored at the White House on January 12, 2012.In 2000, the Points of Light Foundation recognized Bernstein with its national Point of Light Award. In 1999, the Points of Light Foundation honored the Greater Philadelphia King Day of Service as a national Point of Light.
In 1997, Bernstein served as national planner for the Presidents' Summit for America's Future. The five-day summit brought together America's living presidents and community leaders to address civic engagement and opportunities for America's at-risk young citizens. The event led to the creation of America's Promise: the Alliance for Youth.
In 2000, Bernstein served as director of the National Shadow Convention (a bi-partisan event held concurrently with the Republican and Democratic national conventions).He went on to serve as director of the King Day of Service National Expansion Initiative from 2006–2008.
In 2013, he was honored by the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington, D.C., with the inaugural Public Service Award.In 2012, the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists recognized him with the organization's Community Service Award. In 2009, Bernstein was awarded the Jewish Social Policy Action Network Social Justice Award and the National Association of Blacks in Criminal Justice Legacy Award. In 2003, the Philadelphia Inquirer also honored Bernstein with its Citizen Hero Award.
Bernstein holds a B.A. in Politics and American History from Ithaca College, and also studied for an M.G.A. at the University of Pennsylvania's Fels Center of Government.
Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a federal holiday in the United States marking the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. It is observed on the third Monday of January each year. Born in 1929, King's actual birthday is January 15. The holiday is similar to holidays set under the Uniform Monday Holiday Act. The earliest Monday for this holiday is January 15 and the latest is January 21.
America's Promise Alliance is the nation’s largest cross-sector alliance of nonprofit, community organizations, businesses, and government organizations dedicated to improving the lives of young people.
The National Civic League is an American nonpartisan, non-profit organization founded in 1894 as the "National Municipal League," it adopted its new name in 1937. Its mission is to advance civic engagement to create equitable, thriving communities. To upgrade quality and efficiency of government in cities it enlists the business and professional classes, and promotes greater involvement in government. It also sought create merit-based systems for selecting public officials. The League envisions a country where the full diversity of community members are actively and meaningfully engaged in local governance, including both decision making and implementation of activities to advance the common good. It also promotes professional management of local government through publication of "model charters" for both city and county governments.
Harris Llewellyn Wofford Jr. was an American attorney, civil rights activist, and Democratic Party politician who represented Pennsylvania in the United States Senate from 1991 to 1995. A noted advocate of national service and volunteering, Wofford was also the fifth president of Bryn Mawr College from 1970 to 1978, served as chairman of the Pennsylvania Democratic Party in 1986 and also as Pennsylvania Secretary of Labor and Industry in the cabinet of Governor Robert P. Casey from 1987 to 1991, and was a surrogate for Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign. He introduced Obama in Philadelphia at the National Constitution Center before Obama's speech on race in America, "A More Perfect Union".
USA Freedom Corps was a White House office and fifth policy council within the Executive Office of the President of the United States under George W. Bush, who as President served as its chair. Bush announced its creation during his 2002 State of the Union Address, and the Corps was officially established the next day, describing itself as a "Coordinating Council... working to strengthen our culture of service and help find opportunities for every American to start volunteering."
Points of Light is an international nonprofit, nonpartisan organization headquartered in Georgia, United States dedicated to engaging more people and resources in solving serious social problems through voluntary service.
The Pew Charitable Trusts is an independent non-profit, non-governmental organization (NGO), founded in 1948.
Civic engagement or civic participation is any individual or group activity addressing issues of public concern. Civic engagement includes communities working together or individuals working alone in both political and non-political actions to protect public values or make a change in a community. The goal of civic engagement is to address public concerns and promote the quality of the community.
AmeriCorps is an independent agency of the United States government that engages more than five million Americans in service through a variety of stipended volunteer work programs in many sectors. These programs include AmeriCorps VISTA, AmeriCorps NCCC, AmeriCorps State and National, AmeriCorps Seniors, the Volunteer Generation Fund, and other national service initiatives. The agency's mission is "to improve lives, strengthen communities, and foster civic engagement through service and volunteering." It was created by the National and Community Service Trust Act of 1993. In September 2020, the agency rebranded itself as AmeriCorps, although its official name is unchanged.
Global Youth Service Day (GYSD), originally launched and known as National Youth Service Day in the United States, is a coordinated annual event which voluntary gathers young people around the world in conducting community service, service learning, and youth voice activities that benefit their communities, their countries, and the world. Activities are organized in more than 100 countries each April to help mark the celebrations, and engage millions, making it the largest annual celebration of young volunteers.
ServiceNation was a campaign of Be The Change, Inc., a 501(c)(3) organization based in Boston, Massachusetts. Its mission is to rekindle an ethic of civic responsibility in America through universal national service. ServiceNation's goal was to expand opportunities for Americans to spend a year in non-military national service such as AmeriCorps. National service programs like Americorps pay a living stipend and reward volunteers who have completed service with a monetary education award.
National Public Lands Day (NPLD) is celebrated annually at public lands in the United States on the fourth Saturday of September. A signature event of the National Environmental Education Foundation, it promotes both popular enjoyment and volunteer conservation of public lands.
Jazz Bridge is an arts services organization that was unofficially founded in 2004 by jazz singers Suzanne Cloud and Wendy Simon to address the lack of support for individual jazz and blues musicians and vocalists in crisis in the tri-state, lower Delaware Valley, Greater Philadelphia Metro area. Over the years, these women had witnessed the struggles of their fellow musicians and the desperation felt by the music community when the only available remedy to hardship was the traditional jam session to raise money. Seeking a more permanent support system, Simon and Cloud began to assemble like minded musicians and fans to form The Jazz Bridge Project, the organization's official name. Jazz Bridge saw a special opportunity to develop a unique, regional model that could provide local jazz and blues musicians/vocalists with no-cost or low-cost resources to support their activities of daily living—medical, financial, and professional—during times of personal crisis.
Women's Way is a grantmaking, advocacy, and education 501(c)(3) status nonprofit that deals with current issues facing women and girls in the greater Philadelphia region.
Christopher Michael Marvin is a former United States Army helicopter pilot. He is the founder and former executive director of Got Your 6, a campaign that works with studios, networks and agencies in the entertainment industry, to shift perceptions of veterans and military families. He is now the principal at Marvin Strategies, a consulting practice focused on veteran-related strategy and communication.
Civic technology, or civic tech, enhances the relationship between the people and government with software for communications, decision-making, service delivery, and political process. It includes information and communications technology supporting government with software built by community-led teams of volunteers, nonprofits, consultants, and private companies as well as embedded tech teams working within government.
Join Hands Day is the first Saturday in May. It is a national volunteer day and annual event sponsored by the American Fraternal Alliance.
National Philanthropy Day is an annual observance on November 15 that is designated by the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) to celebrate charitable activities in the form of donated financial, in-kind, and volunteering support.
The Franklin Project was a policy program of the Aspen Institute from October 2012 to December 2015, that focused on advancing national service in the United States. Walter Isaacson called the project the "biggest idea" to come out of the Aspen Ideas Festival during his tenure as CEO of the Aspen Institute. In January 2016, the project merged with ServiceNation and the Service Year Exchange project of the National Conference on Citizenship to form Service Year Alliance.