How the AmeriCorps Community Came Together for a “Day in Grey”
April 1st marked a horrible tragedy for the AmeriCorps national service community. Joseph Massenburg, an AmeriCorps*NCCC Corps Member on the Vicksburg campus, was killed in New Orleans during his first service project. The sadness and mourning of this horrible event extended into the global national service alumni community and individuals of NCCC and countless other state/national and VISTA programs felt the loss.
Thanks to the inspirational actions of Kyle Henning, an alumnus of AmeriCorps St. Louis Emergency Response Team, class 14 (2007-’08) and AmeriCorps*NCCC Pacific Region in year 13 (’06-’07), “Day in Grey” on April 5, 2013, was created as an opportunity for alumni and current members to share condolences and stand in support of both the Massenburg family and the Vicksburg campus community.
AmeriCorps Alums was overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from the National Service community on “Day in Grey.” Almost 3,500 alumni, current members, and supporters donned their grey and green shirts to commemorate his life on the day of remembrance.
Over 500 images of alumni who shared photos through social media were collected and AmeriCorps Alums created the following mosaic below as a visual representation of the unity participants felt as part of “Day in Grey”:
We hope this mosaic poster and the hundreds of messages of condolence and solidarity, both of which will be shared with the Vicksburg NCCC campus and Massenburg family, bring some solace and comfort in this time of loss. As Anna H. shared on the event page,
“It has been incredible to see the outpouring of support from so many states and so many classes. As a current team leader in the Atlantic region, it reminds me that I’m a part of a national community of strength and service. You are an incredible group of people and I’m privileged to count myself as one of you.”
We were filled with sadness on “Day in Grey”, but also incredibly moved by the support of the National Service community for a fallen member of our own. We continue our Lifetime of Service in the memory of Joseph Massenburg – an AmeriCorps member whose life was lost far too soon.