USF community celebrates MLK through a week of service projects, conferences and other activities I USF News

Gratitude for the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. is felt throughout Tampa Bay through a variety of service projects, panel discussions, and a memorial brunch hosted by the Office of Multicultural Affairs.

USF students will kick off MLK Memorial Week by volunteering at 15 locations, including area food pantries, community gardens and organizations that embody King’s commitment to service. The Stampede of Service initiative provides volunteer opportunities focused on the UN Sustainable Development Goals, which were developed to address global challenges such as poverty, inequality, peace and justice.

As part of the college lecture series, Angela Harrelson and Paris Stevens, George Floyd’s aunt and cousin, will speak about the importance of social justice and continued activism. A separate panel discussion presents various perspectives on the differences and similarities between the ideologies and theories of King and Malcolm X.

Tangela Serls will be the keynote speaker at the brunch, where she will share the lesser-known stories of the civil rights movement, such as how King battled an undiagnosed mental illness, exacerbated by the demands of her life as an activist, and how King inspired his career.

“As a mujerista literary scholar and educator, it prompted me to pursue my field of study because I believe that literature, and more specifically Black women’s literature, can be a powerful tool in bridging the gap between marginalized and underrepresented groups,” Serls said. . , special adviser to the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences on diversity, equity and inclusion. “As a Georgia native, I have several memories that remind me of Dr. King’s legacy. As a child, I remember taking field trips to Atlanta to visit the King Center. I also participated in speech and essay contests that were named in his honor. I would say that his legacy as a speaker, a dreamer, and a fierce activist for justice has unequivocally influenced my life and career.”

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As part of MLK’s Day of Service, the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion on the USF Sarasota-Manatee campus partnered with Judy Genshaft Honors College to provide 150 personal hygiene kits to help the homeless through Turning Points in Bradenton and The Salvation Army in Sarasota.

Also on the Sarasota-Manatee campus, the Florida Center for Partnerships in Arts-Integrated Teaching (PAInt) is hosting a week-long “teach-in,” which will provide the USF community and other educators and teaching artists to discuss arts integration practices based on King’s quotes and discourses, as well as the TRUTH Framework to advance in Inclusive and Equitable Educational Pedagogy.

“This training is important because it focuses on how to advance Dr. King’s legacy by exploring opportunities that further his teachings and his vision for a better world. Teaching is a way for participants to connect their message, voice, wisdom and insight,” said Denise Davis-Cotton, Director of PAInT.

At USF St. Petersburg, more than a dozen Pinellas County middle and high school students will be honored during the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Awards Banquet. They were selected by a committee of Pinellas County school leaders for their commitment and dedication to community service, social justice, and civil rights, as well as her perseverance in overcoming challenges.

Additionally, 65 students, faculty and staff members are expected to participate in the city of St. Peterburg’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Parade. They will ride on a float, which is a campus recreation boat.

MLK Memorial Week takes place from January 16-21. The events are free to the public and registration for brunch is required. Additional information can be found here.

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