UM-Dearborn will commemorate the achievements of the late civil rights leader with a week of events

January 12, 2010

DEARBORN / Jan. 12, 2010---To commemorate the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., the University of Michigan-Dearborn will host a week of programs and events dedicated toward nonviolent social improvement and the development of positive communities.    

The week will kick off on Monday, Jan. 18, when volunteers from campus and the surrounding community spend the day helping others in honor of the 17th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Community Service Day, which commemorates the achievements of the late civil rights leader.   

The MLK Day of Service runs from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., beginning inside Kochoff Hall.  The campus collaborates on the event with Madonna University, Lawrence Technological University, Henry Ford Community College, Oakland University, Oakland Community College and the United Way for Southeastern Michigan.    

Volunteers will be dispersed throughout the metropolitan Detroit area to support local community agencies. Among the activities, volunteers will assist Bridging Communities Inc. with elder home beautification initiatives in Southwest Detroit; work hand-in-hand constructing affordable housing with Habitat for Humanity; renovate abandoned homes with Motor City Blight Busters; and partner with Gleaners Community Food Bank to sort and pack food items to be delivered to local charities and shelters.    

The community service event was established in 1994 by UM-Dearborn and United Way Community Services. Last year, more than 500 volunteers visited sites around metropolitan Detroit, including nonprofit agencies, soup kitchens, senior centers and schools.    

On Tuesday, Jan. 19, the commemoration of King’s life will continue with an exhibition and discussion called "We Don't Want Them: Race, Segregation and Housing" from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. inside Kochoff Hall A and B.  Then UM-Dearborn’s Women’s Resource Center will present its fourth annual MLK Noon Day Observance Program from noon to 1 p.m. in Kochoff Hall C.  Also, U-LEAD, a Student Activities Office leadership program designed to foster opportunities for students to grow their personal and professional leadership skills, will host a discussion on advocacy from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. in Room 1225 of the University Center.   

On Wednesday, Jan. 20, the campus community can meet at the University Center information desk at 10 a.m. to participate in the Freedom March and discussion sponsored by the Black Student Union.  And, the campus community can attend a trip to the Charles H. Wright African American History Museum from noon to 3:30 p.m.  Limited tickets are available.  Those interested in attending should register online at and plan on picking up their tickets in the Student Activities Office by noon on Tuesday Jan. 19.    

The week will conclude on Thursday, Jan. 21 with a volunteer fair from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Kochoff Hall B and C.  Also, U-LEAD will host “Living the Dream,” a look at Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech in 2010, from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. in Room 1227 of the University Center.  The activities will end with a presentation on “Confronting Our Ghosts: Jim Crow and Civil Rights” by Susan Morris of Ferris State University’s Jim Crow Museum from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. in Kochoff Hall.       

For more information about MLK Day, visit or call the Student Activities Office at 313-593-5390.  

About University of Michigan-Dearborn
The University of Michigan-Dearborn is celebrating its 50th anniversary throughout the 2009/2010 academic year. Founded in 1959 with a gift of just over 200 acres of land and $6.5 million from the Ford Motor Company, UM-Dearborn has been distinguished by its commitment to providing excellent educational opportunities responsive to the needs of southeastern Michigan. The university has 8,700 students pursuing undergraduate, master’s, doctoral and professional degrees in the liberal arts and sciences, engineering, business, education, and public administration. With a faculty devoted to teaching, and students committed to achievement, UM-Dearborn has been shaped by its history of interaction with business, government and industry in southeastern Michigan, and is committed to responding to the needs of the region in the future.


CONTACT: Jennifer Thelen
PHONE: 313-593-5644
The Office of University Relations
Room 1040, Administration Building
University of Michigan-Dearborn