Stephen F. Austin State University

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SFA plans MLK Day of Service

January 3, 2012 - SFA Public Affairs

NACOGDOCHES, Texas - The Stephen F. Austin State University offices of Student Affairs Programs and Multicultural Affairs will hold the third annual MLK Day of Service beginning at 10:30 a.m. Monday, Jan. 16, in the Twilight Ballroom of the Baker Pattillo Student Center.

The event will partner with the City of Nacogdoches Parks and Recreation Department for service projects at the city's many parks and recreation facilities. The theme of the event is "Reflecting. Renewing. Leaving a Legacy." About 150 student volunteers are needed to take part in projects such as park cleanup, painting, and landscaping. Participants will receive a free lunch and event T-shirt.

For the third year, SFA has received grant funding from the Corporation for National and Community Service to support the MLK Day programs. Numerous other colleges across the nation participate in the annual event.

The first MLK Day of Service at SFA in 2010 focused on helping Nacogdoches schools prepare for the new semester. This included painting benches, creating leadership-themed art projects and revitalizing landscaping. The 2011 event focused on projects at nursing homes and senior centers.

"It's exciting that SFA students can be part of such a widespread movement to remember Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. through giving back to their community," said Jamie Bouldin, assistant director for leadership and service at SFA. "By focusing on the city's outdoor areas this year, the entire community will be able to see the impact of our students' service."

Bouldin said she hopes students will also pause to think about their own personal legacies, including the impact they will have at SFA and what they will leave behind after graduation.

Participating students will be assigned to teams as they arrive at the Twilight Ballroom. Groups will be chosen randomly to give students the opportunity to work with people with whom they don't regularly interact. Spots will be assigned on a first-come, first-served basis, so Bouldin suggests arriving as close to 10:30 a.m. as possible to secure a spot.

"We want to accommodate everyone who wants to participate, but once the spots are full, they're full," Bouldin said.

Dr. Nina Ellis-Hervey, professor in the SFA human services department and school psychology program, will serve as keynote speaker for the MLK Day of Service opening ceremonies.

Congress passed legislation in 1983 to commemorate the life of civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr. In 1994, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, which falls on the third Monday of each January, was named a national day of service and is sponsored by the Corporation for National and Community Service and the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change.

"We are so excited that students once again have the chance to make a difference in the community through the MLK Day of Service," Bouldin said. "We hope this event continues to grow and benefit the community in many ways."

In the case of inclement weather, the make-up day for this event will be Saturday, Jan. 21.

For more information, contact Bouldin at (936) 468-1088 or jfbouldin@sfasu.edu.