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Race Relations Project Brings MIT Students Into Community Service

Cambridge, MA-About 40 MIT students from a variety of backgrounds will come together on Friday, May 19 to do a day of community service as part of a race relations program.

These students, from Sigma Chi fraternity, the Black Students Union, McCormick (women's) residence hall and the Korean Students Association, will spend the day at the Cambridge Community Center, 5 Callendar Street (off Western Ave.). In the morning they will do service projects such as cleaning, painting and landscaping; in the afternoon they'll work with Cambridge children in the Center's after school program. The students will work on these projects in 4 teams with members from each of the participating groups. The students are putting on this community service day with the assistance of Timberland Corporation, City Year, the MIT Public Service Center and the MIT Committee on Race Relations.

"The program came about as a result of Sigma Chi fraternity wanting to do a proactive project dealing with race relations," said Emily Sandberg, director of MIT's Public Service Center, which helped set up the day's events. "In addition we're pleased to work with Timberland because of their strong commitment to diversity issues."

The students did the majority of the planning for the day's event-talking with various community service agencies around Cambridge to find a good match for their activities.

The establishment of the MIT Committee on Race Relations was announced at MIT's 1994 Martin Luther King Day celebration. It was set up to track and promote campus activities involving race relations issues. Through this group, students, staff and faculty can apply for grants to develop projects that will promote multi-cultural understanding and positive race relations within the MIT community. A number of events have already taken place including lectures, cultural festivals, workshop development and discussion groups.

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