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Weber State University is in the midst of the Martin Luther King Jr. Service Week. In honor of King, chairs from the WSU Student Association’s leadership, service and diversity teams worked together to allow students opportunities to serve others for Monday’s MLK Day.
Beginning on Monday with the MLK Freedom Breakfast and March, students were invited to march toward the Ogden Amphitheater while listening to speakers talk about King’s legacy.
“One of the amazing points that was brought up (at the march) was that every student has a type of right they’re fighting for,” said Lola Moli, WSU diversity vice president, “whether it’s for gay rights or for (racial) rights . . . and there’s just so many different rights that students face in their own personal lives, and it’s important to understand that it’s still important to fight for those things, fight those freedoms in your own personal life. What Dr. King did is not something that should be forgotten, and that this day, even though we have it off . . . it’s important not to forget the reason why we have it off.”
The leadership team held an event on Tuesday featuring Amir Jackson, a WSU alumnus who started a nonprofit organization, Nurture the Creative Mind, while still a student at WSU.
Leadership vice president Tessa Diamond said she thinks Jackson was an inspiration to all college students. “Amir has done a lot. He’s taken a lot into his hands to be come civically engaged. And I think that any student would have a lot of respect for someone their age really rising above and beyond and looking out for people who are going to rise to becoming college students. Any college student would be crazy not to look to Amir for, No. 1, an amazing example, but also just incredible support.”
In honor of the service King provided, the rest of the week was dedicated to a variety of service projects.
Ibrahim Siripathane, the MLK Week of Service chair, said that Done in a Day, Best Buddies, Youth Impact and Your Community Connection would all host service events for those interested in volunteering. “This is kind of our area of expertise,” he said. “This is what we do, this is what we love to do . . . With Martin Luther King, his example to us . . . his service, just showed how much he wanted to better a build community in the world.”
Diamond said that, as leadership vice president at WSU, she finds inspiration from King. “The difference that Martin Luther King made goes much further than the equality of blacks and whites. I think, for me, it means a lot that that equality has progressed to religion and to gender and to all ethnicities. . . . (King) created so much good for so many people, and I find that that kind of love that it takes for a person to spread love not only for his race, but also for . . . every other person in the world that has something different about them . . . I just think his immense amount of love means a lot to me.”
Moli attributed her ability to find success in many leadership positions to King’s influence.
“Every student that really thinks about it, they can find it a way that it applies in their own life,” she said. “Back in that day, people of color couldn’t even dream of being in a leadership position. And now, basically whatever we want, whatever we put our minds to, we’re able to do.”