Students and young alumni from Florida A&M University (FAMU), in collaboration with Falling Black In Love and various community organizations, are setting out to complete the ultimate service project – Project 127.
Project 127 challenges FAMUans and service groups around the nation to complete at least 127 community service projects in their area.
According to organizers, the goal to complete 127 projects was set to honor FAMU’s upcoming 127th anniversary and its legacy of “Excellence With Caring” by completing one project for every year FAMU has been in existence.
The challenge kicks off on Jan. 20, the national observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, from 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Locally, volunteers from Project 127 will work with such organizations as the Tallahassee Hope House, to complete a beautification project and with Dare 2 Dream, a co-organizer of the MLK Festival in Downtown Tallahassee.
Individuals and organizations from Alabama, California, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia and Washington, D.C. are also slated to participate.
Participating service groups include: Feeding America Tampa Bay, Fla., Atlanta’s HELP ORG, Inc., the American Red Cross – Fort Worth, Texas and Urban Neighborhood Renewal Services in Philadelphia.
Participants have agreed to provide service in areas such as beautification and trash pickup, feeding the homeless and assisting the elderly.
For those who are unable to physically participate in a service project due to work schedules or other circumstances, Project 127 organizers are encouraging participants to call and visit the “sick and shut-in” in their communities.
According to participant Rondrea Mathis, Project 127 strives to keep the spirit of both Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his wife, Coretta Scott King, alive by promoting community involvement and service to others.
“On this day of service, commemorating the birth of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., FAMU's young alumni from across the nation pause to conduct meaningful service in the communities, enclaves and neighborhoods in which we live,” said Mathis, vice-president of the Tampa Chapter of the FAMU National Alumni Association.
Additionally, participants are encouraged to complete 127 minutes or more of service (at least two hours) and are invited to post photos of their projects on the Falling Black in Love Facebook and Twitter pages.
“Project 127 exemplifies the power we have to better our community and it’s a great way to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.,” said Shanice Hunter, a participant and public relations student at FAMU.
According to Eric Wright, Project 127 was created to encourage young people, particularly African-American men and women, to live out the legacy of King by becoming actively involved in community service.
“I am really, more than anything, asking people to get out and serve. It doesn’t matter what you do, or how you do it – just do it,” said Wright, a FAMU alumnus and co-organizer for Falling Black in Love. “More importantly, I want other people to be inspired to go out and do something. Next year, I challenge other HBCUs to take the lead in leading the nation in serving on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.”
For more information and a complete list of projects in your area, contact Eric Wright at (813) 480-8996 or visit Falling Black In Love on Facebook.