Students from Dillard University, Loyola University, University of New Orleans (UNO) and Tulane University will participate in the annual day of service to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., on Monday, January 21 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. The students will dedicate their efforts to honor of Dr. King’s legacy by working with nonprofit groups around New Orleans. 

UNO will serve as this year’s host institution. Once assembled, students from the various universities will be bussed to more than 20 different locations to work in unison and complete a variety of service projects with partners, including City Park, Hollygrove Neighborhood Association, Youth Rebuilding New Orleans and several community-based organizations.  Students must register online to participate in the day of service.

The MLK Day of Service is the centerpiece in the annual MLK “Week for Peace,” a week of activities that bring students together to learn about and commemorate the work of Dr. King. 

Tulane University will also host a pair of speakers at McAlister Auditorium as part of the Week of Peace celebration, including the NewDay Distinguished Speaker and MLK Week 4 Peace Convocation by Paul Quinn College President Michael Sorrell from 6-8 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 23.  The second lecture is “Eye on the Prize,” by Rev. Dr. William Barber of the People’s Campaign, co-sponsored by the Amistad Research Center as part of their Conversations of Color series, will be held on Wednesday, Jan. 30 from 6-8 p.m. Both events are free and open to the public.  

“In 1957 Dr. King stated, ‘Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: What are you doing for others?’ “To see students of multiple universities in the city unite to answer that question through action for more than three decades is inspiring,” said Sienna Abdulahad, associate director of Tulane’s Office of Multicultural Affairs.  “It speaks to our ability to come together with a common goal and have a high impact in our own community.” 

For more than 30 years, many of the universities in the New Orleans Community have come together to sponsor an annual day of service to celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. King. By 2011, more than 1,000 students from Tulane, Xavier University of Louisiana, Dillard University, the University of New Orleans and Loyola University have served in various sites throughout the city.

The MLK Day of Service is one of the largest annual one-day service events that brings New Orleans college students, faculty, staff, alumni and families together to spend a “day on” instead of taking the “day off.” This partnership has modeled the level of character that Dr. King's repeatedly mentioned during the civil rights movement, "The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character - that is the goal of true education." The collective efforts support the ongoing goals to have a significant impact by helping New Orleans in rebuilding, renewal and sustainability in communities. This goal was emphasized after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. After more than 30 years of dedicated collaboration for authentic service in the city, the MLK Day of Service has become a New Orleans tradition.