No school on Monday always sounds great to students, but often it is more than just a break from classes.
This Monday, BYU will commemorate Martin Luther King Jr. Day with its annual Community Outreach Day and Walk of Life.
Since 2000, the Community Outreach Day has been a joined-hands service day between BYU Center for Service and Learning, Utah Valley University, and United Way of Utah County. The service projects will include blood drives, quilt-making, writing letters to veterans and soldiers and off-campus activities such as cleaning up the Provo and Orem public libraries.
“The reason we work together is because we are three major players in the Provo-Orem community,” said Charles Krebs, a program director of Community Outreach Day. “You’ve got two huge universities and the largest nonprofit organization in the area. When we come together to plan this project and to promote service remembering Martin Luther King Jr., we can involve the entire community.”
Hayley Pingree, public relations coordinator for the Center for Service and Learning, said Monday will be an incredible time where students and community members alike put aside their needs to help others.
“Our lives are so full of the day-to-day happenings that focus on ME ME ME, and serving others really puts the focus on others and the needs of others. The feeling you get from service is unmatched and helps us grow more Christlike,” Pingree said in an email.
Interested participants should arrive at the WSC by 8:30 a.m. to register for a service project. Provo city Mayor John Curtis will share a few remarks at the beginning.
In the evening, BYU Multicultural Student Services will host the annual “Walk of Life: A Celebration of the Life and Mission of Martin Luther King Jr.” A candlelight processional will begin at the Carillon Bell Tower at 5:30 p.m. It will include important quotes and sound bytes from King’s life. After everyone arrives at the WSC ballroom, the commemoration program will begin at 6 p.m. Keith Hamilton, author of “Last Laborer,” will speak, followed by the BYU Black Student Union Gospel Choir and a reading of the winning composition in the first annual MLK essay competition.
“In all honesty, Dr. King’s message was about recognizing children of God for who they were, and fighting injustice on multiple levels, not just civil rights for African Americans,” said Anthony Bates, BYU Multicultural Student Services adviser and Black History Month coordinator, in an email. “To me, as a child of God, this event is about celebrating a man whose life and mission impacted everyone during his time, and continues to influence millions of people in the generations that have followed.”