MACON – Mercer University will host a Peace Panel and hold its fifth annual MLK Day of Service in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
The Peace Panel, sponsored by the Office of Minority Affairs, TRIO Programs and Student Government Association, will take place Jan. 13 at 6:30 p.m. in Connell Student Center and is open to the public.
Facilitated by Barbara Cheives of Converge and Associates Consulting, the panel will feature Macon-Bibb County Sheriff David Davis, Telegraph editorial page editor Charles Richardson and several Mercer students.
Cheives, who provides consulting expertise for law enforcement and public safety, nonprofit organizations, media, education and corporations, will also lead two cultural sensitivity training sessions for University faculty, staff and students earlier in the day. Those who would like to attend the training sessions must register online.
“This program and training continues Mercer's mission 'to teach, to learn, to create, to discover, to inspire, to empower and to serve,'” said Dr. Michelle A. Currie, executive director of Federal TRIO Programs. “In the current climate of our nation and our communities, it is more important than ever to find common ground in an effort to reach Dr. King's 'Promised Land' of racial equity and brotherly love.”
For the fifth consecutive year, Mercer students will volunteer at the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day breakfast at St. Peter Claver Catholic Church, beginning at 7 a.m., on Jan. 16. They will then participate in the MLK Jr. Memorial March to the Macon-Bibb Government Center at 11 a.m. and the MLK Jr. Memorial Celebration that will follow.
“MLK Weekend is one of my favorite annual events,” said Hannah Vann, coordinator of community engagement at Mercer. “Our volunteers are always so warmly welcomed at the breakfast at St. Peter Claver, and we see a great mix of students, staff and faculty attend the march to downtown. It's a wonderful opportunity for our students to take part as members of the Macon community and to reflect on how much progress has been made and the work we still have left to do.”
The Center for Community Engagement is a clearinghouse for volunteer services at Mercer, matching community organizations and agencies with student volunteers and organizations through volunteer fairs and placements. The Center also places interested students, including work-study students, in tutoring positions in Bibb County through the America Reads/America Counts Program, and works to support the University's student-led service organizations, as well.