Bring Back initiative benefits nonprofits

Students sorted items that were collected during the Martin Luther King, Jr. Bring Back initiative. Chalice Keith/TheNews

Story by Lindsey Coleman, Staff writer

In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the office of Multicultural Affairs organized a Bring Back initiative to support local nonprofit organizations.

Donations from students and community members were collected in the Curris Center Jan. 16, and after a breakfast and keynote speaker in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, items were sorted and delivered to Need Line, Soup for the Soul, Angel’s Clinic, Court Appointed Special Advocates, Gentry House and Merryman House.

S.G. Carthell, senior director of Diversity Initiatives, said the office of Multicultural Affairs partnered with United Way, community representatives and various offices on campus to make the Bring Back possible.

He said the goal was to coordinate a way for people to give in an organized way and make a difference.

“This is an ongoing effort to bring community and the university together,” Carthell said.

Wuanya Banks, junior from St. Louis, and member of Delta Sigma Theta sorority, said her involvement with the Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration stemmed from her sorority’s values, which are sisterhood, scholarship and service. She said she is involved with the office of Multicultural Affairs and various service projects.

She said she felt like the Bring Back celebrated the ideals Martin Luther King Jr. supported during his lifetime.

“I definitely think Martin Luther King was all about serving the community,” Banks said. “Martin Luther King said that when he died, he didn’t want anyone to say anything about him except that he served.”

Jarred Frazier, senior from Paducah, Kentucky, and member of Alpha Phi Alpha, said part of his admiration of Martin Luther King Jr. comes from King’s membership in Alpha Phi Alpha. Frazier also said King was influential because of his consistency in what he believed.

“I propose this year as a year of purpose,” Frazier said. “As far as involvement, I’m going to be involved in as much as I can, not because I’m in Alpha, more than that…. because I’m an African American man. We have to make a voice.”

He said it’s more than black and white, and he encourages involvement with many different people through the office of Multicultural Affairs.

“For us, there’s no black, white, yellow, green… We’re all one,” Frazier said.