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Martin Luther King, Jr Day Closures, Events

On the day set aside to commemorate his accomplishments, many local groups are honoring Martin Luther King, Junior by performing community service works around the city.

Beyond the standard closures of banks, state and other offices, as well as school – many groups are taking this day to help others.  Below is a listing of closures and events from around the Sun City

EPFD, American Red Cross to Hold SmokeWalk

According to the National Fire Protection Association, every day, seven people die in home fires. More than a third of these deaths result from fires in which no smoke alarms were present. By having a working smoke alarm installed, the risk is reduced by more than 50%. Smoke alarms can provide you with valuable time to evacuate safely.

On January 21st, 2019, as part of celebrating Martin Luther King Day of Service, the Fire Department and Animal Services, alongside the American Red Cross and other local groups, will canvass the neighborhood around Fire Station 28 to install free smoke alarms and educate families about fire prevention and safety.

During the event, Animal Services will also be visiting the neighborhood to offer free pet microchips and checking to ensure all existing microchips are updated with current information.​

Residents who are interested in having a smoke alarm installed at their home can dial 3-1-1 or visit​ to schedule a visit. The Fire Department provides this service at no cost.

WHAT: Day of Service Smoke Walk

WHEN: Monday, January 21st, 2019 – 9:00 AM

WHERE: EPFD Station 28 – 10800 McCombs Dr. El Paso TX, 79924


SISD to close in observance of  Martin Luther King Jr. holiday Jan. 21

The Socorro Independent School District will be closed on Monday, Jan. 21 in observance of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. Classes will resume and offices will re-open on Tuesday, Jan. 22.


TTUHSC El Paso  Students to Volunteer in Five Communities on MLK Jr. Day

Students from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso (TTUHSC El Paso) will volunteer at a number of community service events around El Paso County on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

As part of the Society, Community and the Individual (SCI) course, first-year medical students at TTUHSC El Paso spend their first month immersed in communities around El Paso, getting a jump-start on their medical Spanish skills and learning about health needs around the city. During the course, students spend time with community residents and gain an appreciation for public health service.

Out of that experience, the SCI course and the SGA have planned events around El Paso County on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, when students will address some of the community needs that residents told them about.

TTUHSC El Paso encourages a philosophy of service education, a form of teaching that encourages meaningful community service. More than 100 volunteers from the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine, Gayle Greve Hunt School of Nursing and Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences will participate in activities at six locations:

Fabens: Rio Valle Woman’s Club, 521 Mike Maros St. – From 9:30 a.m. to noon, the Fabens Water Forum will offer information about healthy water to residents of Fabens and the surrounding communities, some of which rely on domestic wells. The forum will distribute information on the value of sink water filters and ways the community can maintain sanitary conditions regardless of water conditions.

San Elizario: La Fe San Elizario Clinic, 12101 Socorro Road – From 9:30 a.m. to noon, the San Eli’s Really Good Food event will offer ancestral cooking demonstrations, nutritional information, a free breakfast and more.

Sunland Park: Ardovino’s Desert Crossing, 1 Ardovinos Drive – From 9 to 11:30 a.m., a Dream Big Reading Event will be held at Ardovino’s Desert Crossing. There will be volunteers serving cocoa and reading stories, as well as a book giveaway for children who live in Sunland Park, New Mexico.

Northeast El Paso: El Paso Veterans One-Stop Center, 9565 Diana Drive – From 9 to 11:30 a.m., a Community Resource Fair for veterans will be held. The fair will offer health education, veteran resources, health screening, free items and more.

Downtown El Paso: Community Garden, Across Street from 816 Magoffin Avenue – From 9 to 11:30 a.m., students will help prepare the Opportunity Center for the Homeless’ and Columban Mission’s community garden for spring seeding.


EPCC Honors Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 

El Paso Community College (EPCC) will be closed on Monday, January 21, 2019 in observance of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

This holiday coincides with the beginning of the spring 2019 semester.  The semester begins on Tuesday, January 22, 2019.


2019 Martin Luther King Jr. Day Schedule

In observance of the Martin Luther King Jr. Day Holiday, City Hall and administrative offices will be closed on Monday, January 21.

City Hall, along with City administrative offices, will resume business hours from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., on Tuesday, January 22.

A complete list of City services and facility closures is posted on the “Martin Luther King Jr. Day Holiday Schedule” banner at


UTEP Closed Jan. 21 in Observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

The University of Texas at El Paso will be closed Monday, Jan. 21 in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

Students will return to campus Tuesday, Jan. 22 to begin the spring 2019 semester.

Annual MLK Canned Food Drive Underway

The El Paso Public Library is asking the community to donate canned and non-perishable food as part of the 19th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Canned Food Drive that runs through January 21.

The MLK Canned Food Drive is held each year to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy of community service. Since its inception, the annual food drive has collected more than 300 tons of food for local shelters.

The food drive began as a partnership between the City and County of El Paso in an effort to serve our community in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Donated food items may be dropped off at any public library branch. The items will be distributed directly to organizations that feed the hungry such as the Opportunity Center for the Homeless, the El Paso Homeless Shelter, the Center Against Family Violence, the Salvation Army, La Posada Home, Reynolds Home and others.

For more information on the MLK Food Canned Food Drive, call the El Paso Public Library at (915) 212-3201 or visit the library’s website.

Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Canned Food Drive Begins Thursday

The 18th Annual MLK Canned Food Drive kicks off on Thursday, January 4 at 10 a.m. at the Vista Super Market located at 2231 North Zaragoza.

The MLK Canned Food Drive committee, chaired by Carl Robinson, says that beneficiaries of the food drive include the Opportunity Center for the Homeless, the El Paso Homeless Shelter, the Center Against Family Violence, the Salvation Army, La Posada Home, Reynolds Home and others.

Collection sites include all Vista Super Markets, all Public Library locations, Sam’s Club on Diana (9498 Gateway North), El Paso Sheriff’s Ofc Headquaters, Downtown and Annex, El Paso County Courthouse third floor.

Donors can bring their items to any of the collection sites and drop them in the collection bins.  Donations will be distributed to the beneficiaries on MLK Day, January 15th.

Education, Student Leadership Highlight NMSU’s Black History Month

Festus Addo-Yobo, director of Black Programs at New Mexico State University, agrees with Martin Luther King Jr.’s principle, “Nonviolence chooses love instead of hate.” And he would like NMSU’s Black History Month in February to reflect that – and other – principles outlined by King.

Addo-Yobo, who has a doctorate in educational management and development from NMSU, said the community should come together despite any differences.

“We can be different, but that doesn’t mean that, culturally, we can’t come together,” Addo-Yobo said. “We all have many more similarities than differences. Differences do exist, but we do have a common denominator in that we really want to be free, we want to understand each other and we want to be in a society that is progressive.”

The month-long celebration is an opportunity to create awareness and strengthen relationships.

From a feature film to an author’s presentation, and from a pageant to a student leadership conference, Black History Month offers many opportunities for the entire NMSU community.

Following is a list of the events on campus:

Wednesday, Feb. 1 (6:30 to 9 p.m.)
Afro-heritage movie night
“Good Hair,” a documentary/comedy starring Chris Rock
Corbett Center Student Union Auditorium

Thursday, Feb. 2 (5 to 8 p.m.)
Friday, Feb. 3 (4:30 to 9 p.m.)
Underground Railroad cultural exhibit
Corbett Center Aggie Underground

Friday, Feb. 3 (6 to 9 p.m.)
Guest speaker John Keene
Writer John Keene is an Associate Professor and Chair of African-American and African Studies at Rutgers. He recently published a book titled “Counternarratives,” a collection of fictional stories.
Corbett Center Auditorium

Friday, Feb. 10 (8:30 to 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 to 4:30 p.m.)

Guest speaker Christine A. Stanley
Christine A. Stanley, Texas A&M University Vice President and Associate Provost for Diversity, will present “Ideas for Teaching in a Diverse Classroom.”
Milton Hall, Room 50

Friday, Feb. 10 (6 to 9 p.m.)
Mr. and Mrs. Ebony Pageant
Application deadline: Jan. 31
Corbett Center Auditorium

Friday, Feb. 17, to Sunday, Feb. 19
Black by Southwest Student Summit
(Please contact NMSU Black Programs for details)

Friday, Feb. 24 (2:30 to 3:30 p.m.)
African-American Students Speak Out
A panel discussion regarding African-American students’ needs and desires at NMSU will be held.
Milton Hall, Room 50

Sunday, Feb. 26
Appreciation dinner
(Please contact NMSU Black Programs for details)
Corbett Center West Ballroom

Meligha Garfield, peer mentor for NMSU Black Programs and adviser for the NMSU Black Students Association, said education is a major focus of this year’s celebration.

“For the past couple of years, we have not been able to get educational programs on campus, as far as minors or classes dealing with African-American studies, African studies or Pan-African studies,” Garfield said. “So we want to bring some events to our campus that are centered around the importance of education dealing with African-Americans and Pan-Africans.”

Addo-Yobo stressed the importance of the educational aspect of this year’s celebration.

“I’m really glad that we’re bringing Christine Stanley and John Keene,” Addo-Yobo said. “Not only is John the chair of African-American and African Studies at Rutgers, he’s done a lot of work in terms of poetry and narratives. He’s really deep. It’s important we’re bringing both Christine and John, to have different ideas of teaching in our multi-cultural and diverse society.”

The Black by Southwest Student Summit is a new event this year, at which students from about 10 schools will attend, including Arizona State University, NMSU, University of Colorado, University of New Mexico and University of Texas at El Paso.

“The Black by Southwest Student Summit is actually our first conference at NMSU,” Garfield said. “Essentially, the aim of the summit is to craft black student leaders, as well as to educate the public about different issues among the African-American community that are plaguing in post-modern times, both on campus and in the United States.”

Addo-Yobo said the leadership summit is an opportunity for students to learn from each other.

“It’s not African-American students being egocentric, but we want to know: Who are the student leaders, and what are they doing for their communities?” he said. “What are African-American students learning from other African-American groups, from white groups, from Latino groups? What are the sororities and fraternities doing?”

Not only do event organizers aim to create awareness, the celebration provides a cultural experience for the entire campus community.

“Conscientiousness is a learning process, so I think people should come and see some of these events and create alliances for a progressive tomorrow,” Addo-Yobo said. “The entire celebration is really going to be a dynamic program.

“We need to support these programs, not only Black Programs and its cultural events, but others as well. If the feminists have something, we have to be there. If the LGBT community has something, we have to be there. If the conservatives have something, we have to be there. We have a shared commonality: love, peace and happiness.”

All events are free. The celebration is sponsored by Aggies Activities Council, Associated Students of NMSU, NMSU Black Programs, NMSU Black Students Association, NMSU English Department and NMSU Teaching Academy.

For more information, please call NMSU Black Programs at 575-646-4208

Author:  Kristie Garcia – NMSU

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