“All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Through service and educational experiences on their day off of classes, the students of Cairn University upheld and honored the words of Dr. King. Students gathered throughout the Philadelphia community and beyond on Monday, January 20, in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. and his legacy of service and compassion.
Co-sponsored by the University Ministry Center and Student Life, Cairn students honored the memory of MLK by taking an educational trip to Washington, DC. Almost 40 students, including the Jamaica world reach team, traveled to the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. Surrounded by rich culture and history, students observed exhibitions highlighting Dr. King’s life and work along with other collections that focused on African American history and culture.
“The museum opened my eyes to some well-known and some obscure heroes who stood up for justice,” said Abby Rider, a student who went to the museum. “Reading their stories was an honor, and spending MLK Day learning about the depths of oppression that Martin Luther King Jr. ultimately gave his life to change was a blessing.”
Another group composed of those who have or will serve on the Greece world reach team went to the United Nations in New York City. Stephanie Bernotas, student ministries coordinator, took the team there to learn about international diplomacy and its effect on refugee populations, since they will work with UN peacekeepers in the refugee camp in Greece. After spending time with UN officials, the students then partnered with International Project and served Muslim neighborhoods in NYC in a service and learning project.
On campus, the women’s soccer team spent the day serving their fellow Cairn athletes by using the day to clean out locker rooms and organize equipment. The University’s Kenya and Vietnam world reach teams also spent the day training to serve overseas later this year.
With purposeful focus placed on serving and preparing to serve around the world, the University is proud of the vast and diverse work that the students have accomplished this year in honor of Dr. King. The University aims to continue this tradition of service for years to come.