Martin Luther King Jr. Day brings people from all races and backgrounds together to
On Aug. 28, 1963, 250,000 people gathered in Washington D.C. to march under the united charge of equality for all. It was led by Martin Luther King Jr. and ended with his famous “I Have a Dream” speech. It had a monumental effect, and still does to this day.
On January 21st, Western Carolina University students gathered in the A.K. Hinds University Center’s Grandroom for opening remarks before they began the annual Unity March around campus. The march was led by student E’Quince Smith, student chair of the MLK committee and a member of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc.
We asked students why they decided to march, here are their responses...
"I am marching today to ensure that the university continues to make strides toward equity for all students and that we have a consistent presence on campus."
"To represent my family. My grandmother didn’t experience racism as a child in a time where there was so much negative and hate and that gives me hope to keep that experience alive to show that love can thrive."
"I’m marching today to make the same walks that my brother did before me, stand up for what we believe in and be a voice."
"I’m marching today to continue Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s tradition, and to promote equality."
"As an African American woman, i feel as though it is my duty to stand up against racial discrimination and violence. It is important that we carry on MLK Jr’s legacy and continue to stand up for what is right. No justice, no peace."
"I’m marching to display solidarity. As students, we have control over our campus and the community within it. We should work to promote a safe space for everyone."
"I’m marching today because we have to be the change we want to see in this world. Good isn’t good enough, I’m here for a greater purpose!"
"On one hand, you have Dr. King and his teachings of inclusivity, and on the other, you have very many individuals who bear so much hate for others strictly based on appearance. Standing up for what you believe in is important, so I’m here to support an environment of inclusivity within our community. I just want to do my part."
"I’m marching today because in order to see the change we want to see, we have to show up and be catalysts for it."