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Louisville District honors life, legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.

By Katie Newton, public affairs

Published Jan. 17, 2020

The Louisville District honored the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., during an event hosted by the Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) office Jan. 16, 2020, at the Romano Mazzoli Federal Building in Louisville, Kentucky.

The event paid tribute to Dr. King’s legacy of service and recognized the importance of using the federal holiday, Jan. 20, as a day to honor him by volunteering to serve others.

“MLK day is not a day off, but a day on,” explained Stacey Purifoy-Jones, Federal Women’s special emphasis program manager for the Louisville District.

To exemplify Dr. King’s legacy of service the EEO team shared about the district’s community outreach event held. Jan. 14. A team of ten Louisville District employees and senior leaders volunteered to serve free meals to the homeless at the Open Hand Kitchen.

The Open Hand Kitchen, located in the Saint Vincent De Paul church in Louisville, Kentucky, is open 365 days a year and relies heavily on volunteers to serve more than 120,000 meals each year.

“People were happy to be acknowledged. In this case they were happy to have a conversation. They were happy that you smiled at them,” said Purifoy-Jones, “But in reality we were truly blessed.”

Logan King, Louisville District EEO specialist who helped organize the event said it was a rewarding experience for all who volunteered. “We put a smile on their face in letting them know that we do care and that was the most rewarding for me,” said King.

Additionally, King encouraged employees to participate in future volunteer opportunities being organized by the EEO office.

Purifoy-Jones further urged employees to consider what individual acts they can do to make a difference. “The need is great. It’s every day,” said Purifoy-Jones. “There are plenty of opportunities to serve.”

One of Dr. King’s famous quotes shared at the event emphasized the same sentiment: “Everybody can be great, because everybody can serve.”

Louisville District Commander Col. Antoinette Gant provided closing remarks for the event where she reflected on all that Dr. King stood for, including his principles of non-violence, diversity and service.

“We are all equal. Everybody has a role that they play in making this nation great,” said Gant. “We all contributed to making this nation what it is today.”

Gant, too, encouraged employees to look for additional ways to be of service to others.

“There are so many organizations that need people like you and I to be a part of it or to give a small gesture,” Gant said. “Each one of us has something that we can do or provide in the form of service.”

“Be of service every day. Here at the Corps, we serve—that’s what we do. We serve our nation and make an impact on other people every day.”

To view the video shown at the event, which reflected on Dr. King’s legacy and urges Americans to volunteer, click here:

If interested in volunteering for future community outreach events, contact the EEO office.