More than 450 volunteers participate in annual MLK Day of Service

January 15, 2018

Students, faculty, staff and alumni from both UM-Dearborn and Henry Ford College volunteered at nearly 20 service agencies throughout the region.

MLK Day of Service 2018
MLK Day of Service 2018
Student Jonette Howell, staff member Lisa Copeland and student Jonathan Gavia sort clothing at Vista Maria, a service agency in Dearborn Heights that provides care, support, treatment and education to vulnerable youth.

More than 450 volunteers from UM-Dearborn and Henry Ford College participated in the 25th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service today. The event is a partnership that brings students, faculty, staff and alumni from both schools together for a morning of service throughout southeast Michigan.

Volunteers started the day at UM-Dearborn’s University Center before heading out to several on-campus locations and 19 off-campus agencies. UM-Dearborn Chancellor Daniel Little welcomed participants to campus and reflected on the annual event.

“This is one of the traditions of the University of Michigan-Dearborn—and of our collaboration with Henry Ford College—which we can be most proud. Twenty-five years, uninterrupted, serving and recognizing and embodying the legacy of one of our nation’s great heroes, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.,” he said.

Little encouraged participants to refresh their understanding of the legacy of the civil rights movement and the progress that has been made since King’s assassination nearly 50 years ago.

“It is a legacy that says we will resist racism; we will resist bigotry; we will resist hatred. And we will do it in loving ways,” he said. “That’s what you’re doing today. You’ve come together to celebrate the legacy of Dr. King and you’re doing it through compassion, through outreach to people who need your assistance, in partnership with community organizations here in metro Detroit. You are living that legacy and I salute you for it.”

MLK Day of Service Chair Jonathan Larson and committee member Karen Holland presented Little with a framed Day of Service t-shirt in recognition of the chancellor’s commitment to the annual event throughout his tenure. Little will step down as chancellor this spring after 18 years of leadership.

“We’ve been doing this since before it was a National Day of Service…. UM-Dearborn and Henry Ford have a lot to be thankful for and proud of,” Larson said. “And we really want to thank Chancellor Little for his years of service to UM-Dearborn and also in [continuing to make] the MLK Day of Service a strong tradition for our campus.”

Volunteer activities included sorting food items at Forgotten Harvest and Fish and Loaves Pantry, sorting seeds and painting at Urban Neighborhood Initiatives, preparing recycled materials for use in art kits through Arts & Scraps, and preparing meals at St. Patrick’s Senior Center and the Love a Michigan Vet Project.

View more photos from today's event.

The Day of Service marked the first in a series of events UM-Dearborn will hold throughout the week to commemorate King’s legacy:

Tuesday, January 16

  • MLK Film Series: Selma
    • 2 p.m., Kochoff Hall, University Center
  • MLK Film Series: Brother Outsider
    • 3 p.m., The InCLUDE, 2130 University Center

Wednesday, January 17

  • MLK Film Series: And Still I Rise
    • Noon, The InCLUDE, 2130 University Center
  • Conversation on Race: Patrick Phillips
    • 3 p.m., Kochoff Hall, University Center

Thursday, January 18

  • Third Annual Engagement Day
    • Noon-4 p.m., Kochoff Hall, University Center
    • Sponsored by the Office of Metropolitan Impact
  • MLK Film Series: Barry
    • 3 p.m., The InCLUDE, 2130 University Center
    • 5-7 p.m., Room 1227, University Center
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