Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service

BGSU students fan out through the region on MLK Jr. Day of Service

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Steady snow showers throughout the region Monday couldn’t keep more than 800 university students from answering the call to service. The snow just gave a few of them another way to help. A group of Bowling Green State University students participating in the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service came to the office of Downtown Bowling Green. While some of them worked inside creating chalk signs for an upcoming United Way fundraiser, a handful headed outside with shovels and ice melt to clear sidewalks. They just wanted to help, said Jamie Hawkins and Jenna Battaglia. This is the 10th Annual Martin Luther King Jr, Day of Service coordinated by BGSU. With the students involved this year, the event will have sent about 5,800 volunteers into the field to serve the community. Angel Alls-Hall, one of the student organizers of the event, told the volunteers before they went out that this was a way of honoring King’s own service. “Today we carry on that legacy of activism and service that Dr. King embodied. So let us go out to the community to serve today and in days to come.” Jauntez Bates, a senior political science major and vice president of undergraduate student government, said service has been an essential part of his education at BGSU. He’s participated all four years, including last year as a site coordinator. He is a member of the Presidential Leadership Academy and a fraternity both of which emphasize service. And he’s already founded a clothing company, BossUpClothing, that combines commerce and philanthropy. “You should be a helping hand to others,” he said. The MLK Day of Service, he said, helps expands how students view volunteering because they are assigned places and jobs that they know little or nothing about. “This just shows your dedication to service.” On Monday he was one of the crew helping to building 15 mini-libraries, a project sponsored by Habitat for Humanity and the Rotary Club. Addie Lytle, a first year film student, was also on that crew. As part of the Chapman Learning Community participation in the day was mandatory. Still she was excited to participate, and hopes to be involved throughout her BGSU career. This was her first experience with the Day of Service, but not with volunteering. She has traveled to Hawaii to plant trees to improve the habitat for endangered bird species. Volunteering, she said, will provide experience that she needs as a filmmaker. “You have to work with a lot of people, a lot of moving parts. You need people skills.” Interim President Rodney Rogers said the Day of Service is an integral part of BGSU’s mission. “An important part of education is to making sure we have well rounded, engaged citizens. As a public university, we take that very seriously. This is where the real work goes on to building communities.” Through the university’s Center for Community and Civic Engagement this activity, he said, “goes on 12 months a year.”  

Scholar Jessica Harris to discuss role of food in Civil Rights movement

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS Dr. Jessica B. Harris, a preeminent scholar of the food of the African Diaspora, will serve as keynote speaker for Bowling Green State University’s “Beyond ‘The Dream’” 2018 series of events. Harris’ presentation, “Deacon’s Chicken and Free Breakfasts: Food and the Civil Rights Movement,” will begin at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 17 in Kobacker Hall in the Moore Musical Arts Center. Doors open at 6 p.m. for this free event, which is open to the public. A book signing will immediately follow the program, which will include an orchestra performance and a School of Art visual presentation. Harris is one of a handful of African Americans who have achieved prominence in the culinary world. She holds a Ph.D. from New York University, teaches English at Queens College and lectures internationally. Her articles have appeared in Vogue, Food & Wine, Essence and The New York Times. She has been inducted into the James Beard Foundation Who’s Who in Food and Beverage in America and recently helped the Smithsonian Institute National Museum of African American History and Culture to conceptualize its cafeteria. Heejoo Kim, an assistant professor of digital arts whose projects focus on social issues, will give a presentation. The Bowling Green Philharmonia will perform Joseph Schwantner’s “New Morning for the World: ‘Daybreak of Freedom,’” written to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. BGSU alumnus Dr. Uzee Brown, chair of the Department of Music at Morehouse College, will narrate the piece. “Beyond ‘The Dream’” will feature a series of events through April, including the 29th annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Tribute Jan. 12. The event will feature keynote speakers Dr. Harold Brown, who was a member of the Tuskegee Airmen Red Tails, a group of African American men, and Dr. Marsha Bordner, president emeritus at Terra State Community College. Brown and Bordner co-wrote a memoir of Brown’s life, “Keep Your Airspeed Up: The Story of a Tuskegee Airman,” released in August 2017. A book signing will follow this 1 p.m. event at the Bowling Green Performing Arts Center, 530 W. Poe Road. A complete list of events is available at Guests with disabilities are requested to indicate if they need special services, assistance or appropriate modifications to fully participate in these events by contacting Accessibility Services at or 419-372-8495 prior to the events.

BGSU students paint the town through service

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News On Monday’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service more than a 1,000 Bowling Green State University students, staff and faculty spread out from campus to show their colors. Those weren’t necessarily the usual orange and brown, but the more muted tones of specially designed t-shirts for the event. Peggy Reisberg, director of the First United Methodist Child Learning Center, said that her young students will be pleased on Tuesday when they arrive in the lunch room to find it brightened up with a fresh coat of paint. “It’s not always easy to find the time to do projects like this, so it worked out perfectly,” she said. The brighter lunchroom was the work of a BGSU student crew. It was one of about 50 projects in Bowling Green and Toledo. Ashley Robinson said the projects are more than just a way of helping, but also “a way to connect with the community we’re living in.” That’s important even if students are only here for a short time. Kaila Gardner said giving back to the community is crucial. “If you’re able, you should put in the time,” she said. Those values are promoted by her family, which was marching on Monday on the parade honored King back in Detroit, and by her sorority Sigma Gamma Rho. Brianna Bucks, the site coordinator, said students could have used the day getting rest, or studying for the first round of quizzes. The first week of classes is stressful, she said. Instead they decided to take the day to work in the community. Across town at the Home Depot another crew also spent their time painting. This crew was working on book shelves that will be distributed to families by La Conexion. Beatriz Maya, director of the organization, said that during visits to home, staff noticed that people had televisions, but very few books. So they approached the Wood County District Public Library and Grounds for Thought to donate books. The book shelves are provided to store them. Maya said this and the tutoring services are important because Latino youth have a “higher propensity to drop out.” Oshionna Hicks said she was happy to be working on a project that promoted education. Those books just won’t help the children, but the whole family learn English, she said. John Gallagher, a supervisor at Home Depot, said the crew was able to get 15 shelves painted, and added their own creative flair. Home Depot employee Jacob Price assembled the shelves, and was pleased with the paint job the students had done. Amanda Durich said the Day of Service was a chance to get to work in the community and get to know some of her fellow students “while staying true to the values of Martin Luther King.” Morgan Goodwin said that BGSU provides a “very good foundation of service. It provides a lot of different opportunities.”        

MLK food drive canvasses BG neighborhoods

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service “Can” vass Food Drive matched last year’s haul of food and other necessities despite being short-handed. The drive coordinated by the Brown Bag Food Project, could have use three times the crew of volunteers to cover all the neighborhoods in the city. Still, Amy Jo Holland, Brown Bag founder, said those people reached were generous. Very few reached said no. The drive gather between 60-70 boxes of food. By late afternoon those goods, non-perishable food, hygiene items and paper goods were being boxed up to be distributed by the six organizations that will share the bounty. In addition to Brown Bag, the other organizations benefitting are: First United Methodist Church, St. Mark’s Lutheran, Broken Chains, St. Thomas More, and BG Christian Food Pantry.  Each will receive 10 to 12 boxes. That should be enough for a couple months, she said. In divvying up items, Holland said, attention is paid to the kind of service provided. Broken Chains, she said, works with the homeless, so it received all the trial size hygiene items and single serving and ready to eat food items. Homeless folks don’t have can openers, she noted. Larger, bulk foods went to St. Mark’s and First United Methodist because they serve meals. Holland said 60 volunteers showed up to work. Some stayed on for more shifts than they had signed up for. Next year, she said, Brown Bag may extend the drive, which ran on Saturday and Sunday, to Monday. That way they could better coordinate with Bowling Green State University’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service. As it is some students are going over the Brown Bag’s facility on Monday to help sort items gathered in the food drive.

BGSU community ready to serve in honor of Martin Luther King Jr.

From the BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS More than 1,000 BGSU students, faculty and staff expected to participate in 9th Annual MLK Jr. Day of Service More than 1,000 Bowling Green State University students, faculty and staff members are expected to participate in the 2017 Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, an annual community service event. MLK Jr. Day begins at 9:30 a.m. Jan. 16 with volunteer check-in and breakfast; an opening ceremony begins at 10 a.m. featuring keynote speaker Ty Boyd, a 2009 Construction Management and President’s Leadership Academy alumnus. Volunteers will assist community partners between 12:30 and 3:30 p.m. A closing ceremony will be held at 4 p.m. The ceremonies will take place in the BGSU Bowen-Thompson Student Union Lenhart Grand Ballroom. In honor of Martin Luther King Jr., volunteers serve on MLK Jr. Day to make it “a day on, not a day off.” Volunteers will work at approximately 48 community partner sites during the day. Community partners design a service project for the volunteers to complete as a team. This year’s projects include: Working alongside Owens Community College students on a variety of projects aimed at inspiring others to join in caring for animals and conserving the natural world at The Toledo Zoo. Painting the Lott Industries Shared Lives Studio and Gallery, 20 North St. Clair St., Toledo Designing meal-delivery bags for the Wood County Committee on Aging, BGSU Bowen-Thompson Student Union Lenhart Grand Ballroom Building and refurbishing picnic tables for the Wood County Park District, 18729 Mercer Road, Bowling Green. Other service projects include cleaning, painting, canvassing, organizing files and other office items and sorting donations. This year, BGSU is proud to be a member of the inaugural MLK Jr. Season of Service Consortium of Northwest Ohio. The consortium includes Bowling Green State University, Lourdes University, Mercy College, Owens Community College, the University of Toledo and the United Way of Greater Toledo. This group has collaborated to organize MLK Jr.-related events, educational programs and volunteer activities in the northwest Ohio region that will take place from Jan. 9 to 22. As part of this effort, regional higher education partners have committed to send more than 1,300 student, faculty and staff volunteers to serve at 60 community sites providing needed services and assistance. BGSU has played a key leadership role in the group, as we have the largest and longest-running day of service in the region.  

MLK food drive needs help to reach all corners of BG

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News More volunteers are needed so the annual BG Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service Food Drive reach out to more households throughout Bowling Green. The drive to collect non-perishable food and hygiene items will be held Saturday, Jan.14, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sunday, Jan. 15, noon to 4 p.m. The drive is being coordinated by the Brown Bag Food Project working out of Grounds for Thought in Bowling Green. According to Amy Jo Holland, of Brown Bag, said last year about 100 volunteers were able to canvas about two-thirds of Bowling Green. About 70 boxes of food was collected and was distributed to six area food pantries. The aim this year is to have enough people to reach all neighborhoods. In a Facebook post the organizers wrote: “We have had a wonderful response in previous years and hope to set a record with this year’s endeavor. As many of you are aware, there is a dire need for food donations in our area; we have a large number of food insecure people, and the area food pantries are extremely low on supplies.” They are asking residents to have their donations ready, so that volunteers can reach as many Volunteers will also collect monetary donations. Checks should be made out to:  Brown Bag Food Project. Those donations will be divvied up among participating pantries. Volunteers will meet at Grounds for Thought, 174 S. Main St. at the beginning of their chosen shift on either Saturday or Sunday. Shifts are two hours long. To sign up, go to: