Indiana Tech celebrates MLK Day with community service
To commemorate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy of unity and service, Indiana Tech’s Office of Diversity & Inclusion chooses to celebrate his birthday—every year—by providing faculty, staff and students opportunities to engage in service for the Fort Wayne community. We look at it as a “day on,” rather than a day off.
On Monday, Indiana Tech partnered with the Oxford Community Association to assist with indoor cleaning projects at its association building. Over 25 volunteers from Indiana Tech, United Way of Allen County and the Oxford community came together to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. through service. United Way of Allen County provided a dumpster and volunteers worked in different rooms of the building to clear out unusable items, clean up debris and reorganize the space for future community use.
“With the concerns related to COVID-19 and most of our students still not having returned to campus yet, I was worried about having enough volunteers and for the project coming together. But, I could not have been happier with the turnout we had,” said Gabrielle Parsons, assistant director of the Office of Diversity & Inclusion. “The building was alive with movement, laughter, and folks of all ages, backgrounds and identities working together to get things done.”
The Oxford Community Association is a 501(c)3 non-profit that works to increase safety and cleanliness in the neighborhood, and to support businesses that better the community. It is the first and only association in Fort Wayne to own its own building. The community building has fallen into disrepair through the years and only has a handful of people trying to bring it back to its full potential. Goals for the association building are to offer leasable office space, a functioning community center, and meeting spaces for community planning. The Oxford Community Association is led by President, Diane Rogers, a longtime Southeast Fort Wayne resident and former Fort Wayne Police Officer of 27 years.
“When Ms. Diane called me the following day, she expressed how grateful she was for the help and how it gave her renewed sense of energy for revitalizing the building,” Parsons said. “I’m so proud that Tech was able to help a small, local organization in such a big way.”
Indiana Tech Participants:
- Judy Roy, Executive Vice President for Finance & Administration
- Lisa D. Givan, Vice President of Institutional Diversity, Equity & Belonging
- Carrie Duke (English professor)
- Julie Good (Biology professor)
- Arianna Cooper (student)
- Brianna Strozier (student)
- Vi Trinh (student)
- Diane Rogers, President of Oxford Community Association
- Kiersten Gamby, Manager of Volunteer & Community Engagement at United Way of Allen County