Make the Most of Martin Luther King Jr. Day
January 18, 2010
by Agnes Jasinski
By now you've probably slept in, taking advantage of the day off from class. If you venture outside of your dorm room or apartment though, chances are your campus will have a number of activities happening surrounding the holiday. Why not then recognize the work and accomplishments of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by participating in a local activity celebrating diversity? It'll probably be more rewarding than watching reruns all afternoon.
Here are some highlights we found from college observances of Martin Luther King Jr. Day:
- Former "lost boy" John Bul Dau will speak today at Champlain College tonight. Dau led groups of displaced Sudanese boys after 27,000 of them were driven from their homes in 1987 by the region's violence, and has raised $700,000 through a foundation he set up to open a clinic in Sudan.
- Northwestern University will feature a performance tonight by Chicago jazz pianist Ramsey Lewis and his trio, as well as lectures, panel discussions, and film, music and theater events throughout the day.
- Alma College will host a live performance tonight of "The Meeting," a drama about the lives and philosophies of Malcolm X and King.
Some students had planned to make the most of the day off well in advance. At the College of Charleston, teams of 10 students apiece are participating in the MLK Day Challenge, also known as the National MLK Day of Service. Each team receives $75, a van, and six hours to help a local nonprofit group complete a community service project (painting playground equipment or leading educational sessions in the community, for example) by the end of the day. A number of students from Whatcom Community College will work on two projects today, partnering with Habitat for Humanity and with the Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association in stream-side restoration.
If you need some inspiration on this important day, check out how some teens in the Silicon Valley are living King's dream. It's never too late to help out, whether it's looking for ways to make change in Haiti or as close as your local neighborhood. Enjoy the day off if you want to, but consider what you can do to help out once you're done relaxing, because there aren't a shortage of volunteer opportunities out there. And if you need even more of an incentive, conduct a free scholarship search to see the number of community service scholarship opportunities out there for college students interested in volunteerism.