MTCC challenges local teens to carry on MLK's legacy

Mosaic Templars Cultural Center - Friday, January 03, 2020

On Martin Luther King Jr. Day in 2018, Steven and Cultina Phillips from Little Rock took their family to visit the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis so that their three teenagers could learn more about Martin Luther King Jr. and why we celebrate the holiday. The teens were so inspired that in 2019, they signed up for the MLK Challenge at Mosaic Templars Cultural Center so that they could help carry on King’s legacy.

“We know that he did something that impacted the world,” 15-year-old Brianna Phillips said. “So, we wanted to give back to the community to honor him.”

Brianna and her 17-year-old brother Savion volunteered at Greater Second Care Center where they helped clean the building. They also demonstrated important values, like good sportsmanship and teamwork, as they played games with the younger children there.

“My favorite part was helping out the kids,” Savion said. “I loved seeing the excitement on their faces.”

Mosaic Templars Cultural Centers hosts the MLK Challenge annually to give students like Brianna, Savion and their sister Barbara a chance to use their day off from school as a day of service to the community. This year, the MLK Challenge will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 20. Registration is open at until Monday, Jan. 13.

Volunteers at the MLK Challenge in 2018The volunteers who take the MLK Challenge will meet at the museum and then divide up to help with projects like visiting the elderly at Millennium Adult Day Care, interacting with children at Greater Second Care Center and cleaning grounds and/or buildings at Oakland Fraternal Cemetery, Ronald McDonald House, Lucie’s Place and more.

Peer mentors from City Year Little Rock will lead at each site and talk to their teams about the value of what they are doing. 100 Black Men of Greater Little Rock has sponsored box lunches so that the teams can eat at their locations, and then everyone will return to the museum for a final discussion period.

“Most kids feel proud of what they have accomplished,” said Christen Stanley, the museum’s director of education. “Depending on the site, they get to see how much need there is in the community.”

Governor Asa Hutchinson will join the volunteers that afternoon to show his support for their work and to encourage them to find ways to continue sharing King’s spirit of service throughout the year. 

Volunteers at the MLK Challenge in 2018Loblolly is also supporting the volunteers’ efforts by providing free ice cream, including the Maple Leaf Ragtime flavor that Loblolly created for Mosaic Templars Cultural Center last year during Black History Month. The flavor returns to the menu during the MLK Challenge event and will be available until March 31 with a portion of the proceeds going to the museum.

Through the MLK Challenge, Mosaic Templars Cultural Center hopes to pass on King’s teachings and values to the next generation, like 17-year-old Kaleb Hall from North Little Rock. Hall volunteered at Millennium Adult Day Care last year passing out food and playing gospel music on the piano.

“Sometimes it’s just good to give, even if it is just your time,” Hall said.

For more information, please contact MTCC’s education staff at (501) 683-3592 or via e-mail at


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