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The key tenets of the ACT mission are to use service experiences as opportunities to build authentic relationships, stimulate critical thinking, and recognize individual impact and responsibility. ACT aims to equip students with knowledge, skills and experiences that, when thoughtfully and critically applied, can affect lasting positive change in their communities.

Annually for over two decades, ACT has invited hundreds of students to participate in the MLK Challenge, an opportunity for service, reflection and education. In this one-day event, participants are urged to consider their impact and greater role in the world around them. ACT also recognizes that Dr. King's message of addressing social and systemic issues extends beyond service and requires consistent engagement throughout the year.

ACT strives to cultivate experiences that push students to reflect on their role in social problems. Organizations across our community work to fight hunger and poverty, educate vulnerable populations, and support the health and safety of our citizens. By working closely alongside our community partners throughout their time at Appalachian, students form a better understanding of how identity and social positioning impact the opportunities and struggles our community members face each day. Through service, students build connections between classroom discourse and co-curricular learning to critically analyze social structures and injustice in order to responsibly take action for a more just and equitable place for all members of our community.

"Everybody can be great. because everybody can serve."
-Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

A recap of the 2020 MLK Challenge:

Appalachian State University & ACT celebrated the 21st anniversary of the MLK Challenge in January 2020.  Hundreds of participants met to honor the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King through a day of service, reflection, and education. Volunteers gave their time, energy, and talents to make the High Country a brighter place by working alongside 20+ Community Partners. True to its name, layers of challenges were woven into this day. Participants gave up a potential day off from work or school to serve others; they met new people and volunteered together and learned something new while approaching problems with a positive attitude. 

Through rain, snow, or shine, it's all part of the challenge. In one day, MLK volunteers helped some of the most impactful Community Partners in Watagua County!