MLK Day of Service Will Draw Hundreds of Students January 16th

Winthrop University students will honor the legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.on Jan. 16 by participating in community service at one of 11 sites around York County.

In observance of the MLK Day as a federal and state holiday, Winthrop classes are cancelled and offices are closed. More than 400 students will spend their day off in what is the institution’s largest annual one-day service event.

“This is a great opportunity for our students to engage and build community with each other while also giving back to York County,” said Kinyata Brown, director of diversity and student engagement. “The Day of Service furthers our hope in humanity.”

There also will be a Unity Day Cookout and candlelight vigil in the afternoon and evening to remember the contributions by King, a Baptist minister and social activist who led the Civil Rights Movement in the United States from the mid-1950s until his death by assassination in 1968.

Winthrop’s community service event will kick off at 10 a.m. in the Richardson Ballroom in the DiGiorgio Campus Center. Students will be joined by President Dan Mahony and First Lady Laura Mahony, as they pitch in to help.

Each group of students will receive a “mission packet” that will reveal their challenge and then will travel to their destinations. Students may make scarves for local warming centers, make sandwiches for Charlotte’s homeless, prepare spaghetti for clients at Pilgrims’ Inn and Renew Our Community, or work on activities with area children or senior citizens.

A few community partners include: the Rock Hill Educational Garden, American Legion, VA Food Pantry, Pilgrims’ Inn and Adult Enrichment Center.

To follow the activities on social media, search #WUMLK17.

The students will return to the Winthrop campus for lunch around 1 p.m. and share and reflect on their experiences.

The event is coordinated by Winthrop’s MLK Committee, the Center for Career and Civic Engagement and AmeriCorps VISTA. Sponsors also include the Resident Students’ Association, Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs, Council of Student Leaders, Office of Diversity and Student Engagement, and a mini grant from the Iowa Campus Compact.

Later in the day, the Council of Student Leaders will hold a Unity Day Cookout at 5 p.m. in the Richardson Ballroom. A candlelight vigil is set for 7 p.m. in Dina’s Place sponsored by Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity.

For more information, contact Judy Longshaw, news and media services manager, at 803/323-2404 or

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