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Macomb Community College students, faculty and staff honor Martin Luther King Jr. legacy with community service

– Monday, January 12, 2015 12:00AM

Winner of Macomb's MLK student essay contest to read his entry at college's opening ceremony on Jan. 19

More than 400 Macomb Community College students, faculty and staff are expected to commemorate 2015 Martin Luther King Jr. Day through volunteer service on the holiday, Monday, Jan. 19, as well as on the preceding Saturday, Jan. 17. At 29 sites throughout metro Detroit, Macomb volunteers will take part in community service activities such as making blankets for the homeless, serving food at local soup kitchens and delivering comfort items to patients at the John D. Dingell VA Medical Center in Detroit.

"It's exciting to see the Macomb College community embracing what Dr. King identified as 'life's most persistent and urgent question: What are you doing for others?'" said Macomb Community College President James Jacobs. "From the unique perspectives of our student essayists to the volunteer work joining students and staff to make a difference in metro Detroit, we are linked to the hundreds of thousands of people across the county who are also working to honor and sustain Dr. King's legacy of service."

Macomb's MLK Day of Service events on Jan. 19 will begin with a brief opening ceremony at 8 a.m. on the college's South Campus in the John K. Lewis Student Community Center (K Building), off of Hayes Road, between 12 Mile and Martin roads in Warren. Jacobs will provide opening remarks, followed by a special presentation from Macomb student Dakota Jackson, 23, of Clinton Township, winner of the college's second annual MLK Day of Service student essay contest. Jackson will read his essay,"As Friends. As Family. As Equals."

In his essay, Jackson, who lived on an Indian reservation in northern Ontario, Canada, prior to moving to the United States at age 13, discusses his experience of being"on the receiving end of unwarranted prejudice" and how the work of Martin Luther King Jr. speaks to him. King's message of racial and ethnic equality, Jackson said, is universal.

"I wanted to point out that you don't have to be white or black to relate to what he had to say," he said.

Jackson expects to graduate from Macomb in May with associate degrees in pre-medical studies and biological sciences. He plans to go on to complete a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry, with the goal of attending medical school. In addition to being a student, Jackson works two part-time jobs at the college, one as a student activities aide in Student Life and Leadership and the other as a tutor in the South Campus Learning Center.

To download a copy of Jackson's essay and those of finalists Elizabeth Powell, 23, of Warren and Robert Berry, 20, of Clinton Township, click here

Volunteer activities at most sites will take place between 9 a.m. and noon.

About Macomb Community College

Macomb Community College (www.macomb.edu) is one of the nation's leading community colleges, providing learning experiences to nearly 48,000 students annually. Macomb nationally ranks in the top two percent in the number of associate degrees awarded by community colleges. The college's comprehensive educational programming includes pre-collegiate experiences, university transfer and career preparation programs, bachelor degree completion and graduate degree programs, workforce training, professional education and certification, and continuing education and enrichment opportunities.

Media Contact: James Melton: 586.445.7271; meltonj@macomb.edu