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The UT community celebrated the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. through a number of events on campus and in Knoxville over the past few days.

More than 300 students volunteered with local organizations on Saturday as part of the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service. The annual program, hosted by the Center of Leadership and Service, allowed students to serve at 20 Knoxville community partner locations.

Junior Jake Tidwell spoke about the importance of students getting involved with the organizations, so the students can be exposed to different organizations throughout the city of Knoxville. He also thinks it’s a way to build more meaningful relationships between students.

“I think the relationships that you can foster during service are far deeper than your average relationship that you’ll find on a college campus,” said Tidwell.

Sophomore Markia Ash reminded people the importance of serving.

“A lot of people don’t view the importance of volunteering and giving back to your community,” said Ash. “Something valuable I am going to take away from this is actually just taking the time to get out and taking time to volunteer.”

On Monday, more than 200 students, faculty, and staff joined the Knoxville community for the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day annual parade.

Interim Chancellor Wayne T. Davis joined interim UT System President Randy Boyd, Director of Athletics Phillip Fulmer, Interim Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Engagement Tyvi Small, Vice Chancellor for Communications Tisha Benton, and members of various campus organizations for the parade.

Senior Mustafa Ali-Smith, president of the UT Knoxville chapter of National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, speaks during the Martin Luther King Jr. celebration at the Frieson Black Cultural Center on January 22, 2019. Photo by Steven Bridges
Senior Mustafa Ali-Smith, president of the UT Knoxville chapter of National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, speaks during the Martin Luther King Jr. celebration at the Frieson Black Cultural Center on January 22, 2019. Photo by Steven Bridges

On Tuesday, about 65 people joined Interim Chancellor Davis for a reception at the Frieson Black Cultural Center. Tyvi Small, Sharon Couch, and Mustafa Ali-Smith gave remarks.