Photo by Stephanie Swart
By Regina Baker, Assistant News Editor-
The Covid-19 pandemic has changed many things over the years but for the first time in history, MLK Day of Service has gone virtual.
The MLK Day of Service is a holiday the City of Chattanooga looks forward to every year but due to Covid-19, they had to move the event online. This change in venue brought a new perspective to this year’s celebration.
The City of Chattanooga partnered with UTC and the Center of Multicultural Affairs along with many others to participate in the event. The turnout for the event reached higher numbers than anticipated, and it gave people the opportunity to participate from the safety of their homes.
UTC held a big part in the event sharing what the school and city have been able to accomplish by working together.
Director of Multicultural Affairs for the City of Chattanooga, Karen McReynolds, gave insight into how partnering with UTC has impacted our community.
“This was a day of truth and celebration of students who may not have gotten the opportunities others have but still succeed,” McReynolds said. “I have the opportunity to sit on the chancellor advisory council where I hear about work in equality and inclusion through the university and community.”
There were numerous communities throughout Chattanooga that were able to attend due to the transition to online.
UTC Assistant Director of Multicultural Affairs, Christopher Stokes, explained what moving the event did for the communities the center tries to reach.
“A lot of the communities we work with don’t always have the proper medical help so ensuring their health and safety with Covid-19 was a priority,” Stokes said.
Moving the MLK event online gave many people the opportunity to join without feeling they would be at risk for exposure. The city and university’s goal was to provide a safe way for students and community members to participate and join together while feeling safe.