Hundreds from Campus Turn Out
in Honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Parade and Day of Service
Christine Clark and Brook Williamson | Jan. 18, 2011
Volunteers worked on a playground structure at the Sherman Heights Community Center.
More than 500 people from UC San Diego represented the university in San Diego’s 31st annual Martin Luther King Jr. Parade Saturday. Following the parade, as part of the MLK Day of Service and UC San Diego’s Volunteer50 program, Chancellor Marye Anne Fox and some 100 students, staff, faculty and alumni, and San Diego City Councilmember David Alvarez (District 8), volunteered at the Sherman Heights Community Center.
UC San Diego has been involved with the parade for the past 23 years, with participation continually increasing. This year, registration to participate in the event was up 20 percent compared to last year. Members of all six colleges, including provosts, deans, faculty and students, marched behind a banner declaring the university’s parade theme, “Freedom through Education.”
“Embracing diversity is an essential part of UC San Diego’s dedication to education, research, service and patient care,” said Fox. During the Volunteer50 service project, she challenged participants to take a few minutes to reflect on Martin Luther King Junior’s legacy and the importance of giving back to our community.
Fourth year student Letty Chavez said the service project was symbolic of continuing King’s legacy. “We are doing this in appreciation of what he did for our community and all of us.”
The UC San Diego Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service project at the Sherman Community Heights Center was part of Fox’s Volunteer50 initiative, which encourages service and showcases the widespread and diverse contributions of the UC San Diego community, in commemoration of the university’s 50th Anniversary. Volunteers painted benches, tables and play areas, removed grass and plants, and created a sustainable garden area.
“The Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service empowers individuals, strengthens communities, bridges barriers, creates solutions to social problems and moves us closer to Dr. King’s vision of a ‘Beloved Community,’” said Councilmember Alvarez. “Thank you to UC San Diego for helping the community of Sherman Heights.”
“I'm happy to see so many volunteers here from UC San Diego, our community partner,” said Jerry Guzman, executive director of the Sherman Heights Community Center. “The university has helped us with after school programs and this makes the university even more special to us as a partner.”
Third year student Nash Mahoney appreciates being part of a larger service initiative. “I think Volunteer50 is a great idea. So many people contributing even a little of their time can make a big difference.”
For more information on Volunteer50, visit www.50th.ucsd.edu.
Volunteers painted walls and stairwells.