NCCU students showcase talent

Volunteers invited shelter residents to MLK Truth and Service Day event
Jan. 19, 2013 @ 05:54 PM

As a bus unloaded residents from the Urban Ministries of Durham homeless shelter onto the campus of North Carolina Central University on Saturday, student volunteers inside the Elder Student Union gathered by the entrance. When the first visitor opened the door, students started clapping, cheering, and calling out “Good morning!” The visitors smiled back.

Everyone took their seats for a special student talent show organized for the Urban Ministries of Durham residents, who would also join student volunteers for a post-show lunch in the university cafeteria.

Harmony Cross, Miss NCCU and organizer of the event in honor of Martin Luther King Jr., said they wanted the shelter residents to feel one with NCCU and the community, not as outsiders.

“It’s important that people feel as one and not second class,” she said. Cross wanted them to feel welcome.

NCCU Chaplain Michael Page, who brought men and women to campus from Urban Ministries of Durham, said some were making their first trip to NCCU.

“I think our students are very committed to volunteerism and service, and part of that is interacting with social agencies in the community,” Page said. “We know Martin Luther King weekend is about giving and service and teaching, and this fits right in with it.”

The event was called MLK Truth and Service Day: College Life 101. The audience was treated to a sample of what NCCU students can do, beginning with a modern dance performance by a duo who were both alumni of Hillside High School, and then a performance by two members of the NCCU Marching Sound Machine D.O.A. drumline, Xavier Barrett and Marcus Joyner.

“Since it’s Truth and Service Day, we just wanted to give back,” Barrett said.

The H.O.P.E. Mime Ministry also performed. Member Halimat Shonekan said the student group was formed on campus in 2010, and they mime “anywhere and everywhere.”

“We like to save lives, bring people to the Lord through out ministry in any way we can – it doesn’t have to be in church,” she said.

The talent show also showcased spoken word, dance, step and song.

Ciera Fox, a member of the Alpha Lambda chapter of Delta Sigma Theta sorority, said they like to perform at events like the one on Saturday “to help the community out.”