Auburn’s Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Week to be highlighted by special virtual events, community service drive

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An eight-day donation drive to benefit nursing homes in the community will kick off this year’s Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Week activities at Auburn University.

The annual celebration week—slated for Jan. 18-22—will be preceded by a Nursing Home Drive Collection to benefit local nursing homes that is co-sponsored by Auburn’s Office of Inclusion and Diversity, or OID, and the Auburn Student Nursing Association. The drive begins on Tuesday, Jan. 12, and runs through Wednesday, Jan. 20, and organizers are asking for donations of travel-sized toiletries for area nursing home residents.

Acceptable items include hand sanitizer, soap and body wash, toothpaste, lotion, men’s and women’s deodorant, flushable wipes, floss, shampoo, conditioner and Chapstick, and items will be collected at the Cross Cultural Center for Excellence in Suite 2104 of the Harold D. Melton Student Center. On Thursday, Jan. 21, volunteers can participate in the Nursing Home Drive Packing Day at 8 a.m. in Suite 2104, and anyone interested in helping can register via this link.

Nursing Home Drive Packing Day organizers need volunteers—while wearing masks and practicing social distancing—to help prepare donations for delivery to area nursing homes. The donation drive is designed to give the Auburn Family a way to reach out to those in need during these trying times.

On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Monday, Jan. 18, OID, University Outreach and the National Forum for Black Public Administrators will host the MLK Scholarship Breakfast, a virtual gathering with the theme, “Honoring the Dream: Exploring 21st Century Civic Engagement and Advocacy,” from 7:30-9:30 a.m. featuring Auburn alumnus Chef Justin Robinson and local Lee County Community leaders and organizers. “Chef JRob” will kick off the event with a live cooking class. Participants also have the option to purchase breakfast from local restaurants Lucy’s or Jahvon’s for pickup to enjoy as they login to the online panel discussion and scholarship awards ceremony.

The first 30 registrants for the breakfast will receive a free copy of Robinson’s new cookbook “Justin Time,” and participants also may become event sponsors via donations that will support Lee County high school students.

Celebration week festivities continue Wednesday, Jan. 20, with a self-care session with Blaze Wellness that will be led by Auburn alumna Noelle Lucas at 5:30 p.m. Lucas will lead up to 50 participants in a safe, at-home essential oils workshop that will offer an opportunity to explore the impact of racial battle fatigue on physical, mental and emotional well-being, examine the concept of weathering and how it impacts quality of life, unpack allyship and its connection to racial battle fatigue and identify opportunities for cultivating spaces for rest. Anyone interested in participating can register here.

For more information about any of Auburn’s MLK Celebration Week events, go to:

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Auburn University is a nationally ranked land grant institution recognized for its commitment to world-class scholarship, interdisciplinary research with an elite, top-tier Carnegie R1 classification, life-changing outreach with Carnegie’s Community Engagement designation and an undergraduate education experience second to none. Auburn is home to more than 30,000 students, and its faculty and research partners collaborate to develop and deliver meaningful scholarship, science and technology-based advancements that meet pressing regional, national and global needs. Auburn’s commitment to active student engagement, professional success and public/private partnership drives a growing reputation for outreach and extension that delivers broad economic, health and societal impact.