MLK, Jr. Week at Wesleyan


This week saw the celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s life and legacy for African-American civil rights at West Virginia Wesleyan College. 

The week began with a worship service on Monday, sponsored by the Office of Multicultural Programs and Services at West Virginia Wesleyan College. Music was provided by both current and former students with Wesleyan’s Gospel Choir and the praise band “The Millennials.” The sermon titled “Where do you stand?” was given by Pastor Donté Jackson of Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, KY, who also serves as pastor of youth and young adults at Consolidated Baptist Church in Lexington, KY. His message asked the audience where we all stand in the light of what we believe and are called to do. Jackson proclaimed, “When we examine where we stand, we must also examine where we need to lift each other up.” 

On Tuesday, to follow in Martin Luther King, Jr.’s actions, The Center for Community Engagement & Leadership Development at West Virginia Wesleyan College helped live out Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s dream by partnering with Rise Against Hunger to create equal access to food for those who are in need. “Rise Against Hunger” is an international hunger relief organization with a goal set to end hunger by 2030. The organization provides products and materials to be packaged and dispersed to schools, orphanages, clinics, and vocational centers. 

In 2015, Wesleyan students packaged over 17,000 meals in just over two hours. On Tuesday, Wesleyan Service Scholars, Greek organizations, student-athletes and others in the Wesleyan community packed over 10,000 meals. Jessica Vincent, Assistant Director of Wesleyan’s Center for Community Engagement, said, “This event is a reminder to all, that if Wesleyan can package over 17,000 meals in just a couple hours, then we can all be doing more each and every day to overcome the hunger in our world.” 

Vincent hopes to continue this idea by partnering with the Upshur Parish House to host a canned food drive entitled SOUP-er Bowl on Super Bowl weekend. Vincent stated, “Last year on Super Bowl Sunday. 98.2 million people watched the game. Could you imagine if everyone that watched the game donated a can of soup?” The Center for Community Engagement at Wesleyan is asking that student organizations and teams of students give back to the community as they gather to watch the Super Bowl game, by collecting cans of soup to donate to the Upshur Parish House. Vincent said, “At Wesleyan, students play their own part in raising awareness and taking action by participating in events like this, volunteering at the Upshur Parish House, hosting community dinners, preparing food for backpacks at elementary schools and collection opportunities. Hunger may be a big issue, but each small event is one small step toward change!” 

If you are interested in participating in SOUP-er Bowl Sunday along with West Virginia Wesleyan, you may drop off canned goods at City Hall with the Buckhannon Volunteer Center on February 3 between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. or on the second floor of Wesleyan’s Benedum Campus Center at the Center for Community Engagement. If your group or organization is interested in hosting a Rise Against Hunger meal-packing event, you can sign up at https://www.riseagainsthunger.org/take-action/host-a-meal-packaging-event/.

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