EAST STROUDSBURG, Pa. — A Monroe County community showed up in numbers Monday morning to celebrate the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. over breakfast.
The annual celebration breakfast was held for the 23rd year at East Stroudsburg University. The school’s president says the first breakfast brought a crowd of 40 people
“To where we now have at least 350 people here this morning, so I think it is a statement to our community that we need to accept one another and we need to be inclusive,” said Marcia Welsh, ESU president.
“I’m glad to see all of these people,” said sophomore Michael Millsip. “This is my second time being here, so it’s always a huge thing when I see all of these people come out to show their support.”
President Welsh says the growth of the event mirrors the growth of diverse populations on campus.
“We’ve grown very fast to be the most diverse campus in the state system and I think that we have to work every day to make sure we understand each other.”
The event is largely run by student volunteers, including sophomore D’Andre Richards who says he’s proud to help out at this celebration of inclusion. He is also a member of the Black Student Union and other clubs that celebrate diversity.
“ESU is always trying to take care of its students of every multi-cultural organization and ethnicity and always trying to be inclusive in every way shape or form, so it always feels like I have some sort of support if not with an organization, with the school,” Richards said.
Paying homage to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at ESU doesn’t end with breakfast. The university has a day of service planned in his honor the first week of February.
Proceeds from the event go to the Mary Gertrude Smith Boddie Scholarship Foundation. It’s awarded each year at the breakfast. It’s a scholarship given in the name of the first African-American student to graduate from ESU.