Drive embodies holiday meaning

Gannon University students and faculty helped out the local Martin Luther King Center’s library this year by providing books and donations to people of the Erie community.

The MLK book drive was conducted by Anjali Sahay, Ph.D., assistant professor in the department of political, legal and international studies, and Ann Bomberger, Ph.D., professor in the English department.

Gannon’s MLK committee had been collecting books for the book drive from early December up until Martin Luther King Day.

Sahay and Bomberger collected 118 books and raised $123 to purchase books for the MLK Center library.

The MLK Center does valuable work right within Gannon’s own neighborhood by providing after-school programs, home buying resources, day care and other social services.

Last year there was a library put into the MLK Center — which is named the Keith Taylor library in honor of Gannon University’s President Taylor – to have books available in order to help students with succeed in school.

Bomberger said that education plays a crucial role in reversing social inequities and injustices.

“Education is one of the ways that helps with class mobility,” Bomberger said.

The Erie community celebrated MLK Day as well as the 50th year of Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech, which occurred on Aug. 28, 1963, by doing a prayer service, a march in Perry Square and viewing President Barack Obama’s inauguration.

King Fatunmbi, a sophomore mechanical engineering major, attended the MLK Day prayer service in which people shared their dreams for the future.

“As I was reading these dreams, one caught my eye,” Fatunmbi said. “It said something along the lines ‘I have a dream that one day every new generation will be better than the last.’”

It is good for students and faculty to be involved with trying to think about how they can make the world more just and fair, according to Bomberger.

“I think the ‘I have a dream’ speech was so moving because it very eloquently talked about this desire to push for equality and for making the world a better place for everybody’s children, which is still pertinent today,” she said.

Jessica Hubert, assistant director in the Office of Social Concerns, said her faith plays a role in her desire to help others.

“We are all God’s children, and we can encounter God in the faces of our neighbors,” she said.

“We are glad to support projects that help us live this reality and live Dr. King’s vision of a just and peaceful world.”

The Office of Social Concerns and other offices throughout campus have a long-term relationship with the MLK Center, and Hubert said that the outpouring of support for this endeavor was encouraging.

“The campus community was very generous with their donations, and no doubt the kids who visit the Center will be grateful for our donations,” Hubert said. “By supporting the MLK Center’s programs, we are supporting our neighbors, living Gannon’s mission and helping build up our community.”

The MLK committee is also organizing events for Black History Month, which include a soul food dinner, open mic night at the Knight Club and submissions to the “Live the Dream” multimedia contest.



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