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 SRU Martin Luther King, Jr., observance emphasizes volunteer service 



January 10, 2008
Contact: K.E. Schwab


SRU Martin Luther King, Jr., observance emphasizes volunteer service


SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - More than 250 Slippery Rock University students are expected to volunteer for community service projects planned throughout the region as part of the University's fifth annual observance of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Day of Service Jan. 21. Na'im Akbar, a research associate in the Florida State University psychology department, will deliver the day's keynote address.

                The King Day of Service was initiated by SRU's Office of Intercultural Programs and is described as "a day on, not a day off" as a means of honoring the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. There are no classes at SRU Jan. 21. Some University offices will remain open with skeleton staffs.

                "The day will again focus on community service in memory of the slain civil rights figure," said Robert Clay, assistant director of the Office of Intercultural Programs and chair of the planning committee.

                Akbar, acclaimed by Essence Magazine as "one of the world's preeminent psychologists and a pioneer in the development of an African-centered approach in modern psychology," has served as an associate professor at Norfolk State University and chair of the Morehouse College psychology department. He was trained as a scientist and practitioner in the field of clinical psychology and won the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Distinguished Scholar Award at Florida State. Akbar was presented a doctor of humane letters by Edinboro University and was a speaker at last November's Harambee Summit hosted by SRU. He has written and lectured extensively.

                The day opens at 8:30 a.m. in the University Union with a performance by the Chosen Generation Gospel Choir and the presentation of the King Performance Competition. The competition allows students to offer any form of artistic expression to communicate King's "Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness" quote. Civil Leadership Awards will also be presented as part of the morning program.

                Box lunches will be distributed to the volunteers as they board transportation to the afternoon community-service work sites. 

                In Slippery Rock, volunteers will lend a hand at Center United Presbyterian Church, Home 2 Me, Inc., the Slippery Rock Personal Care Home, Camp Crestfield, the Slippery Rock Parks and Recreation facilities and the SRU Child Care Center. In Grove City, students will work at Fellowship Manor, and in New Castle, students will offer help at Third Presbyterian Church, Second Baptist Church, Clen Moore Presbyterian Church, St. John United Holy Church, Jameson Care Center and the New Castle City Rescue Mission.

Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.



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