LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – Martin Luther King Jr. Day meant a long weekend for many students, but Monday was an opportunity for several people in the community to give back.
Indiana University Southeast students devoted their holiday off to serving at the non-profit organization Our Place and Alcohol Education services and Autumn Woods Health Campus.
Group Leader Clayton Rose said, "It's really a great place for the community they do a really a really cause."
Students helped the nonprofit organization by cleaning up shelves, building desks and decluttering.
The legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. also inspired events focused on helping others for a Day of Service.
Several community partners gathered before volunteering their time to over a dozen projects across Louisville, including helping out at the Americana Community Center and serving food at Wayside Christian Mission.
Executive Director of Global Game Changers Justin Walker said, "We are creating a program for 50 students from Young Elementary to go to the Muhammad Ali Center everyday for an after school program that will teach them how they can make a difference in the world and how they can be a part of building up themselves, and also helping other people."
Service for Peace also kicked off their 40 Days of Peace campaign. The group plans to meet once a week at a place where crime is common, to talk to young adults about making good choices.
MLK Day also provided the chance to bring concerned groups from both sides of 9th Street together to explore racial components of environmental justice. Kentucky Interfaith Power and Light hosted a discussion about the two methane plants previously planned to go into residential neighborhoods in west Louisville. Those projects are not going forward, but residents are concerned other plans may pop up in the future.
Tim Darst, with Kentucky Interfaith Power and Light, said, "When we have neighborhoods of color they tend to bear an unreasonable burden of environmental issues. Both of our coal-fired plants are here in the West End and we have the chemical plants in the West End. And when we propose to add new things like methane plants in the west end, it's not fair."
Darst said it's important to know about the city's environmental struggles to make healthy choices for the future of our neighborhoods.