University of South Florida


MLK parade

Members of the USF community participated in the city of St. Peterburg’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Parade in 2023. [Photo by Cliff McBride, University Communications and Marketing]

USF community honors Martin Luther King Jr. with events, student service projects

By Althea Johnson, University Communications and Marketing

The University of South Florida’s annual celebration of the life and values of Martin Luther King Jr. will honor his vision with community service, a brunch and more activities.

USF’s MLK Commemorative Week will provide students an opportunity to participate in five community service projects. The Stampede of Service initiative benefits local nonprofits and organizations that embody King's commitment to service. Students will participate at various locations, including the University Area CDC Hope Garden, which provides fresh organic produce to the community. They’ll serve hot meals at Feeding Tampa Bay’s Trinity Cafe and volunteer at McKay Bay Nature Park.

In addition, USF Alumni chapters and societies will be participating in more than 20 community service projects around the country in January and February in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Projects will take place across the Tampa Bay area and in cities including Houston, Raleigh, Washington, D.C., Denver, Dallas, Portland, Tallahassee, Palm Beach and Jacksonville.

Group of students pose during MLK banquet

USF St. Petersburg students joined more than a dozen middle and high school students from Pinellas County in being honored during the annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Awards Banquet. These students were recognized for overcoming adversity, fighting for social justice and lifting up their communities. 

USF Sarasota-Manatee will host a service-focused Veteran Resource Fair, aimed at bringing multiple community organizations together for a one-stop opportunity for veterans and their dependents. This event will help veterans fully utilize their benefits and offer free resources focused on health, career development and legal services. The resource fair takes place Saturday, Jan. 13, at 10 a.m. in the Selby Auditorium. 

On Monday, Jan. 15, dozens of USF students, faculty and staff members are expected to participate in the city of St. Peterburg’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Parade.

MLK statue

USF’s annual MLK Commemorative Brunch on the Tampa campus will take place on Friday, Jan. 19, at 10:30 a.m., featuring a keynote speech from the Rev. Maurice D. Taylor, pastor of New Progress Missionary Baptist Church in Tampa. The event will take place in the Marshall Student Center Ballroom and is free and open to the public. More information, including registration, can be found here. 

The Tampa campus is home to the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Plaza, featuring a bust of King and portions of his famous “I Have a Dream” speech inscribed in granite, giving students, faculty and staff a place to reflect on his legacy throughout the year.   

In observance of MLK Day, the university will be closed Monday, Jan. 15.

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