Monday is Doctor Martin Luther King Junior Day – a time to remember the slain civil rights leader and all he stood for. One of those celebrations took place at Appleton East High School.
At Appleton East High School a first of its kind celebration – a day of service – honoring the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
“We should talk about him and remember him and talk about the good things he did, the positive things he did,” said Trinity Griggs, a senior at Appleton North High School.
From the auditorium to the hallways – people packed this facility – where 50 nonprofits manned booths – encouraging attendees to volunteer and serve others in the tradition of Dr. King.
“Serving, coming together collaboratively to serve, is a huge part of the message that he left with all of us,” said Appleton Area School District Superintendent Judy Baseman.
“He believed in every aspect of social justice and one way to do that is to give back to our community,” said Karen Nelson from Appleton’s Diversity & Inclusion Department.
This first annual event came at the urging of the community, eager to find a way to give residents time to observe the federal holiday, which until today was not recognized by the school district with a day off.
“Specifically, allowing the kids to have their day as a day, not attending school so they can have the opportunity to do what is critical and have an event here in the local community,” said Pastor Alvin Dupree of the Appleton Area School District’s Board of Education.
So, in July the city of Appleton joined forces with the school board to create a day of service celebration – to give students and families the opportunity to volunteer on MLK’s birthday.
“This is an historic day in the city of Appleton,” Nelson said.
“It’s outstanding. You can see the excitement behind us and the things happening for the first year. It’s really coming together very well,” Dupree added.
A day to honor the civil rights leader’s life and his continued impact on the world.
“If it wasn’t for him, I don’t know if we’d be here today – where we are today,” Griggs stated.
A gathering that brought out hundreds – all eager to carry on his call for service.