For nearly three decades, volunteers have come together for UM-Dearborn’s MLK Day of Service to work toward creating positive change throughout metropolitan Detroit in the name of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his legacy.
And the work continues.
The annual service-day event, which is a partnership between UM-Dearborn and Henry Ford College, included more than 10 volunteer projects that took place throughout Southeastern Michigan.
UM-Dearborn Chancellor Domenico Grasso, who greeted participants working in campus’ Fairlane Center packing meal kits, making blankets and more, welcomed participants to a “day-on” that honors King.
“It’s been 54 years since Dr. King was assassinated and we still live in a society of unequal privilege and opportunity,” Grasso said. “Here at UM-Dearborn we are committed to being a gateway of opportunity for everyone who has the talent and potential and drive to want to be successful.” View his video message.
Volunteers were among the more than 300 people gathering both in spirit remotely and at in-person sites to knit hats and scarves to keep people in our community warm, assembled meals for the hungry and more. See more images from the day.
Junior Allysa Decato, a political science major and Delta Phi Epsilon president, spent the day at Detroit’s Arts & Scraps, where they created 400-plus STEM kits for children at local schools and in the community. She said an Alternative Spring Break experience in Memphis she had as a UM-Dearborn freshman inspired her to volunteer.
“We stopped at the Lorraine Motel where Dr. King was shot and killed. It makes an impact on you when you see it — it’s so surreal. We saw his hotel room door, the stuff that was left in his room, and listened to the people share stories about Dr. King at the Civil Rights Museum,” she said. “He died because of his message. So what can I do to keep his message alive?”
UM-Dearborn’s Executive Director for Facilities Operations Carol Glick spent her day at Forgotten Harvest in Oak Park with Dearborn Wolverine students and alumni. They packed nearly 2,800 pounds of food to feed the community.
Glick said she looks forward to volunteering annually because it’s important to find ways to connect with people in our communities and to engage in concrete activities that help to make things better.