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Community organizers connect ideas to action plans for social change

Georgia Southern University’s Office of Multicultural Affairs and TRIO – Student Support Services (SSS) collaborated with the MLK Jr. Observance Day Association Inc., to host the inaugural MLK Institute for Community and Social Change on Feb. 8-10 at the Armstrong Campus in Savannah.

The MLK Institute is an opportunity for participants to transform an idea they have to serve the needs of their community into a customized action plan that will serve to bring about lasting social change. Participants included concerned citizens, members of neighborhood associations, civic organizations, Greek organizations, college student organizations, community organizers, representatives of faith organizations and others with a desire to make a difference in the Savannah community.

Armstrong Campus staff members involved in the collaborative community program included Corine Ackerson-Jones, director of TRIO-SSS, who serves as chair of the Institute Committee. In addition, the program included workshops and group sessions facilitated by Andrea Willingham, retention specialist for TRIO-SSS, Thomas Bullock, Ed.D., academic success coach for TRIO-SSS, and Lucero Aradillas, assistant director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs.

“Georgia Southern is an institution that serves a diverse population of more than 27,000 students across three campuses in Savannah, Statesboro and Hinesville,” said Vice President for Armstrong and Liberty Campus Operations Christopher Curtis, Ph.D. “It remains committed to supporting initiatives that inform our students of pressing social issues and motivates them toward civic engagement and community stewardship.”

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The MLK Observance Day Association, a 501©3 organization, annually leads the Savannah celebration for the national holiday honoring the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The association also awards college scholarships to students from the Savannah area and contributes small grants to local non-profit groups.

Georgia Southern University, a public Carnegie Doctoral/Research institution founded in 1906, offers 142 degree programs serving more than 27,000 students through nine colleges on three campuses in Savannah, Statesboro, Hinesville and online instruction. A leader in higher education in southeast Georgia, the University provides a diverse student population with expert faculty, world-class scholarship and hands-on learning opportunities. Georgia Southern creates lifelong learners who serve as responsible scholars, leaders and stewards in their communities. Visit


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