Finlandia celebrates Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

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COVID-19 restrictions kept Finlandia students from engaging in volunteer work for the Martin Luther King holiday, as has become the custom. However, the university is making up for it by hosting social justice educator Jen Fry Tuesday night.

A former Division II athlete, Fry does most of her speaking at the university and college level. After she graduated, she moved on to coaching for 15 years including at the University of Illinois. Fry says college sports is a small world, and volleyball even more tight knit, which provides great connections for her conversations. Finlandia is one such example.

At the core of Fry’s message is the need to destigmatize racial subject matter. She says that she became the person others went to regarding topics that made them uncomfortable.


It became…that friend would always contact me if there was something going on, “Hey Jen, how do we navigate this? How do we do that?” and so it got to be where I was becoming a valuable asset to them. Then I realized it wasn’t just them and they weren’t sure where to get it from.

Fry says that in recent years it has become more difficult to stand out in an increasingly crowded field. She believes her niche, how she differentiates herself, is the ability to use humor. Fry jokes, “My family probably doesn’t think I’m funny, but I do.” Monday, Fry talked at another Michigan school, Alma College.

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