Appreciation for the life and legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. will be felt throughout Tampa Bay through a variety of service projects, panel discussions, and a commemorative brunch hosted by the Office of Multicultural Affairs.
USF students kick off MLK anniversary week by volunteering at 15 locations, including local food pantries, community gardens, and organizations that embody King’s commitment to service. The Stampede of Service initiative provides volunteer opportunities focused on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals designed to address global challenges such as poverty, inequality, peace and justice.
As part of a college lecture series, Angela Harrelson and Paris Stevens (George Floyd’s aunt and cousin) discuss the importance of social justice and ongoing activism. A separate panel discussion will cover various perspectives on the differences and similarities between the ideologies and theories of King and Malcolm X.
Tangela Serls will be the branch’s keynote speaker, sharing lesser-known stories from the civil rights movement. For example, how King battled an undiagnosed mental illness exacerbated by the demands of an activist life. How King influenced her career.
“As a feminist literary and educator, I was driven to pursue my field of study. We believe it can be a powerful tool in bridging the differences between the two,” said Serls. , Special Advisor to the Dean of the Arts on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. “As a Georgia native, I have several memories that remind me of Dr. King’s legacy. I have also participated in named speech and essay competitions, and I believe that his legacy as an orator, dreamer and zealous activist for justice has had a tangible impact on my life and career.”
As part of the MLK Day of Service, the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at the USF Sarasota Manatee Campus partnered with Judy Genshaft Honors College to donate 150 individual donations to support the homeless through Turning Point in Bradenton and The Salvation Army. Provided hygiene kit. in Sarasota.
Also at the Sarasota Manatee Campus, the Florida Center for Partnership Arts Integrated Teaching (PAInt) hosts a week-long “teach-in”. Based on King’s quotes and speeches and his TRUTH framework for promoting inclusive and equitable education in education.
“This teach-in is important because it focuses on how to advance Dr. King’s legacy by exploring opportunities to advance his teachings and vision for a better world. It’s a way for participants to connect his message, voice, wisdom and insight,” said Denise Davis-Cotton, Director of PAInT.
At USF St. Petersburg, more than 10 middle and high school students from Pinellas County will be honored at the Martin Luther King Jr. Ph.D. Awards Banquet. They were selected by the Pinellas County Board of School Leaders for their commitment and dedication to community service, social justice and civil rights, and their perseverance in overcoming challenges.
In addition, 65 students, faculty and staff will participate in the Martin Luther King Jr. Day Parade in St. Petersburg. They are on a float made up of boats from campus recreation.
MLK Memorial Week will take place January 16-21. The event is open to the public and requires branch registration. See here for additional information.