TIME Indiana

Indiana May Allow ‘Baby Boxes’ for Surrendering Newborns

A prototype of a baby box, is shown outside the fire station in Woodburn, Ind., Feb. 26, 2015
Michael Conroy—AP A prototype of a baby box, is shown outside the fire station in Woodburn, Ind., Feb. 26, 2015

A baby box could show up soon to give mothers a way to surrender their children safely

(INDIANAPOLIS) — On the outside, the metal box looks like an oversized bread container. But what’s inside could save an abandoned newborn’s life.

The box is actually a newborn incubator, or baby box, and it could be showing up soon at Indiana hospitals, fire stations, churches and selected nonprofits under legislation that would give mothers in crisis a way to surrender their children safely and anonymously.

Indiana could be the first state to allow use of the baby boxes on a broad scale to prevent dangerous abandonments of infants if the bill, which unanimously passed the House this week, clears the state Senate. Republican state Rep. Casey Cox and child-safety advocates say they’re unaware of any other states that have considered the issue at the level Indiana has.

Cox says his bill is a natural progression of the “safe haven” laws that exist in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Those give parents a legal way to surrender newborns at hospitals, police stations and other facilities without fear of prosecution so long as the child hasn’t been harmed.

Many children, however, never make it that far. Dawn Geras, president of the Save the Abandoned Babies Foundation in Chicago, said safe haven laws have resulted in more than 2,800 safe surrenders since 1999. But more than 1,400 other children have been found illegally abandoned, nearly two-thirds of whom died.

Cox said his proposal draws on a centuries-old concept to help “those children that are left in the woods, those children that are abandoned in dangerous places.”

Baby boxes, known in some countries as baby hatches or angel cradles, originated in medieval times, when convents were equipped with revolving doors known as “foundling wheels.” Unwanted infants were placed in compartments in the doors, which were then rotated to get the infant inside.

Hundreds of children have been surrendered in modern-day versions in place in Europe and Asia. The devices are even the subject of a new documentary titled “The Drop Box,” which chronicles the efforts of a pastor in Seoul, South Korea, to address child abandonment.

Supporters contend the boxes can save lives by offering women who can’t face relinquishing a child in person a safe and anonymous alternative to abandonment or infanticide.

But critics say the boxes make it easier to abandon a child without exploring other options and contend they do nothing to address poverty and other societal issues that contribute to unwanted babies. Some baby hatches in China have been so overwhelmed by abandonments in recent years that local officials have restricted their use or closed them.

The United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child has called for a ban on the boxes in Europe and has urged countries to provide family planning and other support to address the root causes of abandonments, according to spokeswoman Elizabeth Throssell.

Whether the U.S. is ready for the boxes is a matter of debate. Geras said many parents who surrender their children at safe haven sites need medical care that they won’t get if they leave the baby in a box. Handing the child to a trained professional also provides an opportunity to determine whether the mother simply needs financial support or other help to develop a parenting plan.

“If you use a baby box, you have stripped away that option,” Geras said. “There’s a lot of things that need to be done to improve safe haven laws throughout the country, but that’s not one of them.”

A better approach, she said, is for states to spend more money to promote their existing laws.

Monica Kelsey, a Woodburn, Indiana, firefighter and medic who is president of Safe Haven Baby Boxes Inc., said the boxes aren’t meant to circumvent the laws that already exist. Instead, they’re part of a broader approach that includes increasing awareness about the laws and other options available to new mothers in crisis.

“If these boxes are the answer, great,” she said. “We’re trying to come at it from all angles.”

Kelsey, who was abandoned in a hospital shortly after her birth because her mother’s pregnancy was the result of rape, suggested the boxes to Cox and has formed a nonprofit that is working with a Fort Wayne, Indiana, company to develop a prototype. It would be about 2 feet long and be equipped with heating or cooling pads and sensors that would set off alarms when the box is opened and again when a weight is detected inside.

The boxes also would include a silent alarm that mothers could activate themselves by pushing a button.

“We’re giving her the power to do what’s right,” Kelsey said. “We’re hoping that these girls know that once they push that button, their baby will be saved.”

She stressed that the boxes should be viewed as a “last resort” and would include a toll-free number staffed 24 hours a day by a counselor who would first ask the caller to surrender the baby to a person.

The state health department would regulate the boxes. Cox’s bill, which covers children up to 31 days old, also would create a public registry listing box locations.

Kelsey said the bill expands safe haven locations to include churches and established nonprofits that deal with child-welfare issues to ensure that everyone has access.

“We want these locations to be able to accept a child if somebody … thinks this is the only thing they can do,” she said.

TIME chicago

Chicago Mayor to Face Runoff Against County Commissioner

US-POLITICS-OBAMA-PULLMAN
Jim Watson—AFP/Getty Images Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel introduces President Obama to deliver remarks and announce the Pullman National Monument at Gwendolyn Brooks College Preparatory Academy in Chicago on Feb. 19, 2015

Emanuel pledged to rev up campaigning immediately

(CHICAGO) — After failing to persuade a majority of Chicago voters to back his re-election bid, Mayor Rahm Emanuel could face an even stiffer challenge in April against a runoff opponent aiming to consolidate the support of residents unhappy with how the former White House chief of staff has managed the nation’s third-largest city.

In a race Tuesday against four challengers, Emanuel discovered it wasn’t enough to spend millions of dollars on TV ads, earn the backing of the city’s business leaders, and secure the hometown endorsement of President Barack Obama. In order to keep the job, he’ll need to win another race in six weeks against Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, a Cook County commissioner who claims the backing of teachers, unions and neighborhood residents disillusioned with Emanuel.

Emanuel pledged to rev up campaigning immediately, starting Wednesday morning by shaking hands with residents at Chicago Transit Authority stops.

“We will get back out there, talking to our friends and families and neighbors as they make a critical choice about who has the strength, who has the leadership, who has the ideas to move this great city forward,” Emanuel told supporters Tuesday evening.

But Garcia and his supporters said they’d be ready for another contest, with national groups poised to weigh in on the mayor’s race.

“This city deserves a mayor who will put people first, not big money, special interests,” Garcia said. “I will be that mayor.”

Garcia, born in Mexico and raised in Chicago, billed himself as the “neighborhood guy.” He drew on his contacts with community organizers and support from the Chicago Teachers Unions, whose leader, Karen Lewis, considered a mayoral bid before being diagnosed with a brain tumor.

With nearly all the votes counted, Emanuel had 45 percent, Garcia 34 percent, and the three other candidates divided the rest.

During the campaign, Garcia and the three other challengers played on discontentment in Chicago’s neighborhoods, where frustrations linger over Emanuel’s push to close dozens of schools. They also criticized Emanuel’s roughly $16 million fundraising operation — more than four times his challengers combined — and attention to downtown improvements.

The American Federation of Teachers said the election showed “a real yearning” for a mayor who listens to working families. Also, at least one of Emanuel’s other challengers — businessman Willie Wilson who captured more than 10 percent of the vote — said he wanted to meet with Garcia.

Garcia, Wilson and the other challengers — Alderman Bob Fioretti and activist William Walls — also critiqued the mayor on his handling of violence.

Voters noted both issues at the polls, with estimates signaling lower turnout than 2011 after former Mayor Richard Daley retired, leaving the mayor’s race wide open. About 42 percent of eligible voters came to the polls then, compared with roughly 34 percent Tuesday.

Emanuel won his first mayoral race in 2011 without a runoff.

Joyce Rodgers, who is retired, said she believed the school closings cost Emanuel the trust of the African-American community — and possibly the president’s. Most Chicago Public Schools students are minorities.

“There is total disappointment (in Emanuel),” she said. “I believe that Obama’s been let down, too, he’s just not going to say it.”

Still others said they were supporting Emanuel because of his work on job creation, education and safer neighborhoods.

“Rahm has all (those) contacts and he is getting those corporations here, so he is giving people hope they can get a good job,” said Willie King, a 56-year-old retired janitor.

On the campaign trail, Emanuel said his first term saw some tough decisions and payoffs, including budgets that didn’t rely on property tax increases, drawing business to the city, getting a longer school day and raising the minimum wage.

“We have come a long way, and we have a little bit further to go,” Emanuel told supporters.

TIME cities

Rahm Emanuel Seeks to Avoid Runoff in Chicago Mayoral Election

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel talks with residents at a senior living center during a campaign stop on Feb. 23, 2015 in Chicago.
Scott Olson—Getty Images Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel talks with residents at a senior living center during a campaign stop on Feb. 23, 2015 in Chicago.

The incumbent must receive at least 50% of the vote in Tuesday's election

It’s Election Day in Chicago, and Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the four candidates that are vying for his spot spent the past couple of days scrambling for last-minute votes.

Emanuel needs to get over 50% of the vote in order to avoid a runoff in the non-partisan contest. He’s raised about $15 million in the race, according to the Chicago Tribune, and has received vocal support from President Obama, who praised his former White House chief of staff during a visit to Chicago last week. The president has appeared in a radio spot, is featured in Emanuel’s latest ad, and even stopped by a campaign office during his visit.

Emanuel’s biggest challenge comes from Cook County Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, who has criticized the mayor for spending big in the race—saying it’s proof that wealthy donors are funding his campaign.

According to a recent Chicago Tribune poll, Emanuel had 45% of the vote while Garcia had 20%. Challengers Alderman Bob Fioretti and Businessman Willie Wilson each had 7% of the vote and candidate William Walls held 2% of the vote.

[Chicago Tribune]

TIME Crime

Fifty Shades of Grey Inspired Student’s Sexual Assault, Prosecutors Say

Mohammad Hossain has been charged with criminal sexual assault after an incident over the weekend where scenes from the '50 Shades of Grey' movie were recreated—Cook County Sheriff's
Cook County Sheriff's Office Mohammad Hossain has been charged with criminal sexual assault after an incident over the weekend

Chicago freshman is accused of using restraints and sexual violence without a woman's consent

A University of Illinois-Chicago (UIC) college freshman has been accused of sexually assaulting a 19-year-old female classmate during what prosecutors said Monday was a reenactment of scenes from the movie Fifty Shades of Grey.

Mohammad Hossain, 19, and the woman went to Hossain’s dorm room on Saturday evening where Hossain is accused of using restraints and sexual violence without the woman’s consent, Assistant State’s Attorney Sarah Karr told the Chicago Tribune. After leaving the dorm room, the woman told someone about the incident and the police were called.

Upon initial questioning by university detectives, Hossain confessed to the assault and told them that he and the female were re-creating parts of the movie, which features scenes of bondage and sadomasochism. He also admitted to “doing something wrong,” the Tribune reports. He has been charged with aggravated criminal sexual assault, a felony.

Hossain is a student leader at UIC, prompting Cook County judge Adam Bourgeois Jr. to ask how a movie could “persuade him to do something like this?” Public defender Sandra Bennewitz responded, “He would say that it was consensual.”

The movie, which has so far grossed over $130 million in the U.S, has been targeted by groups working to prevent domestic abuse, who say it promotes violence against women.

Hossain’s bail was set at $500,000.

[Chicago Tribune]

Read next: This Guy Really Doesn’t Want You To Know He Saw Fifty Shades of Grey

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

TIME faith

Chicago-Area Imam Charged With Sex Abuse at Islamic School

Mohammad Abdullah Saleem
Elgin Police Department/AP Mohammad Abdullah Saleem

Mohammad Abdullah Saleem, 75, is charged with felony criminal sexual abuse

(CHICAGO) — The longtime head of a suburban Chicago Islamic school has been charged with sexually assaulting a woman who worked there, and a civil suit filed Tuesday accuses him of abusing that employee and three teenage students. The legal actions shed light on an issue that even many Muslims say is too often pushed into the shadows within their communities.

Mohammad Abdullah Saleem, 75 — who founded the Institute of Islamic Education and is regarded as a leading Islamic scholar, or imam, in the United States — is charged with felony criminal sexual abuse. Prosecutors said he abused the 23-year-old woman, an administrative assistant at the Elgin school, in a series of escalating incidents over months.

The civil suit accuses Saleem of abusing that employee, as well as three female students at the school as far back as the 1980s. The lawyer in that case, Steven Denny, said Saleem took advantage of both the trust accorded to him as a religious leader and of the tendency of Muslims to remain silent on matters of sex and sexual abuse.

“This place was ripe for abuse,” Denny told a news conference.

It took special courage, he added, for his clients to come forward within a culture that discourages even casual contact — never mind explicit sexual contact.

The suit says a fifth person was abused when he was 11 by a male staffer at the school, not Saleem. It accuses the school of failing to protect children, many of whom lived on campus. It asks for more than $1.5 million in compensation, saying the victims are psychologically scarred.

Defense attorney Thomas Glasgow said he talked to his client about the Elgin charges and that Saleem “categorically denies the allegations.” He hadn’t had a chance to speak to him about the lawsuit. No one answered the phone Tuesday at the school, which has students from grades six through 12 and is 25 miles northwest of Chicago.

Saleem, of Gilberts, was arrested Sunday, Elgin police said. Authorities started investigating after the woman contacted them in December.

During a Tuesday bond hearing, prosecutors alleged that a month after the woman started working at the school in 2012, Saleem started removing the religious veil from her face and came into her office to hug her. Over several months, prosecutors said, he would hug her and squeeze her buttocks and breasts over her clothes.

Last April, prosecutors say Saleem locked the door of the woman’s office, lifted her dress, forced her to sit on top of him, massaged her and held her down when she tried to get up. Prosecutors say they collected evidence.

The lawsuit says that when one female student told a teacher Saleem touched her inappropriately, she was told, “Saleem is an old man and old people do things like that — so just forget it.”

Saleem’s bond was set at $250,000 and he was ordered to have no contact with the accuser, her family or anyone under age 18. Glasgow said he expected Saleem to post bond later Tuesday. Saleem, who also had to surrender his passport, is due in court again March 10.

At Denny’s news conference, a statement from the 23-year-old woman called on Muslims to speak up about sexual abuse. She said, “I will no longer stay silent.”

The chairman of the Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater America, to which the school belongs, says he examined the facility’s bylaws and found they granted Saleem almost absolute decision-making power. In light of Saleem’s arrest, Mohammed Kaiseruddin said Islamic schools nationwide should rework their bylaws to allow greater oversight.

Nadiah Mohajir, director of HEART Women and Girls, which raises awareness about sexual abuse in the Muslim community, called Saleem’s arrest “a wake-up call” that presented an opportunity to address a topic that’s been taboo for too long.

“The shame and stigma surrounding sexual abuse is even higher in Muslim communities, with its emphasis on purity and modesty,” she said.

Kaiseruddin said the matter illustrated that Muslims were not immune to a problem that has plagued the Roman Catholic Church.

“We found out that Muslims are burdened by the same (issue) other faiths are burdened with,” he said.

TIME Infectious Disease

5 Chicago Babies Have Measles

Large Outbreak Of Measles Reported In California
Justin Sullivan—Getty Images Vials of measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine are displayed on a counter at a Walgreens Pharmacy on Jan. 26, 2015 in Mill Valley, Calif.

All were under the age of 1

Five infants attending a KinderCare Learning Center in Chicago have measles.

According to NBC Chicago, two of the infants were confirmed with lab tests and three were confirmed based on symptoms, but have lab tests that are still pending. All of the infants are under the age of 1.

The first dose of the vaccine for measles, MMR, is supposed to be given to children starting at 12 through 15 months and a second dose at 4 through 6 years. Given the age of the infants, it is possible they were not vaccinated yet.

“We began the contact investigation to learn about the different places where exposures could have occurred, learn more about the symptoms, and see if there are any other unvaccinated individuals in the home,” says Amy Poore-Terrell, director of public relations at the Cook County Department of Public Health.

Staff and students of the center were told to stay home and away from unvaccinated people for 21 days if they had not received a measles vaccination. Poore-Terrell says individuals at the facility who are unvaccinated are at a risk, and nurses with the department are already in contact with them.

The last exposure at the facility was on Feb. 3 and Poore-Terrell says the health department informed the day care to exclude anyone who was unvaccinated from returning the next day. Since the virus circulates in the air for up to two hours, she says they do not have reason to believe the virus was circulating when other unvaccinated people where at the center. It has not undergone special cleaning.

A case of measles had been reported in Chicago a month ago. NBC reports that only 10 cases of measles had been reported in the state of Illinois over the past five years.

The new cases add to more than 100 cases reported in 14 states in the U.S. this year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will likely release updated numbers on Monday.

TIME Research

These Are the Cities With the Most Bed Bugs

530019917
Getty Images

The cities with the most cases of bed bugs in the United States are Chicago, Detroit and Columbus, Ohio, according to a recent promotional study released by the pest control company Orkin.

Orkin calculated the number of bed bug treatments it performed between January to December 2014, and ranked the cities based on how often they were called in. Having bed bugs doesn’t mean a living place is especially dirty, and any home or workplace is susceptible if bed bugs travel on clothing or in luggage.

Citing data maintained by the pest control industry, Orkin says Americans spent around $446 million getting rid of bed bugs in 2013. The bed bug business increased 18% last year, Orkin says.

Here’s the full list of cities ranked from most to least cases of bed bugs:

  1. Chicago
  2. Detroit
  3. Columbus, Ohio
  4. Los Angeles
  5. ClevelandAkronCanton, Ohio
  6. DallasFt. Worth
  7. Cincinnati
  8. Denver
  9. RichmondPetersburg, Va.
  10. Dayton, Ohio
  11. Indianapolis
  12. Houston
  13. SeattleTacoma
  14. Washington, District of ColumbiaHagerstown, Md.
  15. Milwaukee
  16. San FranciscoOaklandSan Jose
  17. RaleighDurhamFayetteville, N.C.
  18. New York
  19. CharlestonHuntington, W.Va.
  20. Grand RapidsKalamazooBattle Creek, Mich.
  21. Omaha, Neb.
  22. Louisville, Ky.
  23. Nashville, Tenn.
  24. Lexington, Ky.
  25. Atlanta
  26. Buffalo, N.Y.
  27. SacramentoStocktonModesto, Calif.
  28. Syracuse, N.Y.
  29. BostonManchester
  30. Charlotte, N.C.
  31. Baltimore
  32. PhoenixPrescott
  33. MiamiFt. Lauderdale
  34. Knoxville, Tenn.
  35. Cedar RapidsWaterlooDubuque, Iowa
  36. MinneapolisSt. Paul
  37. HartfordNew Haven, Conn.
  38. ChampaignSpringfieldDecatur, Ill.
  39. San Diego
  40. LincolnHastingsKearney, Neb.
  41. Kansas City, Mo.
  42. Honolulu
  43. AlbanySchenectadyTroy, N.Y.
  44. Colorado SpringsPueblo, Colo.
  45. Myrtle BeachFlorence, S.C.
  46. St. Louis
  47. GreenvilleSpartanburg, S.C.Asheville, N.C.
  48. Bowling Green, Ky.
  49. Ft. Wayne, Ind.
  50. Toledo, Ohio

 

 

TIME Innovation

Five Best Ideas of the Day: January 23

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

1. Though the “No Child Left Behind” brand is thoroughly tarnished, the law sparked the revolution of data-driven educating.

By Nick Sheltrown in EdSurge

2. To help cities plan for flooding, drought, wildfires and other effects of climate change, the University of Michigan built an adaptation tool for the Great Lakes region.

By Lisa A. Pappas at University of Michigan’s Graham Sustainability Institute

3. Teachers are underpaid in America. Early childhood workers earns even less for setting the foundation of all future learning for our children. That should change.

By Laura Bornfreund at New America Foundation

4. Chicago’s ‘Crime Lab’ — which uses scientific research to understand and experiment with innovative ways to prevent crime — could be replicated in other cities.

By Tina Rosenberg in Fixes, at the New York Times

5. To reduce billions of needless miles driving, a startup is bringing the Uber model to the trucking industry.

By Liz Gannes in Re/code

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME portfolio

Go Inside the Lives of Families Affected by Gun Violence

Carlos Javier Ortiz spent eight years documenting the effects of gun violence on communities in Chicago and Philadelphia

Siretha White was at her 11th birthday party when she was killed in 2006. Nugget, as she was known to her family, had been celebrating in her cousin’s home when gunman Moses Phillips, who had reportedly been aiming at a man who was on the porch, shot through the front window fatally wounding her as she ran toward the back of the house. It was a sudden, shocking death that devastated the Whites and many others in their neighborhood of Englewood, Chicago.

The young girl’s story quickly caught the attention of photographer Carlos Javier Ortiz, who had planned on documenting the effects of gun related violence on communities not long before. Shocked by the brutal nature of the incident — and struck by how similar it was to the death of 14-year-old Starkesia Reed, who had been killed by stray gunfire a few blocks away just days before — he approached the White family with the aim of documenting the aftermath.

“The next day I was at the house. There was a birthday cake on the table that didn’t get cut [and] I spent about two hours talking to [Siretha’s] mother’s cousin outside,” Ortiz says. “We talked about a lot of things that were wrong in this neighborhood.”

Englewood often leads the city of Chicago in homicides, though there was a reported 19 percent decrease in 2013.

“[Siretha’s] mother called me that same night, she is a really good friend of mine now, [and said]: ‘I want you to do something. I want you to come to the radio station with me tomorrow and photograph me.’ [And then] she basically let me follow her home.”

Starting that day, Ortiz embedded himself with both the Whites and a larger community, locally and nationally, in an attempt to start a conversation about gun violence and its consequences. It evolved into a project that spanned eight years, and one that saw him travel between neighborhoods in Chicago and Philadelphia. Now, much of the work appears in his newest book, We All We Got, which will be on show at the Bronx Documentary Center in New York until March 22, 2015.

The images that emerged from his project are as powerful and heart-breaking as they are unnerving and thought-provoking. In one photograph, we see Albert Vaughn, who was beaten to death with a baseball bat, in his coffin as relatives mourn. In another, we see the mother of Fakhur Uddin grieving outside the store where he was killed as he opened the family business in August, 2008.

Ortiz sees the often difficult work he produced as a collaboration and would sometimes show his photographs to subjects. And while he sought to preserve journalistic distance, he couldn’t help but feel involved on a personal level with the communities, and individuals, who opened up to him.

“I saw boys and girls growing up and I couldn’t really do anything for them. I would see [a] change in the boys when they got to be 11 [or] 12. They would start walking differently, acting differently,” he says. “They start to pick up all these things from the other guys in the neighborhood, who picked them up from the other guys. So it’s like a circle.”

Indeed, having embedded himself with families for so long he started to witness tragedies unfold around him: “[The White’s] next door neighbor, he would DJ and sell shoes on the side, just to support his family. One day somebody robbed him and just murdered him.”

“It started becoming really hard. I started losing people too,” he adds. “They were my friends, people in the neighborhood were my friends. That was kind of a big wake up call.”

Carlos Javier Ortiz is a documentary photographer and experimental filmmaker based in Chicago. We All We Got is available now. The Bronx Documentary Center will host an opening reception for the book Jan. 24, 2015 and will show Ortiz’s work from Jan 24 to March 22, 2015.

Richard Conway is reporter/producer for TIME LightBox.

MONEY charitable giving

The Number One Reason Not to Sleep In on Monday

Volunteers paint walls and paint murals all over Coolidge High School during the Martin Luther King Day of Service organized by City Year in honoring the legacy of Dr. King in Washington DC on Monday, January 20, 2014.
Melina Mara—The Washington Post/Getty Images Volunteers paint walls and paint murals at Coolidge High School during the Martin Luther King Day of Service in Washington D.C. in 2014.

You can spend your day away from the office honoring the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by volunteering in your community instead.

All government agencies and many private businesses will be closed this Monday to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., but don’t let the appeal of a three-day weekend overshadow the purpose of the day.

Established as a federal holiday in 1983, MLK Day was designated a National Day of Service by Congress in 1994. Across the country, volunteer groups turn Monday into “a day on, not a day off” by building community gardens, distributing food, sprucing up schools, and helping the homeless.

If you’re interested in volunteering but don’t know where to begin, websites like volunteermatch.org, idealist.org, and allforgood.org can connect you with opportunities in your area. And if you are in or near one of these eight major U.S. cities, check out this list of resources and nonprofits hosting MLK Day events.

Atlanta

Chicago

Houston

Los Angeles

New York City

Phoenix

Philadelphia

Washington, D.C.

Beyond volunteering, you can also attend or host an America’s Sunday Supper. In the spirit King’s desire to encourage deep personal relationships between people of diverse backgrounds, Sunday Suppers have become an important part of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. If you’re interested in hosting a dinner, which can range in size from large events at community centers to intimate gatherings at local restaurants, the Points of Light Foundation provides toolkits that includes invitations, celebrity chef recipes, and conversation starters.

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