As a way to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day and his legacy, the Pace community participated in a weekend of community service all around the metro Atlanta area and the annual MLK Sunday Supper.

MLK Day is the only federal holiday that is a national day of service. As a way of honoring the great legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., this holiday encourages people to serve and volunteer in their communities. Community engagement can be any activity as long as it helps and improves the community.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day takes place every third Monday of January. This federal holiday was passed in 1983 but was not celebrated across the nation until 1986. Martin Luther King Jr. dedicated his life to fighting for racial equality and social justice. He grew up in Atlanta and attended Morehouse College. He believed that change should be possible through nonviolent means and inspired many people today. Even in the face of oppression and ignorance, he chose a peaceful path to achieve his goal. Dr. King’s legacy inspires everyone to fight inequality and to speak up for what they believe. 

Pace students volunteer at Ebenezer Baptist Church to help clean up the historic neighborhood. PHOTO: @pace_icgl Instagram

The Pace Community Engagement Board came together to plan community service opportunities throughout the weekend and into MLK Day. Associate Director of ICGL Ted Ward helped organize these community engagement events. “I hope that students take this opportunity as a learning experience to either learn a new skill or new area,” said Ward. The organizations that held events were the InCommunity Atlanta: Center Revitalization, Ebenezer Baptist Church: Old Fourth Ward Cleanup, and Books for Africa: Sorting and Packing. Unfortunately due to the bad weather, some volunteering opportunities like Lost-N-Found Youth: Thrift Store Volunteer, Blue Heron Nature Preserve: Trail cleanup and Stream Remediation were canceled. “Through this kind of experience, you actually gain a better understanding of this broader Atlanta community that we’re all a part of,” said Ward.

Along with the community engagement, the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion invited the Pace community to participate in Sunday Supper to recognize and continue Dr. King’s legacy. This event was not exclusive to Pace and occurred all over Atlanta through Hands on Atlanta. Normally this dinner is a potluck style, but this year the event was virtual because of COVID-19. “This year’s theme was “What We Teach Our Kids About Race” which allowed us to take time to reflect on our racial history, racial identities and how we can support our children in creating a brighter future,” said Chief Equity and Inclusion Officer Joanne Brown. Hands on Atlanta recorded their version of the Pace Sunday Supper discussion with many speakers if you are interested in watching or couldn’t attend the event. 


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