Published on January 6th, 2023 | by University of Mississippi


University of Mississippi Students, Staff Join Community for MLK Day of Service Activities

Volunteers gathering to honor King’s legacy through community engagement

Many University of Mississippi students, faculty and staff members, and community volunteers will spend their January 16 cleaning, doing yardwork, packing literacy kits, composting, making dog toys and more as part of a university-led Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service.

The annual day of service provides volunteers from the campus and local community who donate their time and skills to improve life for Oxford and Lafayette County residents.

The UM Division of Diversity and Community Engagement will host a small-group immersive service experience from noon to 5 pm This event honors the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Event check-in and kickoff will be at the Jackson Avenue Center, where volunteers will be dispersed to various volunteer sites around Oxford. Anyone can register to volunteer through Give Pulse.

“Through active participation in the community and intentional relationship building, the MLK Day of Service seeks to continue Dr. King’s legacy of love, service and community,” said Castel V. Sweet, director of community engagement. “We have committed to cross-promoting communitywide activities and supporting broad campus and community participation.”

Among the participating community partners are the Boys and Girls Club of Oxford, the Gordon Community and Cultural Center, LeapFrog, UM JumpStart, UM Office of Sustainability, and the Oxford Animal Resource Center.

“The day of service offers a powerful experience that builds on the larger goal of creating immersive service-learning opportunities for students,” said Avery McNeece, assistant director of engagement.

Kenorous Wilson, director of the Boys and Girls Club of Oxford, said he appreciates the work performed by university students and community members on the facility’s behalf.

“Through the MLK Day of Service, Ole Miss students have provided maintenance to our buildings, which improves our operations,” Wilson said. “Their volunteer service speaks volumes about their level of commitment to the youth of Oxford and Lafayette County.”

Kathy Watcher, president of the Oxford Community Garden, said the organization appreciates any and all help the Ole Miss community provides.

“I’m hoping to possibly have them build another arbor as a day of service project this year,” said Watcher, who has been involved with MLK Day of Service since she joined the garden in 2009. “But whatever they do will help us get ready for things to start growing in the spring.”

For more about MLK Day of Service 2023, click here.

By Edwin B. Smith

University of Mississippi student volunteers write thank-you notes to local hospice workers as part of the 2022 Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service. Many community service opportunities are available for volunteers during the 2023 observance, set for the afternoon of Jan. 16. Photo by Logan Kirkland/Ole Miss Digital Imaging Services
University of Mississippi students Camden Yates (left) and Andi Brice, both members of the Bonner Program community internship cohort, work to prepare the Oxford Community Garden for spring planting as part of the 2022 Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service. Photo by Logan Kirkland/Ole Miss Digital Imaging Services
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About the Author

The University of Mississippi, affectionately known as Ole Miss, is Mississippi’s flagship university. A member of the elite group of R1: Doctoral Universities - Highest Research Activity by the Carnegie Classification, Ole Miss has a long history of producing leaders in public service, business, academics and the professions. Its 16 academic divisions include a major medical school; nationally recognized schools of accountancy, law and pharmacy; and an Honors College acclaimed for a blend of academic rigor, experiential learning and opportunities for community action. Acclaimed as one of the nation’s most beautiful, Ole Miss's main campus is in Oxford, which is routinely recognized as one of the nation's best college towns.

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