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Release Date: 
Thursday, February 8, 2007

HFCC students win MLK Day writing contest

HFCC Students Win MLK Day Writing Contest


Henry Ford Community College established a Martin Luther King Jr. writing contest this year, which honored two HFCC students for their essays on Dr. King.

Rheema Davis, 24, of Detroit and Mirinda Fleenery, 21, of Dearborn Heights were both winners in the contest. The contest was established as a reflections piece for the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Service Day Project, according to Cassandra Fluker, director of HFCC’s Student Activities office.

'The contest was a way for students to learn more about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and what he stood for,' noted Fluker. 'Also, it gave exposure to HFCC students and their writing abilities.'

Fleenery, a Liberal Arts major at HFCC, wrote an essay which focused on King’s idea of remaining positive and hopeful in everyday life.

'The incredible spirit of justice and peace that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. possessed could move anyone to tears,' says Fleenery. 'Hearing his speeches inspires a well of emotion in others.'

'Being a student at HFCC, which is an intellectually invigorating environment, helped me focus on this essay,' she added.

Davis wrote her essay on what King did for African Americans, how he worked to unite all races and how we as a society are not upholding that unity, according to Davis.

'I’ve gone through many situations dealing with racial profiling and not being treated fairly because of my color,' notes Davis. 'However, I apply his concepts and ideas to my life, to help me.' The Martin Luther King Jr. Community Service Day Project was created at the University of Michigan in Dearborn in 1995, with HFCC being a part of the project since its inception.

The project focuses on volunteering and helping those less fortunate in the community, in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. The day was created as a ‘day on and not a day off’ to volunteer and help others, according to Fluker.

The event was held Monday, Jan. 15 and included nearly 400 faculty and staff from HFCC, according to Fluker. Other participants included Madonna University, Wayne State University and the United Way for Southeastern Michigan. Students met at U-M Dearborn and then went to pre-assigned sites to volunteer their services.

After the students returned to U-M-D, they participated in a reflection program in which writing contest winners from the colleges involved in the service day spoke as did the presidents of the participating schools, including HFCC President Gail Mee.

'I was very pleased to have the opportunity to participate with our students,' said Dr. Mee. 'I was proud of our students and activities such as those promoting learning and long-term civic engagement.'

The day’s main focus was on community service and helping others who are less fortunate in the community.

'Many do not know that Dr. King emphasized the need and the importance to help others and our communities,' notes Fluker. 'It helps to make a difference and move forward.'

For more information on Martin Luther King Jr. Community Service Day Project or HFCC’s Student Activities office, please contact Cassandra Fluker at 313-845-9838.

For more information on HFCC, visit

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