In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the Office of Multicultural Affairs and the Commission on the Status of Black People (CSB) hosted two community service events on January 21 and 28.
“A lot of the events we host focus on MLK’s philosophy of service and how we help people succeed and grow, and pretty much what he called ‘beloved community’ “, director of multicultural affairs Charria says Campbell.
Campbell explained that while Martin Luther King Jr. Day is only one day, the Office of Multicultural Affairs and CSB want to create a week of service that allows students, faculty, and staff a greater opportunity to give back to the community. community and live the King philosophy of one service.
The first community service event, which took place on Friday, January 21, benefited the pantry at Tech. Established in 2012, the food pantry serves students, faculty, and staff facing food insecurity.
The service event focused on assessing, organizing and restocking pantry inventory. Campus members signed up to help organize the pantry or help purchase needed groceries.
Last year, the Office of Multicultural Affairs and CSB were able to sort through and donate hundreds of books to all Head Start programs in the Upper Cumberland area.
This year on Friday, January 28, they donated books to the Cookeville Head Start program. These programs are a federal service that promotes school readiness for children from low-income families.
“Dr. King’s original aim was to push for equality for black people who were not receiving or extending their full rights of citizenship, and that in a number of different areas,” Professor Arthur Banton History Assistant to Tech and CSB President, said.
“Over time, as he mentioned in his ‘I Have a Dream’ speech in 1963, this has included other ethnic minorities, such as Chicanos – using the term of the day – Jews, and even working-class whites.”
Banton explained that current and future generations can help carry on King’s legacy by serving not only their own communities, but also others who may be in need.
Volunteerism, caring for neighbors, and addressing civic and social issues are some of the ways Banton believes King’s legacy can be continued.
Fifty-four years after King’s death, Campbell believes his philosophy of serving others and caring for the beloved community lives on. She hopes these service opportunities will remind students of the importance of being of service to those around you.
“It’s always important that we remember to give back. None of us can get to where we are, or where we’re going, without someone’s help,” Campbell said.