MLK Day of Service 2024

In January 2015, EskewDumezRipple (EDR) launched an annual firm initiative that sought to strengthen its commitment to building community and simultaneously honor the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.

The initiative was structured in the same vein as the 1% and +1 pro-bono design-oriented program established in 2005 to address social and urban inequality with the power of good design.

Each MLK Day the firm donates the services of its entire staff to amplify the capacity of organizations working to better the New Orleans community.

A short film was composed to document the day and inform future iterations of the program.

The EDR MLK Day of Service is an opportunity to concentrate the skills and interests of the entire studio towards assisting larger ongoing efforts in our community. Through skills-based service, members of the entire studio have an opportunity to learn from stakeholders about the issues their communities face and share their own expertise on how design may play a role in addressing them. Team members work with stakeholders from the partner organizations and communities they serve to identify priority issues and collaborate on design interventions that might help in achieving outcomes they seek.

EskewDumezRipple is reaching out to like-minded Design and Architecture Firms in the New Orleans area to join the 2024 MLK DoS Program, with the goal of increasing engagement capacity, expanding the program outreach, and establishing a recurring and meaningful pro-bono program run by the New Orleans collective design community.

Those individuals and/or firms interested in participating in the program please contact Jose Alvarez ( by August 15th, 2023.


Talent Development- Creative opportunities for staff to lead projects outside everyday work, explore their talents, and improve presentation skills and time management.

Foster Firm Culture- Opportunity to build community engagement through service and in working with other team members/firms.

Build Relationships- Develop new connections and recognition for doing high quality, engaged work. Improve design outreach and its potential positive impact in our community. Create stronger community bonds through meaningful results.


Increased Capacity- Access to professional expertise outside typical volunteering efforts. Focused, high-quality design efforts and final deliverable responding to actual organization needs and goals.

Raise Awareness- Visibility through a design program that strengthens an organization’s identity in the community and advances their vision by providing access to thoughtful design outcomes and useful content.

Communicate Mission- Help to clearly express values and needs and prioritize realistic short and long-term goals.


The DoS Program estimates, on average, 12 hours per team member preparing for, participating in, and following up after the Day of Service Program. Firm Coordinators (one per firm) will typically spend 18-20 hours planning and implementing. EDR will take on the role of Program Manager and lead overall program success. EDR will provide program templates, schedules, communication protocols, checklists, as well as guide/mentor individual firm Coordinators. Sole practitioners and small firms with less than 15 employees will be grouped with other firms or professionals to achieve a desirable team size based on the project.

Team Leader and Team Member Role

- Participate in Project Selections
- Participate in Project Team Meetings
- Prepare materials in anticipation of DoS
- Participate in DoS Day
- Complete Materials for Final Partner Presentation
- Participate in Final Partner Presentation
- Answer Plus/Delta Survey

Firm Coordinators' Role

- Coordinate with Program Manager (EDR)
- Organize and Coordinate with Project Team(s) (Internal)
- Disseminate Information (Internal)
- Distribute Team Leader Package (Internal)
- Coordinate Partner Meetings /Site Visits (Internal)
- Coordinate DoS Day Logistics (Internal)
- Coordinate Final Partner Presentation (Internal)
- Answer Plus/Delta Survey (Internal)

Program Manager Role (EDR)

- Overall Program Oversight
- Coordinate Program Implementation and Schedule
- Provide Program templates, checklist, guides and set communication protocols
- Develop, publish, and track Request for Proposals
- Proposal shortlist and coordination of community partner’s section
- Overall Coordination of DoS Day logistics
- Overall Coordination of Final Partner Presentation
- Distribute Plus/Delta Survey

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing
for others?’”

- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.