USD, community to honor MLK legacy with day of service

VERMILLION, S.D. -- Students from The University of South Dakota will honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by volunteering their time to tackle community issues.

On Monday, Jan. 17, Student Services at The U, the Center for Academic Engagement and the Campus Enhancement Diversity Group will lead local residents in service projects joining thousands of Americans in making the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day holiday a “day on, not a day off” by serving others.

“Dr. King devoted his life to advancing equality, social justice and opportunity for all. He taught us that everyone has a role to play in making America what it ought to be,” said Whitney Siegfried, Coordinator for Academic Engagement at USD. “By serving on this holiday and throughout the year, we honor Dr. King and help realize his dream of equality and opportunity for all.”

Partially funded by a $1,000 grant from the North Carolina Campus Compact, local activities include USD students making door decorations and playing BINGO with residents of Vermillion Assisted Living; assisting the Center For Children and Families; working at Sanford Care Center; and completing various maintenance tasks at the Vucurevich Children's Center. Volunteers, including students, faculty and staff from USD and community members, along with local agencies will begin these and other community improvement projects  at 2 p.m.

In the evening, John L. Jackson, Jr., PhD., will deliver a keynote address at 7 p.m. in the ballroom of the Muenster University Center. Jackson, an anthropologist, filmmaker and author, will address the topics of his most recent book, “Racial Paranoia and the Unintended Consequences of Political Correctness.”

A photo of Jackson is available for download at www.usd.edu/press/news/images/releases/John_Jackson.jpg.

The Corporation for National and Community Service is the national leader for organizing the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service with help from the King Center in Atlanta and thousands of nonprofit groups, faith-based organizations, and schools and businesses nationwide. The Corporation for National and Community Service is a federal agency that engages more than five million Americans in service each year through its core programs, Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, and Learn and Serve America, and leads President Obama's national call to service initiative, United We Serve. Visit www.nationalservice.gov for more information.