sealPurdue News

January 4, 2002

Purdue honors Martin Luther King Jr. with Day of Service

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue staff, faculty and students will honor the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. by volunteering in the Greater Lafayette community the morning of Monday, Jan. 21, a university holiday.

The volunteer program, Affirming the Dream VII: Acts of Kindness/Acts of Justice, is administered through the Diversity Resource Office. Volunteers will work from 9 a.m. to noon and then attend a luncheon. Last year approximately 200 Purdue volunteers assisted more than 33 community agencies, including the Mental Health Association, the Community and Family Resource Center and Food Finders Food Bank.

A non-food item drive also is being held this year through Jan. 18. Last year volunteers donated more than 1,400 pounds of non-food items.

Dorothy Simpson-Taylor, Diversity Resource Office director, says she hopes even more members of the Purdue community will take advantage of this year's opportunity to make a difference in others' lives, if only for a day.

"Since Purdue is a microcosm and laboratory of the world, the Diversity Resource Office believes that participation in this observance promotes inclusive thinking," Simpson-Taylor says. "These actions also help students to become citizens of the world where they eventually will use their academic training to make the world a better place."

The Diversity Resource Office also invites people to attend its Affirming the Dream Program at 7 p.m. Jan. 21 in the Loeb Playhouse. The program will feature a presentation by David Fankhauser, a professor of biology and chemistry at Cleremont College in Cincinnati, Ohio. Fankhauser was a white freedom rider of the 1960s civil rights movement. During his speech, entitled "Service Learning as a Life Changing Experience: A White Freedom Rider Speaks," Fankhauser will reflect on what it felt like to be a 19-year-old white chemistry student arrested for sitting in a "colored only" waiting room in the South. Fankhauser spent 40 days in a maximum security prison.

The Human RITE Theater, the Purdue Bell Choir and the Black Cultural Center's Jahari Dance Troupe also will perform that evening. The audience will be invited to sing freedom songs.

A Jan. 30 workshop called "Living in an Inclusive Society" also will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Stewart Center rooms 214 A, B and C. The workshop will feature presentations on celebrating diversity, religious diversity, workplace diversity, teaching to diversity, understanding sexual orientation and combating "isms," such as sexism, racism and ageism. A film on dealing with hate will be shown at noon, followed by a discussion.

Registration for the Day of Service, program and workshop is required by Jan. 15. Forms are available through the Diversity Resource Office by calling (765) 494-7307.

CONTACT: Angela Walker, (765) 494-7307,

NOTE TO JOURNALISTS: Media interested in interviewing volunteers should contact Angela Walker at the Diversity Resource Office, (765) 494-7307.

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

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