MLK Dream Weekend



While the MLK Dream Weekend Diversity Banquet is an elegant event that features a top of the line speaker, the most powerful facet is seeing the many people from various communities come together in celebration of Dr. King’s vision. Minister Eddie Young, MLK Dream Weekend Community Outreach Chair


Minister Eddie Young

Across the Board







WHAT: An arts exhibition to promote inclusion and diversity in the spirit of community. The HeadStrong movement sparks conversations to create a community where all views, visions and voices are accepted and acknowledged.

HOW: Youth from across Greenville County were challenged to mobilize and contribute to a collaborative art experience that advanced diversity and inclusion in their community. Groups of students from art clubs, student councils, honor societies, and service clubs hosted an event that contributed to the project. Each student group was given a canvas with a word that detracts from the idea of unity and progress (ie. hate, aversion, prejudice, etc.) Students were then asked to dip a paintbrush in their choice of color and throw the paint toward the canvas to cover the word.

Through this action, youth “made their mark” on the issues that inhibit inclusion in our communities. The canvas-board, dropcloth, brushes and paint were provided for the students by way of community partnerships.

Through this experience, youth came together in a collective effort to celebrate the freedom of expression. The collaborative partnership between MLK Dream Weekend, Greenville County Schools and the HeadStrong Generation presents a tangible example of a community that values diversity and creates inclusion through the arts.

WHO: Across the Board was a partnership between MLK Dream Weekend, Greenville County School District, Greenville Forward and the HeadStrong Generation. Participating schools included: Carolina, Greenville, Hillcrest, JL Mann, Mauldin, Riverside and Woodmont.

WHEN: Each school received their materials for the project on December 2nd and had until December 16th to host the experience.

December 2nd thru 16th – Stage 1:

At each high school involved in the project, a package containing supplies (paintbrushes, canvas, dropcloth paint) and a document explaining the project and the steps to completion were presented to the identified student-group or art society. Each canvas displayed a painted word that addresses a challenge that we face as a community; a concept that stifles progress and inhibits diversity. Students “made their mark” to visually address this issue by throwing brushes filled paint (with the colors of their school) at the canvas, creating a collaborative splatter-painted piece of art. A group of students from each school presented their piece at a student-led arts exhibition on January 7th, which was facilitated by the HeadStrong Council.

January 7th – Stage 2:

A student-led arts exhibition showcased the splattered canvases and discussed how youth have turned the page on these issues to create a more inclusive and diverse community. After the discussion, the words weree covered by painting a positive expression opposite of the original word on the canvas. This expression visually symbolizes that youth are committed to addressing these issues by first acknowledging their presence.

Rather than ignoring the issues we face as a community, youth worked together to overcome them by focusing on the factors that bring us together: the expression of our ideas, gifts and talents. This exhibition allowed the schools who participated in the first stage of the project, to showcase an artistic entry in an event that celebrates the talents of youth from across the county. At this event, MLK Dream Weekend and the Dream Banquet were promoted and discussed to generate interest in the cause.

January 13th – MLK Dream Banquet:

The completed art pieces were presented before the event in the lobby of the TD Convention Center alongside the before and after pictures that show the process of the project and the experience the youth planned. These final pieces showcased a positive expression that furthers the spirit of inclusion that lies at the heart of the banquet. Students who participated in the project had the opportunity to attend the banquet as a youth representative. While the students did not present the projects during the event itself, their presence in the lobby added a creative dynamic and youthful edge to the banquet.

January 16th – Dreams in Action Day:

Held at Greenville High School from 9 am to 1 pm. Participating students had the opportunity to present the project and share their experience.