Comerica Honors MLK Day Volunteering in Michigan

Jan 20, 2020 5:30 PM ET

Make it a day on, not a day off.

That’s the goal of the Corporation for National and Community Service in honoring Dr. Martin Luther King.

For a quarter century, MLK Day has represented the only federal holiday designated as a national day of service to inspire all Americans to volunteer to improve their communities.

Though bank operations closed in recognition of Dr. King’s legacy, this year provided another opportunity for Comerica Bank employees to give back.

“As we celebrate the life and contributions of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., we want to continue his legacy and impact,” said Pat McCann, VP, Sr. Diversity Consultant and Social Impact Director.

“Perhaps there is no better way to honor Dr. King than serving and supporting to improve our communities.”

In Detroit, Comerica Cares volunteers and their families teamed up with The Mission Continues – a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that empowers veterans to build stronger communities through service – to complete numerous improvement projects at the Boys and Girls Club of Southeastern Michigan’s - The Lloyd H. Diehl Club.

Among the projects included assembling bikes, painting murals, organizing wellness kits and constructing cubbies. The purpose of the outreach supports youth health and well-being, while encouraging the club members to stay active throughout the winter months.

With eight clubs in the region, Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan provides high-quality youth development programs for children ages 6-18.

Meanwhile in Ann Arbor, Comerica partnered with the Branch Detroit NAACP and participated in the first-ever Jewish Family Services Diversity Day. The Diversity Day provides families with elementary aged-kids the opportunity to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Day with hands-on activities relating to diversity, equity, inclusion, compassion and understanding of one another.

In all, 16 community groups organized fun activities for at the Jewish Community Center of Ann Arbor.

“We wanted to have a diversity day that celebrates Dr. Martin Luther King’s legacy and to celebrate the day by bringing families together in a meaningful way to learn about diversity, inclusion and equity,” said Jacob Singer, Jewish Family Services family life education and community event coordinator.

“It was great to partner with the NAACP and all of the different local organizations to run activities for all the kids and teach the kids what they do.”

Branch Detroit NACCP executive director Kamilia Landrum and executive assistance Jermaine Peguese spearheaded branch’s participation, with support of Comerica Cares volunteers, and engaged kids in creating a mural by decorating hand cutouts.

"Dr. King's dream will only come true if organizations like the Detroit Branch NAACP and the Jewish Family Services of Washtenaw County continue to partner and promote diversity,” said Landrum.

“The ability to work with children is even more special because their view of the world is still developing. As they learn to extend their hands in friendship, we hope that the color of ones skin will never be the reason it didn't grow.”

The bank’s activities occurred throughout the state of Michigan. At Devos Place in Grand Rapids, Comerica supported the Urban League of West Michigan’s 20th Annual Corporate Breakfast. The event inspired community celebration honoring Dr. King and celebrated the spirit of diversity in the Grand Rapids community. The Urban League paid tribute to trailblazing leaders in business and throughout the community who personify the mission of a more just, peaceful, equitable and thriving Grand Rapids.

Comerica colleagues were also among the approximately 1,800 attendees at the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission of Mid-Michigan’s 35th Annual Day of Celebration highlighted with a luncheon at the Lansing (Mich.) Center. The nonprofit commission, comprised of volunteer representatives, dedicates its mission to preserving the legacy and teachings of Dr. King by supporting community agencies and empowering youth to achieve educational goals.