Students give back in honor of Martin Luther King Jr.


Ryley Wilcox/NW

DAY OF SERVICE – Members of Black Student Union frost and decorate cookies to be brought to the Jacobetti Home for Veterans. Other donations collected during MLK Jr. Day Service Projects are to be made to the Women’s Shelter and UPAWS.

Ryley Wilcox

NMU hosted their annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day of service to honor the late activist and minister on Jan. 16 from 1-3 p.m. in the Woods Lodge.

Members of the Volunteer Center at the Center for Student Enrichment (CSE), the Student Equity and Engagement Center (SEEC) and the Black Student Union (BSU), collaborated in several service projects including fleece blanket making, card making and dog toy making. Items collected are to be donated to the Women’s Shelter, the Jacobetti Home for Veterans and UPAWS, respectively.  

Superior Edge and Volunteer Center Coordinator at the CSE, Amber Essenmacher, said the CSE hosts this annual event to give students service opportunities to be involved in.

“More than anything today is a day of service in honor of Martin Luther King Jr.,” Essenmacher said. “On a day like today, it’s important to remember history.” 

Essenmacher and other staff at the CSE said they promote the value of coming together towards common goals through their activities. 

“We try to model behavior that we want to see out of other people,” Essenmacher said. “Interactive community based events and activities like these are really important to bring people closer together in a collective and organized manner, which speaks to MLK’s vision.”

Vice President of the BSU, Khaleah Lowllun, said the importance of MLK Jr. Day is giving back to the community, which only makes it stronger. 

“This project is all about giving back, just how MLK gave back to the lesser people while he was still here,” Lowllun said. “The message that MLK gave to us is to treat people how you want to be treated, so this is our way of showing people that you don’t necessarily have to have the same backgrounds, skin color or beliefs as someone else.” 

The BSU and others involved in the Day of Service Projects remind students of MLK’s legacy.

“We’re talking about a person who did everything in his power and ended up dying for the cause of everyone being treated as humans,” Lowllun said. “I think the importance of today is that it’s actually happening and that we can do things like this.”

This history happened not that long ago. Lowllun said roughly 70 years ago students would have attended the same university from separate school buildings on the same campus. 

“To think about the fact that when my grandparents were born they were in segregation. Now that I’m in school and out in the world, I don’t have to worry about that,” Lowllun said. “There are things I have to worry about that are still systemic. I still have to deal with prejudice, but I can go to school and I can get a degree, because MLK fought for me.” 

According to their website, the BSU strives to create an inclusive and understanding space for the education of Black experience, culture and history on campus. Coming up soon, the student organization will host a Black mobile museum and an alumni panelist, as well as a Black Love Bake Sale on Valentine’s Day, MarLanaysia Rosser, BSU president said.