KINGSTON – For 25 years the University of Rhode Island has been honoring Martin Luther King Jr. Day with a full week of events devoted to King's message of peace and equality. To commemorate Martin Luther King Jr. Day this year, URI is having a week of service challenge in which students are asked to do 2,011 total hours of community service in one week.
The URI Multicultural Center, Center for Nonviolence and Peace Studies, Office of the Chaplains, Feinstein Center for Service Learning and Jumpstart URI host the Martin Luther King Jr. Week, which is held from Monday, Jan. 31 to Saturday, Feb. 5.
Since 1986, the university community has observed the anniversary of the national holiday through lectures, discussions, meditations, videos, workshops, music and dance performances, art exhibits, and other activities. While the official holiday is commemorated Jan. 17 this year, the URI celebration takes place during the second week of the semester to encourage maximum participation.
This year URI has expanded the holiday commemoration, called “Creating the Beloved Community on Campus and Beyond” an extra day to Saturday to offer students a chance to do more community service for the challenge.
“We're dramatically expanding the community service opportunity and we'll have two to three sites in South County and two sites in Providence where students can participate,” Melvin Wade, the director of the URI Multicultural Center said. “We're offering students a day of service, asking them to log in 2,011 hours of community service in one week.”
In addition to the community service challenge, the key note speaker this year is Rev. John Dear, S.J., a peace activist, and former executive director of the Fellowship for Reconciliation. Dear will speak at the Unity Luncheon held in the Memorial Union Ballroom at noon on Wednesday, Feb. 2.
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