Dr. Martin Luther King

Davis Dunavin

For thousands of people across the country, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is a day of service to their community. About 500 volunteers in Bridgeport, Connecticut spent today doing things like sweeping streets and putting together food packages for low-income residents.

Volunteer Sherise Farill pushed a mop down the narrow halls of Harrison Apartments, a low-income housing unit in Bridgeport. About 20 fellow volunteers cleaned up the halls around her. Most of them are students from the University of Bridgeport, like Katherine Collado.

(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Cornell William Brooks was a Yale Law student in 1990. He remembers when students scribbled out their grievances with racism then posted them on a campus wall.

26 years later, Brooks is now President of the NAACP, and a new crop of Yale students still describes ‘a culture of exclusion’ on campus. They’re part of a national movement of schools that erupted in protests against campus racism late last year.

Almost 50 years ago, a Hartford man was part of an event that changed the course of the civil rights movement.  Leroy Moton was born in Selma, Alabama.  As a teenager, he worked with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  in Alabama. He told reporter Sara Karl one of the most difficult and powerful things he saw during that volatile time was the brutal murder of civil rights activist Viola Liuzzo. That murder, he says, had a profound impact on the movement, and on him.