MLK's Life and Legacy Celebrated Through Family Engagement

Flashes Fighting Hunger provides a hot meal and activities to teach children about Martin Luther King Jr.

A student-led initiative at Kent State University commemorated the life and work of Martin Luther King Jr. with an event that served families and children a hot meal – with a side of educational activities. 

MLK Family Event activities at the King Kennedy Center

Flashes Fighting Hunger is a food security initiative powered by Kent State students and volunteers. In January, the organization sponsored a family engagement event at the King Kennedy Community Center in Ravenna. Kent State students, faculty and staff had opportunities to participate in preparing a meal in the Flashes Fighting Hunger Kitchen on campus, located in Tri-Towers, and also to serve meals and lead activities at the King Kennedy Center. 

The event connects to Kent State University's annual Martin Luther King Jr. Commemoration, which celebrates King, his accomplishments and how they resonate today. The university's culture and values use lessons from history – and its own history to guide the Kent State community in promoting kindness and respect. 

MLK Family Event activities at the King Kennedy Center

Activities at the center were designed to help children learn about King's life and legacy as well as the importance of equity and social justice. 

Ja’niyah Berry, a third-year fashion merchandising major and CommUNITY Lab scholar, said “I enjoyed spending time with the kids and getting to know all their personalities. I can’t wait to go back again.” 

CommUNITY Lab is an undergraduate cohort program, housed in Community Engaged Learning . The program offers participating students a network of coordinated care resources at Kent State University while removing financial, academic, and social-emotional barriers to success.

The CommUNITY Lab scholars will be participating in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program with kids at the King Kennedy Community Center throughout the spring semester.

MLK Family Event activities at the King Kennedy Center

Photos provided by Amanda Paulus, senior director, Community Engaged Learning, and Kalena Speicher, a senior political science major working in the Community Engaged Learning offices.  

POSTED: Monday, February 5, 2024 09:51 AM
Updated: Monday, February 5, 2024 11:04 AM
Phil B. Soencksen