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A Day On, not a Day Off

by Stephen Storey

The WVU Parkersburg campus is invited to a birthday celebration on Jan. 16 in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The event is sponsored by the WVU Parkersburg Social Justice Committee, and it will celebrate the life of the civil rights activist, who practiced civil disobedience and nonviolence to combat racial inequality in the 1950s.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s, “I Have a Dream” speech was delivered to over 250,000 civil rights supporters at the Lincoln Memorial in Washingon D.C. on Aug. 28, 1963. This was one of the most important moments of the civil rights movement.

WVU Parkersburg’s celebration will include a short program of music, a video and readings. Birthday cake and punch will be served afterwards. The event begins at 12:15 p.m. in the college theater.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s birthday is also the official National Day of Service that encourages United States citizens to give back to their communities by volunteering their time. In 1994, Congress designated the Martin Luther King Jr. federal holiday as a national day of service and charged the Corporation for National and Community Service with leading this effort. The MLK Day of Service is the only federal holiday observed as a national day of service: “a day on, not a day off.”

There are many opportunities to volunteer your time and resources to those in the Mid-Ohio Valley. From Jan. 16 through Jan. 20, the Children’s Home Society will be collecting hats, scarves and gloves in donation boxes at various Parkersburg businesses. On Jan. 15, at 333 4th Street in Marietta, Ohio, a short yoga practice and community meditation have been arranged in honor of the peaceful demonstrations led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

This is to carry out the message of nonviolence while giving community members the opportunity to learn and experience peaceful practices that they can bring into their daily lives.

WVU Parkersburg’s food pantry will also be accepting donations Jan. 16 and indefinitely after that day.

For more information, contact Debbie Richards at or        304-424-8201.

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