Lipscomb University, Belmont University, Tennessee State University and the Mt. Zion Baptist Church College Ministry are partnering to host a Martin Luther King Jr. Service Day on Saturday, Jan. 19. Up to 300 students are expected to participate in service projects at Second Harvest Food Bank, Feed the Children and local fire halls.
The service day is funded in part by a $1,500 grant received from the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) via the North Carolina Campus Compact (NCCC). The MLK Service Day is designed to involve students from each organization in volunteerism related to disaster relief.
Students will meet at Mt. Zion Baptist Church located at 1112 Jefferson Street in Nashville, at 11:30 a.m. for lunch and a kickoff event, then fan out to the service sites where they will spend the afternoon packing boxes at Feed the Children and Second Harvest Food Bank.
“The purpose of this day of service is to bring people of all ages and backgrounds together to improve lives, bridge social barriers and move our nation closer to the beloved community that Dr. King envisioned,” said Shanda White, student liaison for Lipscomb University’s Serving and Learning Together (SALT) program and AmeriCorps Vista member. “We are excited to be partnering with students from Belmont and Tennessee State again this year as together we work to make a difference in our city.”
To end the day, students will return to Mt. Zion Baptist Church at 3:15 p.m. to participate in a time of debriefing and reflection with their peers. This is designed to put context around the students’ service experience and provide a pause in the day to remember the legacy of Dr. King and the civil rights movement.
In addition to the day of service, Lipscomb University’s Office of Intercultural Development will honor King’s memory by hosting several on-campus events throughout the next week. These events are free and open to the public. They include:
- A special chapel service on Thursday, Jan. 17, during which students will have the opportunity to reflect on the life and legacy of King through student testimonies and spoken word;
- A school supplies drive for Youth Encouragement Services/Youth Life Learning Center;
- A “Cultural Conversation — Why We Celebrate,” at 7 p.m. in the Hall of Fame Room, Allen Arena. This is a campus-wide discussion about the importance of observing MLK Day and why it is celebrated; and
- “MLK’s Life and Legacy, Reflection and Discussion,” a conversation about six steps to nonviolent social change and a reflection on the week’s activities. It begins at 5 p.m. in Lipscomb Ezell Center, Room 363.
Lipscomb is also recruiting students to participate in the city-wide National Freedom March Monday, Jan. 21, at 10 a.m. Participants will meet on the corner of 28th Avenue and Jefferson Street in Nashville.