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MLK Service Week impacts campus community

January 31, 2014
Huskie Service Scholars Blexendi Vixama and Keelan Wright dish up hot meals to the community at Feed’em Soup.

Huskie Service Scholars Blexendi Vixama (left) and Keelan Wright dish up
hot meals to the community at Feed’em Soup.

Students gathered during the week of Jan. 21 to attend four different events in honor of Martin Luther King Jr.

The week was facilitated by a committee of 11 staff and faculty who represented 10 different campus offices (Asian American Center, Center for Black Studies, Career Services, Military Student Services, Women’s and LGBT Resource Center, Latino Resource Center, Center for NGO Leadership and Development, Student Involvement and Leadership Development, Office of Student Engagement and Experiential Learning) and two community partners, Feed’em Soup and the NAACP.

Lucero Martinez, AmeriCorps VISTA, and Erin Holman, graduate assistant from the Office of Student Engagement and Experiential Learning (OSEEL), headed the committee. The week’s events reached a total of approximately 150 students and 250 community members.

The kick-off for the week was a Civic Reflection discussion facilitated by OSEEL. Students discussed their opinions on hot-button social issues such as poverty and racial discrimination, and how they relate to issues on campus these students face every day. Students were able to make connections with students they might never have met otherwise.

The second event of the week was Service in Action, facilitated by the Diversity and Equity centers on campus.

MLK Week posterStudents could view presentations from the centers on how students can promote diversity and equity in their own lives. Students were able to sign a dream wall that was located in the Glass Gallery of the Holmes Student Center to write their hopes for the future of society. The dream wall was designed and built by the School of Theatre and Dance.

The third event was a service event with local community partner, Feed’em Soup. Students from various organizations including Huskie Service Scholars, Alpha Phi Omega and NGOLD volunteered to help serve students and DeKalb community members a warm meal.

The final event to end the week was a film viewing and discussion at the Center for Black Studies.

Students gathered to view the documentary “March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom” and then discuss their reactions to what they saw and felt. In addition, the Center for Black Studies hosted a contest for local high school students to write essays about King’s legacy. The winner – DeKalb High School freshman Kendall Hampton – read her entry and received a prize of $150.