MURRAY – Although Murray State University’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. birthday celebration will be held virtually Monday for the second year in a row, there will still be a schedule and multiple opportunities for students to contribute to local organizations in non-profit organization and to the victims of the December 10 Tornado.
SG Carthell, executive director of Multicultural Initiatives and the Dr. Marvin D. Mills Sr. Multicultural Center, said he hopes to be able to reinstate the annual King’s Birthday Celebration Breakfast next year, but with the number of local cases of COVID-19 setting new records and the Omicron variant soaring, it was again canceled this year. The virtual celebration is scheduled for 9 a.m. Monday, and the community is encouraged to tune into MSU’s Multicultural Initiatives YouTube page at that time to watch.
For several years now, the Murray State Office of Multicultural Initiatives has hosted a day of service right after breakfast, providing opportunities for students to volunteer with various nonprofit organizations for the day. Carthell said this year’s Day of Service will take the form of a donation drop.
“To keep everyone safe, we are collecting items for our local agencies as we always have, but we will be collecting these items from just outside the Curris Center,” Carthell said. “So as soon as you get to the overhang (outside the entrance), we’ll be there for people to come and do that. We’ll also have hot chocolate and stuff like that for people. People can bring items that our local agencies need as they provide ongoing support to people and (their supplies) run out during the holidays.
Carthell said the Office of Multicultural Initiatives will also encourage people to donate to victims of the recent Western Kentucky tornadoes through the Team Kentucky fund. They can also donate to the Murray-Calloway County United Way Community Fund.
“There are plenty of other agencies that people can donate to and we’ll have a list available at our table, but those are the two main ones we’re looking at right now,” Carthell said. “We’ve created a Racers Challenge, which is a way to engage some of our students when they return (from winter break) and keep them up to date on what’s going on and their ability to stay engaged and give back. . So we challenge our athletics, our Greeks, our student organizations, and our residential colleges. It’s going to be an annual thing now, so they’ll all be competing, and the bands that give the most in each category will get a trophy and there will be a traveling MLK Day of Service trophy that the bands get each year to show their dedication to giving back to the community.
The full list of charities can be viewed at murraystate.edu/omi, and students will be encouraged to donate throughout the week, Carthell said. Murray State’s spring semester begins Tuesday and the Office of Multicultural Initiatives will announce the challenge winners at the end of the week, he said.
Carthell said the celebration also won’t include the MLK march on campus this year due to expected winter weather this weekend. The march usually takes place on the Sunday evening before the holidays.