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Multiple events to mark holiday

MLK Day of Service comes home to Smith Hill

A group of Providence College students will celebrate the legacy of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. through service and reflection.

The MLK Day of Service, now in its second year, is sponsored by the Student Multicultural Activities Office, Campus Ministry and the Providence College/Smith Hill Annex.

Elena Yee, director of student multicultural activities, said she was thankful to be able to connect with the community through collaboration with the Annex.

“I’m thrilled that this service project is becoming a part of the College’s culture for service,” she said. “More than anything, it is as much about learning as it is about service.”

The 16 students and five student coordinators will begin with training and reflection on service and human dignity on Sunday, January 19. Sal Monteiro, assistant director of training at the Institute for the Study and Practice of Nonviolence in Providence, will give a presentation to the participants.

Monteiro spent more than a decade in prison as an accomplice to murder, where he studied and practiced nonviolent conflict resolution. He now regularly returns to the correctional facility where he once lived to teach young inmates about nonviolence.

In addition, the students will watch the film The Butler, which was set in the civil rights era, to give them an overview of the movement and provide some context for the service and mission behind it.

On Monday, January 20, students will start the King holiday by rehabilitating a housing unit in Smith Hill as well as cleaning a lot, said Sarah Attwood, campus minister.

“I try to think of MLK Day as not just a day of service, but more focused on building and dreaming about what kind of community students want to live in,” Attwood said. “It’s an opportunity for students to see that they live in this neighborhood, and hopefully they will feel more invested in it by helping to clean it up.”

In the afternoon, PC students will join Smith Hill residents in hosting and performing at an open mic night and potluck at the Annex on Douglas Avenue.

“I think it will be a great opportunity to have PC students more intentionally engaged in the Smith Hill community — bringing people together around a belief in nonviolence, justice, and community,” said Lauren Kelly, an AmeriCorps VISTA and Annex co-coordinator.

Marking the holiday

Other events planned in connection with the King Day holiday include:

•  Thursday, January 23: a screening and discussion of The Butler in Guzman Hall. Dinner will be served at 5:00 p.m.; the film will begin at 5:30 p.m.

•  Sunday, January 26: the annual MLK Church visit to Calvary Baptist Church for a church service and a homemade lunch. 

•  Tuesday, January 28: a screening of the Freedom Riders documentary in the Slavin Center’s ’64 Hall, followed by a discussion of the film. The movie starts at 5:30 p.m.

•  Thursday, January 30: Three Freedom Riders, Paul Breines, Jean Denton-Thompson, and Ellen Ziskind, will speak on campus for the annual MLK Lecture. The event will be held at 7:00 p.m. in the Great Room of the Ruane Center for the Humanities.

—  Liz F. Kay

 
 
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