MLK Day marked with service and unity by EWU students and staff

By Katherine Senechal, Reporter

EWU’s Office of Community Engagement and Office for Diversity and Inclusion started MLK Service Day as a way for students to see Martin Luther King Jr. Day differently.

The event, which took place on Monday, Jan. 15, gave the students, faculty and staff at EWU the chance to get out and give back to their community.

There were many different sites where students and faculty helped out. From playing with the animals at SCRAPS to serving food with Meals on Wheels.

According to EWU’s website, activities included participating in Spokane’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Unity March and volunteering for various service projects. The EWU contingent spread out around Spokane County after the march to lend help to about a dozen nonprofit organization.

This event gave EWU students the opportunity to be active in the community. The Director of Community Engagement, Dr. Brian Davenport, believes that this is a great way to honor King and what he was working on with bringing people together.

“Anytime we do service, my goal is that students can see that they can make a difference, that it doesn’t take a lot to make a difference… you can spend your time in a way that has a positive contribution,” Davenport said.

The aim for this event was to remember and celebrate the change enacted by King. It gave students the chance to help in their community without having to go out on their own and find something to help with. It even got students in contact with the nonprofits Davenport has coordinated with if they are interested in volunteering more.

In the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., “An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.”

The Diversity Ambassadors involved corresponded with Elizabeth Phillips, Coordinator of Multicultural events and the Diversity Ambassadors. She organized their meetings, schedules, events and more. Her office worked closely with Davenport and the Office of Community Engagement on this project.

“I think it’s a good way to bring everyone together and include everybody,” Phillips said.

The organizers of this event hope that students would give back to the community, to be helpful and not harmful to the progress Martin Luther King Jr. and our society has made.