EAST LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan State University Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Celebration Planning Committee is hosting a virtual “Stuff the Library” event as a component of the 44th annual MSU MLK celebration.

This year’s celebration began Friday, Jan. 12 with events and programs planned through Friday, Jan. 19. As part of the overall celebration, the committee is partnering with Grand Rapids Public Schools to fill libraries with books on topics of social justice and with characters representing diverse backgrounds.

“Our goal for the past three years and going forward is to raise awareness and promote books with a diverse representation of people and topics,” said project co-creator Jaimie Hutchison, director of the MSU WorkLife Office. “We want to get books into the hands of children and teens in Grand Rapids and increase the resources on diversity and inclusion available in the community.” 

“MSU takes pride in the continued legacy of the book drive in our community,” said Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer Jabbar R. Bennett, Ph.D. “These efforts help our children envision a society where they will lead and we will all live and thrive together.”

The first year of the virtual “Stuff the Library” event raised $4,331 for schools in Ingham County, the 2022 event raised $13,002 for Detroit Public Schools and the 2023 event raised $5,446 for Flint Public Schools. This year’s goal is set at $5,000 and 1,000 books, which will be donated to Grand Rapids Public Schools.

There are several ways to participate and donations will be accepted through Feb. 28, 2024.

  1. Shop for books from the Amazon wishlist and mail books to the donation collection point address saved within the Amazon wishlist. Books will be distributed to local schools and organizations in Grand Rapids. Or shop at a people of color-owned bookstore or independent bookstore like bookshop.org or liberationstationbookstore.com. The Amazon list has a wide variety of books to choose from or you can choose a book you love that fits the theme.  
  2. Mail any book donations to: WorkLife Office C/O MLK Stuff Library, 479 West Circle Drive, Linton Hall, Suite 116, East Lansing, MI 48824 or drop them off at the MSU WorkLife Office.  
  3. Donate funds digitally through CrowdPower. 

“We are excited to be partnering with Grand Rapids Public Schools for this year’s event,” said project co-creator Dan DiMaggio, “Stuff the Library” committee member and director of Student Engagement in the MSU Alumni Office. “Books are a powerful way for children to learn about other cultures and the world they live in and getting as many as possible into their hands that depict a diverse representation of peoples and topics is our No. 1 goal. We want to create a lasting legacy to honor the memory of Dr. King and his work.”

“This event is a great opportunity for the community to come together in support of Grand Rapids Public Schools and offer children a way to explore other cultures, peoples and identities,” said KC Keyton, project co-creator, “Stuff the Library” committee member and assistant director of Student Volunteer Programs with the MSU Center for Community Engaged Learning. “Diversity and inclusion are important all year. “Stuff the Library” starts with the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Celebration and continues to engage the community into Black History Month.”

“Stuff the Library” is part of a larger array of events happening during MSU’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Celebration, which was founded in 1980. The MSU Office for Institutional Diversity and Inclusion helps coordinate activities throughout the weeklong MLK celebration. 

Donations will be accepted through Feb. 28, 2024.

By Kate White