NACOGDOCHES, Texas — The Stephen F. Austin State University Office of Multicultural Affairs encourages the campus and Nacogdoches communities to submit community work projects for the eighth annual MLK Day of Service scheduled for Jan. 15.
The deadline to submit a project is Friday, Dec. 15. Volunteers are needed and can sign up to work now through the morning of the event.
“The purpose of the MLK Day of Service is to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy through volunteerism,” said Veronica Beavers, OMA director. “Although it may be a ‘day off’ for some, we like to think of it as a ‘day on’ to do service in the community.”
OMA staff members are always looking to expand projects and expect to grow the event’s participant base by working with SFA athletic teams and other organizations.
As part of this year’s day of service, SFA will partner with the Parks Advocacy League of Nacogdoches to assist with the upkeep of Robert McCrimmon Park as well as with Keep Nacogdoches Beautiful. Additionally, volunteers will help organize SFA's Food for Thought food pantry’s inventory.
Other service projects will be conducted at public parks, private homes and a variety of other sites. Hundreds of student volunteers are expected to take part in projects such as painting and landscaping. Participants will receive a free lunch and event T-shirt.
People wanting to participate have several opportunities to do so.
"Community members wanting to get involved can submit projects for students to work on. Volunteers must be able to complete the project in four hours, and the major supplies needed to complete the project must be provided," Beavers said. "Community, faculty and staff members also can sign up to be site mentors and assist the students with projects."
Aloma Marquis, adjunct faculty in the SFA School of Art, will serve as the keynote speaker during the event's opening ceremonies. She will speak at 11 a.m. Jan. 15 about King’s idea of transformation and how it is important for us to transform on an individual level in order to move forward as a community and nation.
“The purpose of the MLK Day of Service is to empower individuals, strengthen communities, bridge barriers and move us closer to Dr. King’s vision of a beloved community,” said Dr. Griselda Flores, OMA assistant director.
Congress passed legislation in 1983 to commemorate King’s life as a civil rights activist. In 1994, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, which falls on the third Monday of 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.