NACOGDOCHES, Texas — A newly bestowed grant from the Corporation of National and Community Service will help Stephen F. Austin State University’s Office of Multicultural Affairs expand outreach initiatives for its upcoming 2020 MLK Day of Service.

The CNCS is a federal agency charged with leading service and volunteering efforts across the U.S. It was tasked with serving as lead national organizer for the federally sanctioned day of service, which first began in 1983.

Last year, more than 500 SFA students participated in the national day of remembrance and service, according to Veronica Beavers, OMA director. Organizers are hopeful both that the number and amount of submitted service projects will grow with the new funding.

“What we hope to see is people enjoying coming together, giving back to the community and celebrating the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.,” said Suzie Esquivel, OMA graduate assistant and event coordinator.

Nacogdoches community members are invited to submit applications for service project assistance. Projects can vary widely but in the past have included painting, cleaning and yardwork.

The OMA also is inviting SFA faculty and staff, as well as community members, to serve as site mentors, who assist with project completion while providing advice on leadership.

Service project and site mentor applications can be found online at by clicking the “MLK Day of Service” tab. The deadline to submit service projects is Jan. 5.

This year, the OMA is partnering with several local agencies, including Keep Nacogdoches Beautiful and the Solid Foundation Association, an alternative educational experience for at-risk students that specializes in individualized assistance. These partner agencies provide not only a slate of potential service projects but also on-the-ground volunteers and site mentors.

The 2020 MLK Day of Service is scheduled for Jan. 20. Check-in will be at 8:30 a.m. in the Baker Pattillo Student Center with keynote speakers beginning at 9 a.m. Members of SFA’s African Alumni Chapter, including Bob Williams, Gilson Westbrook and Willie Trotty, will serve as guest speakers.

It is recommended that volunteers wear clothes they don’t mind getting dirty and closed-toe shoes.

Volunteers can register online at or the morning of the event. Organizers strongly recommend students and community members preregister.

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