Community packages meals for MLK Day

January 24, 2020

Dozens of students and members of the community packaged meals for food pantries and congregations that serve the homeless community, and participated in social justice discussions with members of the Brandeis and Waltham community on Monday in Levin Ballroom and Usdan as a part of the 10th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Interfaith Day of Service.

Walker Bristle, who works for an organization that fights child hunger and helped lead the meal packaging in 2018, previously told The Hoot that approximately one in seven children do not know where his or her next meal is coming from.

“We try to do a little thing to help them know where one of those meals are coming from. I’ve eaten these meals. They’re good. They’re not perfect. They are meant to help people get back on their feet… people with families, people looking for work. Some are going to be packing oatmeal and others are going to be packing rice and beans today,” said Bristle in 2018.

Dr. George Walters-Sleyon from Bunker Hill Community College spoke about how King believed power should be used and read quotes from King.

“Power properly understood is nothing but the ability to achieve purpose,” read King’s quote. “It is the strength required to bring about social, political and economic change. In this sense, power is not only desirable, but necessary in order to implement the demands of love and justice.”

The events included “Martin Luther King’s Six Principles of Nonviolence” led by Interfaith Youth Initiative Director Shelton Oakley Hersey and Boston University Masters student Kim Bress, “Preparing for Climate Change in Massachusetts” led by Executive Director of Better Future Project Craig S. Alternose and “Faith Communities Help Trauma Victims!” led by Reverend Isaac Seland. Another event, “Engaging in Diversity and Privilege” led by Brandeis’ Protestant Chaplain Matt Carriker included participants sitting on the floor and doing activities to “think reflectively about how [the participants] engage with diversities of all sorts,” according to the event pamphlet. 

One of the five events, “Youth MLK Workshop,” was intended for elementary and middle school-aged participants and their families, according to the event pamphlet. At the workshop, the students explored King’s views on building beloved communities. They also made Valentine’s Day cards for hospitalized kids.
This year’s theme is “Building Beloved Community,” according to The Brandeis website. The event was co-sponsored by Center for Spiritual Life, Department of Community Service, Intercultural Center, Waltham Group, Library, International Center for Ethics, Justice, and Public Life, the Myra Kraft Transitional Year Program and the MLK Fellows in Academic Services.

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