On Monday, athletes, academics, alumni and others came together as advocates. For the 30th year at UM-Dearborn, hundreds of people went out to help others in the name and memory of Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr.
During that 30 years, Chancellor Domenico Grasso said 8500 people have volunteered 42,000 hours in Detroit and the surrounding areas.
“This year is especially important to us because a few months ago we dedicated our University Center after James Renick, who was the chancellor that started this MLK Day of Service,” Grasso said. “We are indebted to him, not only for starting this, but for reaching out to our community and building stronger partnerships.”
Volunteers from UM-Dearborn, Henry Ford College and throughout the community lent a helping hand and inspired positive change. They had the option to serve in person or work remotely to support community agencies like the Capuchin Services Center, Gleaners, Eternal Light and Forgotten Harvest.
At the Arts & Scraps table in UM-Dearborn’s Fairlane Center, Delta Sigma Theta sorority chapter President Destiny Proffett sorted craft supplies to be used in schools and community programs. Proffett said she looks forward to volunteering on MLK Day because of the solidarity she sees.
“It’s important to get out and give of yourself to help others,” said Proffett, who volunteered with members from her organization. “Dr. King strongly believed in service. Hopefully a day like today creates a spark that lights the way for a lifelong commitment to service.”
During welcome remarks, UM-Dearborn Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer Keisha Blevins talked about the power of voice. She said people honor Dr. King’s legacy by getting involved and by speaking up — not just on MLK Day or this week, but every day.
“Dr. King’s determination for equal rights and service to others should speak to all of us as human beings. He believed that we had a responsibility to not only use our own voices but to also speak on behalf of those whose voices are being silenced and to make room for them,” she said. “We are fortunate to be a part of a university that believes in inclusion and community impact.”