UNL ‘Disruptivators’ in Atlanta, Milwaukee, Detroit and Brooklyn Create Change for MLK Day

We have a new word to describe the students we’re developing at UNL: Disruptivators.  It’s a mix of being a disruptor and an innovatorDisruptivators are the next generation of leaders who will shake things up with their unconventional and unprecedented ideas. They’re the kind of leaders who will usher in a better future for us all. Martin Luther King Jr. was a disruptivator, so in his honor this MLK Day, UNL Leadership Academy students and Moguls in Training across the country came together for some pretty innovative service projects! Read below to see what our students did in Atlanta, Milwaukee, Detroit and Brooklyn. We think MLK would be proud!


UNL Brooklyn Leadership Academy youth (high school students) and Moguls in Training (college students) partnered with ‘NYC Together’, an organization founded by Dana Rachlin that empowers youth and police to work together to change themselves, change each other, and change their communities. UNL youth teamed up with local police officers and together, they beautified a garden and began brainstorming ideas for a co-created art mural that will seek to ease neighborhood tensions between cops and the community. Students and police enjoyed getting to open up to eachother and share their backgrounds and perspectives. They will continue to work together on the mural in the upcoming months! Watch the video below!


UNL Atlanta Leadership Academy youth, Moguls in Training and staff got their hands dirty for MLK Day by joining a HandsOn Atlanta community volunteer project at the Truly Living Well Center for Natural Urban Agriculture. The center promotes economic development through urban agriculture in underserved communities of Atlanta. Volunteering alongside KPMG employees, Clark Atlanta college students and youth from Banneker high school, UNL students helped get the center’s gardens and farm land ready for the spring. After the day’s activities, students heard from Truly Living Well founder, Rashid Nuri, and how he discovered his “spark”.


2016-MLK Day Service-Group with Banner



In Milwaukee, students served by collecting and delivering toys and clothes to three local organizations, The Guest House Homeless Shelter, Ebenezer Church of God in Christ and Mt. Zion Baptist Church.

“Serving today at Church Ebenezer and The Guest House was a positive heart warming experience. I enjoyed working with my team to give back. Also, thinking of Dr King honoring what he did partially motivated me to get up so early and begin my service. It was a great experience and I hope to do more positive work very soon.” -Aniah Carter, UNL Academy Sophomore

“Handing out toys today was a wonderful experience. Knowing that I was helping children in need made me very happy. Also, I really enjoyed meeting people who support Usher’s New Look. I look forward to doing something like this again soon, thank you for the opportunity.” -Aubree Hansen, UNL Academy Sophomore


In Detroit, UNL students chose to take on the issue of poor and unsafe school conditions in Detroit Public Schools. This has been in the news since early January, when the Detroit teachers’ union filed a lawsuit against the district calling for repairing “deplorable” conditions and removing the state-appointed emergency manager. Rolling teacher sick-outs in the Detroit Public Schools have forced the closing of dozens of schools in recent days. UNL students teamed up with students in our partnering organization, BuildOn, for a day of service, cleaning and repairs at Osborne High School.


Usher’s New Look x BuildON #mlkserviceday #service #unleffect

A photo posted by Detroit New Look (@detroitnewlook) on

To learn more about how you can invest in our development of Global Youth Leaders, click here.