In Honor of MLK Day

Students Host Service and Outreach Programs in Honor of Martin Luther King Jr.
Students Host Service and Outreach Programs in Honor of Martin Luther King Jr.

The Widener community celebrated the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. by hosting and participating in various events and activities on and off campus. Students spent the holiday applying King’s vision of a beloved community by contributing to meaningful discourse, collaborating with community partners and serving others.

Ahead of the holiday, students in the doctor of physical therapy (DPT) program hosted the annual MLK Mobility Clinic on Jan. 18 at nearly one dozen community partner organizations. The clinic is designed to benefit elderly residents in the community by conducting blood pressure screenings and cleaning mobility assistive devices such as wheelchairs, canes and walkers.

For Emily Mitchell, the mobility clinic is an extension of the community service that is deeply embedded in the physical therapy curriculum and Widener’s mission.

“When I applied to Widener, I didn’t realize how big [community service] was, but I find it really fulfilling and it’s really enjoyable to do. Having that attitude from the pro bono clinic and then coming here, it carries over,” said Mitchell.

DPT students who participated in the clinic for the first time, like Mackenzie Patterson, found the day as an opportunity to practice the skills they learned in the classroom while simultaneously providing a service. 

“We had a class last year that taught us how to clean wheelchairs and fix them so being able to take what we learned in the classroom and do it to help the community is awesome,” said Patterson.
Even though the university was closed on Monday, Jan. 21, students, faculty and staff participated in many other initiatives, including:

  • More than 100 volunteers from Widener, UPS and several local elementary schools partnered to pack 1,500 educational supply kits in Lathem Hall. The kits were delivered to local elementary schools by drivers who discussed educational success and careers with the students.
  • President Julie Wollman and Chief Diversity Officer Micki Davis led the “We’re All Widener! Common Ground Dialogue” in University Center. The Common Ground conversation explored the implications of King’s vision of a beloved community in which all people can come together with a commitment to nonviolence, inclusiveness and respect for all humanity.
  • Several multicultural student organizations collaborated with the Multicultural Student Affairs Office and colleagues from Student Affairs to host a MLK Day Fair in the University Center Atrium. The fair featured student performances, interactive displays about the life of King, and more.
  • Throughout Chester, Widener students also participated in various events, including the MLK Commemorative Committee of Chester & Vicinity’s Day of Service along the 500 block of Avenue of the States and the Chester Made Day of Service.
  • Due to inclement weather on Jan. 21, Widener University Commonwealth Law School will honor King on Feb. 24 at 9 a.m. at Susquehanna Township High School. The school will host an opening ceremony, followed by a morning of community building and volunteerism. Register in advance.

MLK 2019 photo gallery

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