The presentation will feature guest speaker Van Turner Jr., Shelby County Commissioner for District 12, who will discuss the importance of honoring Dr. King’s legacy through civic engagement, highlight how the members of the CBU community can join the fight for social and racial justice, and talk about how individuals can make meaningful contributions by getting involved in local organizations in Memphis. It will be broadcast online via Zoom on Monday, January 18 at 4:00 pm. A question-and-answer session will be held following Commissioner Turner’s remarks. The presentation will be hosted by Dr. Mary McConner, Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at CBU, and presented in conjunction with the Center for Community Engagement, CBU Mission and Identity, and the Office of the President.

Commissioner Van Turner Jr. was elected to the Shelby County Board of Commissioners to represent the newly formed District 12 in 2014 and was re-elected without opposition in 2018. His commission district includes the communities of Hickory Hill, Richwood, Southwind, Bennington Place and several unincorporated areas of Southeast Shelby County. Commissioner Turner is a partner in the law firm of Bruce Turner, PLLC (“BT Law”), concentrating in the areas of business litigation, business transactions, government relations, municipal law, and estate planning. He has served on the board of directors of the American Bar Association, the National Bar Association, the Tennessee Bar Association, the Mississippi Bar Association, and the Memphis Bar Association. In addition, he has served as chairman of the Shelby County Democratic Party and on the board of directors for the Memphis Branch of the NAACP, Leadership Academy, and Leadership Memphis. Commissioner Turner is also the president and CEO of Memphis Greenspace, Inc., the nonprofit organization which removed two confederate monuments from public parks in Memphis.

“Equality and Justice for All: Honoring Dr. King’s Legacy Through Civic and Social Engagement” will be available online at this Zoom link.

CBU is also observing Martin Luther King Day — and its own Lasallian founding principles of concern for the poor and social justice — by partnering with Volunteer Memphis for its MLK Days of Service events. While student and faculty/staff volunteers are encouraged to participate in any of the community service projects, the University and its Center for Community Engagement is placing particular emphasis on recruiting volunteers for a virtual event supporting American Red Cross and its Missing Maps Project, which is scheduled for Monday, January 18 from 2:00 to 3:00 pm.

Volunteers will be asked to search for areas and buildings that are “missing” on any maps using an online application called OpenStreetMap. Because of missing online map information, the people living in these areas are often vulnerable when natural disasters arise. Volunteers trace satellite imagery into the OpenStreetMap application and add local details such as neighborhoods, street names, and evacuation centers. As a results of the volunteer efforts, first responders can then have a better understanding of where to go when immediate help is needed and to better plan risk reduction and disaster response activities that save lives.

Additional information on this Center for Community Engagement service project is available at this link.