Northwest held its Ninth Annual Peace Brunch on campus for Martin Luther King Jr. Day at 11 a.m. Jan. 20 in the J.W. Jones Student Union Ballroom.
Before the Peace Brunch, a series of service events were held all around Maryville. Mallett said they were open to everyone, and they wanted to start this day with service.
The four locations they had were Oak Pointe, Lettuce Dream, Children and Family Center and Parkdale Manor. They are doing lots of different things at different sights.
One of the locations, the Children and Family Center, was having its volunteers scrape ice and clean. Volunteer Coordinator at the Children and Family Center Julia Day said she received an email about having people come to volunteer.
“Our volunteers are so important and crucial to us; they help us make this environment warm and welcoming to our clients who have nowhere else to go,” Day said.
Day said this was her first year coordinating volunteering, but the Children and Family Center has been participating in the MLK Day service projects the last couple of years.
“I love this idea of taking action and volunteering on MLK Day,” Day said.
At the Peace Brunch, Commissioner Anne-Marie Clarke spoke as the keynote speaker.
Clarke graduated in just two years from Northwest with a degree in political science in 1970. She then moved back to St. Louis, Missouri, to attend law school and became a family court commissioner.
She spoke about her time at Northwest and the importance of diversity and inclusion on a college campus.
“Two years after Dr. King’s death, this was a time when across the United States riots broke out and tensions were high,” Clarke said. “Yet, here at Northwest Missouri State, black and white students came together to create the Organization of Interracial Understanding.”
The Organization of Interacial Understanding was a group that Clarke was a part of during her time at Northwest. It was a group of black and white students that joined together to put on events like a pig roast in honor of Black Week.
Clarke said that she always loved getting to work as the family court commissioner and it never felt like a job.
“There was never a day or a time that I didn’t want to go to work. It was never work, it was an opportunity for me to be of service to my community,” Clarke said.
Clarke said that she knew from a young age that she wanted to be a lawyer. Both of her parents were professionals, her mother a registered nurse and her father a lawyer. She said when her parents would talk about their jobs, her father’s job sparked an interest in her.
“The service and the help that he was providing to our community appealed more to me,” Clarke said.
Throughout MLK Week, Northwest’s multicultural organizations are hosting events on campus.
Director of Diversity and Inclusion Dr. Justin Mallett said that MLK Week is a celebration of events for students to enjoy.
On Tuesday, the Black Student Union is doing a CPR training. On Wednesday, the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. is doing a toiletry drive followed by a movie night hosted by the Minority Men Association. On Thursday, S.I.S.T.A.H. will be hosting a trivia night event.
Mallett said he was pleased with this event because he saw the reconnection of previous Bearcats and Northwest’s current community.
“We’re bringing back some of our alums that got disconnected from Northwest, and we want them to come back to get engaged and make an impact,” Mallett said.