By Gabriel Arteaga, Interim National Manager, The Democracy Commitment
Since 1994, every third Monday of every January, the United States celebrates Martin Luther King, Jr. National Day, which is the only federal holiday observed as a national day of service – a “day on, not a day off.”
Earlier this year, TDC and ADP put out a call for campuses to share with us their efforts to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in 2015. We received very impressive and fulfilling responses from our member institutions, which we felt put into perspective MLK’s underlying question of public service, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘what are you doing for others?’”. While we wish we could highlight every MLK campus event, we selected only a few at random to help us spotlight the wonderful and uplifting educational and volunteer activities that were organized in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by our campuses.
Highlights from MLK Day of Service:
- The MLK Day of Service at Macomb Community College is their largest volunteer event. On January 19th, Macomb college president, Dr. James Jacobs, kicked-off their event and welcomed attendees followed by announcing this year’s Macomb MLK Student Essay Contest Winner, Dakota Jackson. His essay titled, As Friends. As Family. As Equal along with essays from runner-up winners, Elizabeth Powell and Robert Berry can be found on the Macomb MLK Day of Service website here. Congratulations winners and Macomb Community College for your dedication and valuable service to your community.
- As described by their website, Eastern Michigan University has a “strong tradition of discourse, learning opportunities, creative expression, and community building in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.” EMU held a wide-variety of different events including a march through campus, student forums and academic programs. In addition, EMU hosted their 29th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Presidents Luncheon where individuals both inside the campus and in the community are recognized for their exemplarily work and dedication.
- The University of Alaska Anchorage welcomed Dr. Bernard Lafayette, a Civil Rights Movement activist and Freedom Rider who worked alongside Dr. King Jr., to speak at their 21st Annual MLK Student Appreciation Luncheon. Dr. Lafayette gave a riveting speech about his first-hand experience and perspective during this pivotal time in our nation’s history.
- The Missouri State University’s MLK celebration elected the theme, “The Dream Still Matters.” It had an impressive agenda that included a community service luncheon, a service day with hundreds of volunteers, a voter registration drive for students, an interactive forum to discuss civil rights and MLK’s work, and a student scholarship dinner.
- Salem State University (Mass.) kicked off their 29th Annual celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., with a candlelight vigil and freedom march through campus. The theme of their celebration was “Our Journey Toward Justice,” SSU’s MLK Day planning committee expressed on their website that it was important to discuss and renew, “our shared responsibility to advocate for justice and equity in all that we do by reflecting and learning together.” Their MLK Day of Service activities brought together students, staff, faculty, alumni, and community members to volunteer with a wide variety of different non-profit organizations like, Girl’s Inc., Habitat for Humanity, and St. Joseph’s Food Pantry, to name a few. To view a full list of all the activities and volunteer opportunities that SSU hosted for MLK Day of Service, please visit their website at http://www.salemstate.edu/mlk_celebration/.
Want to know more about the logistics of each event? Contact us so that we can connect you with each campus coordinator or reach out to the campus directly to see how you can start planning your very own MLK Day of Service event at your school next year.
It’s never too early to start organizing!
Nominations for ADP’s three national civic engagement awards are due Monday, April 13, 2015.
Plater Award for Leadership in Civic Engagement
William M. Plater Award for Leadership in Civic Engagement is given each year to an AASCU chief academic officer in recognition of his or her leadership in advancing the civic mission of the campus. Chief academic officers may be nominated by anyone on the campus. The president or chancellor must endorse the nomination. Nominations materials for the 2015 Plater Award must be submitted electronically by April 13, 2015.
Saltmarsh Award for Emerging Leaders in Civic Engagement
The John Saltmarsh Award for Emerging Leaders in Civic Engagement is presented annually to an emerging leader in the civic engagement field from an AASCU institution or ADP Partner organization. Emerging Leaders may be nominated by anyone. Nomination materials for the 2015 Saltmarsh Award must be submitted electronically by April 13, 2015.
Burch Award for Faculty Leadership in Civic Engagement
The Barbara Burch Award for Faculty Leadership in Civic Engagement is presented annually to a senior faculty member in the civic engagement field from an AASCU institution. Senior ADP Faculty members may be nominated by anyone. The provost or chief academic officer must endorse the nomination. Nomination materials for the 2015 Burch Award must be submitted electronically by April 13, 2015.
Weber State University (Utah) is one of 30 ADP and TDC campuses engaged in our joint national Economic Inequality initiative.
An excerpt of a local news story about WSU’s efforts to acquire land in downtown Odgen, Utah (where the campus is located) to house its Community Outreach Center and to establish a new Center for the Study of Poverty and Inequality is included below. The full story from the Standard Examiner can be found here: http://www.standard.net/Education/2015/03/19/WSU-seeks-approval-for-land-purchase-and-poverty-center.
WSU’s trustees also unanimously passed a request to establish a Center for the Study of Poverty and Inequality.
“Weber State is one of 21 colleges and universities selected to participate in the national initiative by the American Association of State Colleges and University’s American Democracy Project, to focus on looking at poverty and inequality, and how that affects democracy in this country,” said Kevin Sullivan, the board’s vice chairman.
WSU was selected, in part, because of the demographics of the area served by the school.
The GlobalMindED Conference is bringing together students, educators, policymakers, business professionals, and
thought leaders from around the world to share innovative best practices in Denver on June 18-19, 2015.
We invite you and your institution to be a part of the GlobalMindED Conference to help inform the dialogue on improving the college to career pipeline. This is a unique opportunity to share knowledge and best practices with peers, national and international, around improving college entrance, retention, graduation, and career satisfaction.
This innovative education conference:
- Brings national and international perspectives and best practices to a global stage.
- Features experts from across industries to promote a deeper understanding of the K-12 to career pipeline and underlying policies.
- Engages student leaders to solve education’s biggest problems and present best solutions to conference-goers.
- Establishes important networks and connections among education leaders.
Experts will facilitate sessions to challenge traditional ideas and generate possibilities around the following conference tracks:
- Higher Ed
In addition, the conference will bring together 100 first generation to college students, which will present a unique opportunity for companies to recruit from a large pool of top-flight students with diverse backgrounds. We hope you will join us by attending this event along with one or more of your most promising first generation to college students.
To learn more and to register, please visit www.globalminded.org.
For additional information: GlobalMindED Flyer
The New York Times in Education offers a wealth of resources, activities and events to engage students in and out of the classroom. NYTimes.com enhances the educational experience for students and faculty alike by connecting them to the world off campus, enhancing awareness of current events and fostering critical thinking.
To learn more about our newest offering, Academic Site License, or our other affordable education digital offerings, please contact Lynn Hall, National Education Director at email@example.com.
And be sure to check out the free AASCU/The New York Times Teaching Toolkit.