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Saint Mary’s celebrates MLK’s legacy with week of service

| Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Saint Mary’s will celebrate the life of Martin Luther King Jr. this week with daily events on campus hosted by the Office of Civil and Social Engagement (OCSE). Events will incorporate service, the theme of this year’s MLK week at the College.

The week kicked off on Monday with two on-campus community service projects in the Student Center, Samira Payne, assistant director of the OCSE, said in an email. During this time, they discussed issues such as poverty, homelessness, youth and education.

“Martin Luther King Jr. Day is an opportunity to reflect on the legacy or Dr. King,” Payne said. “He was passionate about justice and equality for all and encouraged our nation to unify, despite our differences. There is still much progress to be made around equality and justice in our society.”

On Tuesday, Saint Mary’s students have the opportunity to serve lunch at the Center for the Homeless in South Bend.

“I believe this week of events gives our campus an opportunity to think more about how we can use our time and talents to continue to bring positive change to the world around us and how we can learn more about the beauty and strength in our community,” Payne said.

A blood drive will take place in the Student Center from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday. The OCSE hosts four blood drives each school year, with this one scheduled to fall during the week of MLK events, Payne said.

“MLK day is often considered a day of service to our community,” Payne said. “By being a volunteer blood donor, Saint Mary’s students, faculty and staff have a tangible opportunity to give back to the South Bend community and save lives.”

A mass for peace and justice hosted by Campus Ministry will take place in the Holy Spirit Chapel in Le Mans Hall on Wednesday night at 9 p.m.

Courtney Lamar, president of the Student Diversity Board (SDB), said SDB will be hosting a Martin Luther King dinner Thursday night. The dinner will afford attendees the opportunity to reflect on King’s example of service and activism. Mel Tardy, a deacon at St. Augustine’s Church in South Bend, will deliver a keynote speech about King’s value of service and what service looks like in today’s society.

“Through his speech, we want people to take away the importance of service in bettering the community around us,” Lamar said. “Like MLK said himself, ‘Life’s most persistent and the urgent question is: What are you doing for others?’ We will also be having the Voice of Faith gospel choir from Notre Dame attend and sing.”

On Friday, a Justice Friday presentation will focus on progress since the Civil Rights Movement.

“It is important to celebrate MLK Day because of everything Dr. King stood for,” Lamar said. “He believed in equality and fairness. With everything that has been happening, not only in this country but across the world, it is important to remember that we are all human beings.

“On MLK Day, I hope that all people can remember King’s words and what he represented and try to make the world a better place. One way they can do that is through service.”

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About Alex Winegar

A junior at Saint Mary's, Alex is a Communicative Sciences and Disorders major. She serves as the Saint Mary's co-associate news editor. Alex enjoys traveling, food and spending time in "The Mitten."

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