The nation will commemorate the life and accomplishments of noted civil rights leader Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. on Monday, Jan. 15. Here in Houston, the University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) community will celebrate his memory by supporting those in need and promoting pride in the community.
At 10 a.m., the 24th Annual MLK Day Grande Parade will kick off in midtown and proceed northbound along San Jacinto Street. Joining the procession will be UHD’s cheer team and Gatorette dance team. Mascot Ed-U-Gator also will be in attendance. It will be the fourth year that UHD’s spirit ambassadors participate in this citywide event.
“This is a great honor for our students and our University,” said Richard Sebastiani, director of UHD Sports and Fitness. “It’s important for our students to join the Houston community in celebrating the accomplishments and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. All the credit goes to our student leaders in making the conscious decision and effort to actively participate in this wonderful event. Hopefully, this will remain a Gator tradition in the years to come.”
Also that morning, approximately 100 Gators will volunteer in Houston’s Near Northside neighborhood.
“On this national day of service, UHD is working with our neighbors in the Near Northside to contribute improvements to the community’s environment and the well-being of its members,” said Dr. Poonam Gulati Salhorta, director of UHD’s Center for Community Engagement & Service Learning. “We look forward to meeting members of this community and providing meaningful, hands-on service.”
Online registration is still available for volunteers, who will meet at UHD at 8 a.m. and travel to Ketelsen Elementary School. From there, volunteers will be divided into groups and assigned to one of the following activities:
- Community clean-up (1198 West St.)
- Graffiti removal at Poppa Burger (1622 North Main St.)
- Garden upkeep at Ketelsen Elementary School (600 Quitman St.)
- Community clean-up at Earl Henderson Park (4250 Elysian St.)
- Building facelift (painting, power washing) at Jefferson Elementary School (5000 Sharman St.)
- Community clean-up (18 Stokes St.)
A map to these events is available here. Volunteer activities begin at approximately 10 a.m. and will conclude by 1 p.m.
This effort, titled GatorServe, is coordinated by UHD’s Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning, and Student Activities. Support is provided by Keep Houston Beautiful, State Farm Insurance, Wells Fargo, Greater Northside Management District and Avenue.
Houston City Council Member Karla Cisneros (representing District H) is scheduled to deliver opening remarks at Ketelsen Elementary School prior to volunteers heading to their respective assignments.