During this year’s 6th annual MLK Day of service at St. Norbert College students and staff celebrated the life and work of Martin Luther King Jr. by taking time out of their day to promote civil rights, equality, and freedom. Some participants chose to teach elementary school children in the De Pere area about Dr. King’s message of respecting others, while others spent the day serving various area agencies who are meeting important needs in our community. Students, staff and faculty also had the opportunity to participate in an advocacy program where they were able to write letters, send emails, and make phone calls to their elected officials at all levels. There was also an opportunity to attend an educational presentation on fair housing.
I had the chance to speak with Alex Clemetson, a senior at St. Norbert College, about his role in helping staff members Mike Peckham and Dee Geurts-Bengtson coordinate the school event as well as his overall experience. Not only did Alex prepare the SNC Track & Field team for the day and act as their site leader, he also kicked off MLK Day with a speech which reflected on the views of the day and the community service work participants were about to engage in. When I spoke with Alex, he explained that his goal was “to enlighten younger generations on the topics of diversity and treating one another with respect no matter who the other person is or the background they come from.”