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UM-Flint Remembers, Honors Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Through a Day of Service

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Throughout history, countless exceptional human beings have taught and re-taught us what it means to commit to a life of service. In modern times, few people have embodied this commitment more than Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Through a lifetime of work aimed at bringing equality and peace through nonviolent means to African-Americans, Dr. King showed the world what true devotion to a cause could be.

From his work as spokesman for the Montgomery Bus Boycott in 1955, which led to the desegregation of public transportation, to his pivotal role in the passing of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, Dr. King’s devotion to service is now the golden standard for what it means to give.

For this reason, The University of Michigan-Flint will be hosting its “More Than A Day” event on Martin Luther King Day, January 21. The day will be filled with opportunities to volunteer across the city.

Kicking-off the event with breakfast, Siwatu-Salama Ra, an activist and Detroit native, will appear as a speaker. Leading a life that mirrors Dr. King’s, Ra has dedicated her own to community and the environment. Starting as young as 15-years-old, Ra has spent years campaigning against the Detroit Marathon Oil Refinery and the Detroit Renewable Power trash incinerator, to name a few.

Released from the Huron Valley Correctional Facility on November of last year, Ra faced what many agree to be an unfair guilty verdict. Ra was imprisoned for six months after having pulled a registered, unloaded weapon on another woman trying to hit Ra, her 2-year-old daughter and her mother with a car.

After breakfast, all attendees and volunteers will be split into different groups and continue on to their day of service. Activities will include cleaning and painting houses, a blood drive, packaging meals, providing support for soups kitchens and more.

Dr. David J. Luke, director of the UM-Flint Intercultural Center, sees this day as an opportunity to bring about sustainable change to the community. His hopes are that this day of service and the many more hosted by University Outreach will become a staple of the community.

In a city that has seen record-breaking levels of poverty and crime, every bit of goodwill counts. If even just for a day, we should all take some time to give back–just like Dr. King half a century ago.

Check-in starts at 8 a.m. and most activities will be done by 3 p.m. For more details, you can find the link to the university’s MLK Day site here.

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