King Day promotes service


A portait of Martin Luther King Jr. painted by Sam Watkins is shown in the IMU Kendal Gallery on Monday. Watkins will have an interactive painting session of King today in the IMU. (File photo/The Daily Iowan)


Martin Luther King Jr. Day gave University of Iowa students the opportunity to come together to honor King and spread his message in their daily lives.

Most regard King as a courageous leader from the Civil Rights era. His methods of nonviolent protest and iconic speeches such as “I Have a Dream” still resonate with those fighting for equality today.

Nearly 50 years after his tragic death, people all across the nation and the world continue to honor his life, remember his dream, and work to bring forth change.

Faculty and students at the UI came together on Monday to do just that. The UI hosted a series of events not only in remembrance of King but also to spread messages about equality, service, and unity.

Kyah Bridges, the Herky C.A.R.E.S. Project executive officer for campus engagement, said she believes events encouraging students to take action honor King the most.

“Events such as [King] Day that provide students the opportunity to give back and serve the community really emphasize the service aspect in King’s legacy,” Bridges said. “By taking action, we are working toward a better future while being exposed to different experiences and perspectives.”

Herky C.A.R.E.S. member Rachel Schupick said she agrees that King’s legacy today is best represented through service.

“We should all stand together, no matter if you’re black or white,” she said. “Getting out, and taking action, and serving help different people build bridges to gain broader and better perspectives. King wanted to strengthen the bonds among all people, and what better way to do that than by lending a helping hand to one another?”

Tarun Kadaru, the Herky C.A.R.E.S. executive officer for social justice, said he believes even though society haven’t yet reached King’s vision, it is getting closer.

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“There’s always work to be done to ensure every single person, especially here on campus, has a sense of belonging and feels welcome,” Kadaru said. “As we progress, more awareness should be raised about different identities, experiences and perspectives. Some issues today are beyond black and white, so it’s up to us to expand King’s message.”

The UI will continue to sponsor events in honor of King throughout the week to emphasize the importance of daily action.

Ben Ross, who participated in the King Day event in Currier, stressed the importance of remembering King’s ideals on a daily basis.

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