Whether advocating for civil rights or the eradication of poverty, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. remained steadfast in his commitment to improve the lives of others. Members of the Bridgewater State University community on Monday demonstrated that same resolve.
“I think it’s important to acknowledge with action a person who was above all a person of action,” said Dr. Kelly Brotzman, executive director of BSU’s Martin Richard Institute for Social Justice.
Bridgewater State students, employees, alumni, friends and family members turned Monday’s holiday marking King’s birthday into a day of action. Volunteers tackled projects at Gifts to Give and the Old Colony YMCA, two Southeastern Massachusetts organizations dedicated to helping those in need.
“What Martin Luther King Jr. called upon us to do was to serve each other,” said President Frederick W. Clark Jr. “Bridgewater State University’s expression of that charge was evident in multiple sites on Monday through our students, staff, alumni, and community partners trying to make a difference for the region we serve.”
At Gifts to Give in Acushnet, volunteers sorted and inspected donated children’s clothing that will be distributed to families facing financial hardship. The organization seeks to provide children with high-quality clothing, books, toys and other items.
Volunteers also painted two murals at the Old Colony YMCA in Brockton. One mural by the entrance featured the word “welcome” in different languages The other brightened a space downstairs at the Y, and reflects the organization’s values. Volunteers also joined local youth in taking an African dance class.
“Remembering the strength that exists within our community is a big part of the day,” said Laura Mulvey, G’18, program manager at BSU’s Community Service Center.
The work of the YMCA and Gifts to Give is critical, as many struggle to make ends meet and the region faces significant income inequality, Brotzman said.
“If Dr. King was alive today he would be active and concerned about that level of poverty and inequality,” she said.
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