Jan. 12, 2016

The Catholic University of America is aiming to send more than 800 members of the University community into D.C. neighborhoods to participate in the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service on Monday, Jan. 18.

Students, faculty, and staff - including President John Garvey and his wife, Jeanne - will spend the national holiday on service projects at one of approximately 20 locations throughout the city. Currently, more than 500 people have registered to participate. Emmjolee Mendoza Waters, associate director of community service in the Office of Campus Ministry, said she hopes to have more than 800 people from Catholic University participate, which would make it the largest service event in Catholic University's history.

This is the 11th consecutive year Catholic University has organized service projects on MLK Day. When the University's MLK Day of Service began in 2006, 26 volunteers participated. Last year, that number had grown to more than 750 participants.

"This has become such a big community event. People want to participate in it because brings our CUA community together through service. It's a Catholic University tradition," explains Mendoza Waters. "The MLK Day of Service shows the power of community. The change we can make in that one day is significant. We get a chance to see what good we can do with our God-given talents."

Before heading to service locations, participants will gather in the Edward J. Pryzbyla University Center Great Room on Monday morning for breakfast and to hear from Thomasine Johnson, associate vice president for public safety and emergency management. Johnson will speak about her own experience living through the Civil Rights Movement.

Johnson's talk is a new part of the MLK Day of Service. Mendoza Waters said that Campus Ministry wanted to connect the service day to the personal experiences of those who lived during the Civil Rights Movement. The Institute for Policy Research & Catholic Studies also will present an exhibit in the Pryzbyla Center that is focused on the role of the Catholic Church in the Civil Rights Movement.

Breakfast, lunch, transportation, and T-shirts will be provided to volunteers. To sign up, visit service.cua.edu .