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Education as a Civil Right

Student volunteers from Portland State University joined with eight other Portland-area colleges and universities for the third annual MLK Day of Service, Monday, Jan. 16.  This year it happened at Roosevelt High School in North Portland.

In addition to helping Roosevelt students fix up the school, they also worked with them in interviewing and recording the stories of Portlanders who have taken a stand for civil rights. That project will be included in the Freedom Riders & Fighters Exhibit, which is being displayed at many locations throughout the country.

Rallying around the theme of education as a civil right, the college students also wrote messages of encouragement to each Roosevelt student and displayed them on lawn signs in Roosevelt's courtyard. The message: You are college material.

“Every year we look forward to honoring the legacy of Dr. King by creating opportunities to emulate his dream for the community. The life and message of Dr. King really pulls folks together and inspires great action,” said McKenzie Miller of the Oregon Campus Compact, organizer for the event, which last year drew 1,100 volunteers for projects throughout the city.

The Day of Service was the kickoff for a week of activities honoring the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, including a keynote address on Thursday, Jan. 19 by Rev. W.G. Hardy, Jr.  Rev. Hardy is pastor of Highland United Church of Christ and CEO of Highland Haven, a nonprofit organization providing social services in Portland's communities of color.

See the following link for a full calendar of tribute events at PSU during Martin Luther King's birthday week: