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Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Legacy Lives on Through Community Service

By: Kelly Schlicht Email
By: Kelly Schlicht Email

All across the state of Wisconsin, from Milwaukee, to Madison—People gather to remember the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., including here on the UW-Eau Claire campus, there the community kitchens program kicks off its mission to ease hunger and need in Eau Claire.

"It's about taking the initiative to make a change in what you think would be best for the community, and that's what we're trying to do,” says UW-Eau Claire student and organizer Lindsey Johnson.

City Council Member Beryle Middleton says that's exactly Dr. King's mission, and it also ties in with what President-Elect Barack Obama is talking about.

"He's advocating some of the things that Martin Luther King envisioned years ago, and that's volunteerism. People getting involved, and specifically Martin Luther King, Jr. wanted people to get involved, all people, and I think that's what's happening," says Middleton.

Students say the works of Dr. King still show that anything's possible.

"I think it shows that people can get organized in their local community and it can spread,” says UW-Eau Claire student Jeremy Gragert. “I mean, he just started in his own community and it spread into a national movement."

"It made a great possibility, and it happened, and we're here, we're talking about it. I'm talking about it, so yeah, I’d say so,” says Ember Blackdeer, a student in the Fresh Start Program.

And by this next generation living out Dr. King's dream of equality and service for all, Middleton says it brings more meaning to the holiday.

"It's not a day off, it should be a day on, and many people I think are looking at it from that standpoint," says Middleton.

Middleton says he hopes people continue to be inspired by Dr. King and get involved in the community, not only on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, but year-round.


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