Minnesota State University, Mankato took part in the festivities dedicated to Martin Luther King Jr. to celebrate the life of the civil rights movement champion Monday.
The Martin Luther King Jr. Service Day began with a trickle of volunteers throughout the day. Tables were set up with four different activities – scarf knitting, card and bag decorating, tie blanket workshopping, and dog toy making. Individuals from across the area stopped by to visit including, but not limited to, Courtney Maxwell-Shey, current Mrs. Minnesota United States 2019, as well as several students and families from the Blue Earth area.
When asked about King Jr., Shey said, “I always pictured [MLK Jr.] on the steps of the mall giving this huge speech.” However, after reading the book “Black Like Me”, Shey was in awe of “what a human being he was and really what he wanted to do was for everyone, blacks, whites, Hispanics, to live in equality and to have the same rights as everybody else.”
Shey stated that even though King Jr. “is a national hero, he was just one of us; the normal people who strive to survive.”
At the conclusion of the event, both the hosting students and the volunteers were able to make nine blankets, 48 dog toys, 140 decorated grab bags, and 32 cards while enlisting the help of over 50 people from all walks of the community. From wee babies, to boisterous elders, all were welcomed at the service day and participated in their own ways.
Header photo: Keynote speaker Donzaleigh Abernathy, goddaughter of Martin Luther King Jr., speaks during MLK Day of Service held in Centennial Student Union Monday, Jan 20 in Mankato, Minn. (Prasad Pol/MSU Reporter)