More than 120 volunteers took part in Barry-organized community service projects in Miami-Dade County on Jan. 14. The projects were designed to support local communities affected by institutionalized discrimination.
It was Barry’s observance of the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service. The day’s theme was, “The Time is Always Right to Do What is Right.”
The community service projects engaged faculty, staff, students and community partners in neighborhood beautification, community garden maintenance, ecological restoration, and school ground improvement. The projects took place at Urban GreenWorks’ Cerasee Farm in Liberty City and its children’s garden in Little Haiti, as well as at Little Haiti’s Soar Park; historic Virginia Key Beach Park in Key Biscayne; Gratigny Elementary School in North Miami; and in La Paloma, a small neighborhood adjacent to Miami Shores.
High school students participating in Gang Alternative’s BLOC (Building Leaders of Character) program, along with Gang Alternative staff representatives, were among the volunteers at the Little Haiti Optimist Club’s community center and garden at Soar Park. This was the second year that Gang Alternative students and staff participated in Barry’s MLK Day of Service.
The day culminated with an on-campus barbecue, sponsored by the Center for Student Involvement, and reflection activities. The interactive activities were centered around a piece of community art, a social media station and a storytelling booth.
The Center for Community Service Initiatives (CCSI) coordinated the Day of Service with support from the Major Days of Service Committee.
Barry’s MLK Day of Service was sponsored in part by Service for Peace — an MLK Day lead agency funded by the Corporation for National and Community Service — as well as Home Depot and Bagel Bar East, both in North Miami.
The University marks MLK Day of Service each year on the Saturday preceding the King holiday.