UNI to honor Martin Luther King Jr. with day of service

Posted on Tuesday, January 5th, 2016

Steffoni Schmidt, adviser, UNI Service & Leadership Council, 319-273-7422,

Shelby Yates, executive director, Days of Service, Service & Leadership Council,

Lindsay Cunningham, Office of University Relations, 319-273-2761,

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- University of Northern Iowa students, faculty and staff will celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day with a day of service on Monday, Jan 18. The event is free and open to the public.

The MLK Day of Service will take place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Maucker Union Ballroom. Participants will be packaging 25,000 rice and bean meals for the Northeast Iowa Food Bank that will be distributed to 16 counties in Iowa. Volunteers will receive a free T-shirt and can register at

"Although MLK Day is a day off of school, the UNI Service & Leadership Council is pushing to make it a day on for service," said Shelby Yates, executive director of UNI's Service & Leadership Council Days of Service. "Hunger is a real issue right here in our communities and this national day of service is a great opportunity to educate students on this issue."

There will be a hunger simulation meal that will help volunteers better understand what hunger means. The Center for Vocational Reflection will sponsor the rice and bean lunch for volunteers and lead a discussion during the event.

Michael Blackwell, former UNI professor and former director of the Center for Multicultural Education, will speak about the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. during the service event from 11:30 a.m. to noon. In addition, a Northeast Iowa Food Bank representative will speak about local hunger statistics and how meals will benefit the community. An outreach representative will talk about the food bank.

For additional information on the MLK Day of Service, contact Steffoni Schmidt, adviser for UNI's Service & Leadership Council, at 319-273-7422 or, or Yates at