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Drake to celebrate King Holiday with day of service, other events

In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, students from Drake University, as well as students from the Des Moines Area Community College, American Institute of Business, Simpson College, Grand View University and Upward Bound will volunteer in four service projects on Monday, Jan. 17.  Three of the projects will directly benefit the local community, while the fourth is a global service opportunity.

Community projects include a tie blanket project to benefit local homeless shelters, as well as projects for the Animal Rescue League of Central Iowa and the Des Moines Public Library. Students volunteering for the global service project will assemble health kits for Lutheran World Relief.

A volunteer fair with agencies from the Des Moines area will follow the completion of the service projects. Vince Lewis, coordinator of “Backyard Boyz,” a program of Children and Family Urban Ministries, will conclude the day’s events with a keynote presentation.

Student-athletes to package 32,000 meals for the hungry

The “Drake Feeds the Poor” event sponsored by Drake Athletics and Meals from the Heartland will also take place Monday. Since 2008, Meals from the Heartland has gathered thousands of Iowa volunteers annually for one week to package millions of meals for the world’s hungry. About 175 Drake student-athletes are expected to participate along with fifth-grade students from the “I Have a Dream” Foundation to package approximately 32,000 meals.

Packaging takes place from 1-3 p.m. in the Drake Fieldhouse, 2701 Forest Ave. Student-athlete participants will be briefed for 15 minutes before packaging begins on the impact the packaged meals have in helping those in need.

“It is important to look at the celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day not as a ‘day-off’ but as a ‘day-on.’ Even though it is a holiday, we try to actively honor the life and legacy of Dr. King, said Latasha Stiger, the director of campus programming.

For more information on “Drake Feeds the Poor,” contact Heather Weems, associate director of athletics, at Heather.Weems@Drake.edu or 515-271-2809.

AmeriCorps on campus to distribute information on human rights

AmeriCorps members with Iowa Legal Aid will be on campus distributing information from various Des Moines non-profits focused on human rights. Resources and volunteer opportunities regarding local human rights organizations will be available from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the breezeway of the Olmsted Center, 2875 University Ave.

“The goal is to get the word out to the community about the different services available and to try to gain more volunteers for the organizations,” said Jackie Filippell, a Drake alum and AmeriCorps member helping to organizing the event.

The New Iowan Center, Iowa Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Proteus, Inc., Catholic Charities, Iowans for Social and Economic Development and the American Friends Service Committee are some of the organizations participating. For more information, contact Filippell at 515-243-1198 ext. 1665.

Drake hosts play about a fictional encounter between King and Malcolm X

In the continuation of the MLK celebration, a play about a fictional encounter between King and Malcolm X will be performed from 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 25, in Drake’s Parents Hall in Olmsted Center, 2875 University Ave.

The play, titled “The Meeting,” is a rendition of what playwright Jeff Stetson imagines a clandestine meeting might have been like between two of the most influential men of their times: the Rev. King and Malcolm X.

“We try to do something different every year in honor of Dr. King,” said Latasha Stiger, the director of campus programming. “The play will provide an insightful look into the possible dialogue between Dr. King and Malcolm X and will be more interactive than having a single speaker.”

The play examines both the public and private lives of the two civil-rights leaders: the clash of their ideas and tactics for the advancement of freedom. It demonstrates the humanity of two devout men of faith and leaders willing to lay down their lives for the cause of justice.

The event, which is free and open to the public, is sponsored by the Coalition of Black Students, the Student Life Office and the Dean of Students Office. For more information on the content of the performance, visit www.apbspeakers.com/speaker/meeting. For other questions, call 515-271-4078.