Members of the college community gathered together on Monday, Jan. 16, in front of Schaffer Library to celebrate the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and to promote coexistence and solidarity among individuals. The “Unity @ Union March” was held as part of a series of events planned throughout the week to celebrate Dr. King’s mission and ideology.
The March is an annual event that happens on Dr. King’s birthday every year. The goal of such events is to honor the legacy and contributions of Dr. King, while also promoting a sense of unity between members of the campus community.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was an American Baptist minister and activist who was a leader in the Civil Rights Movement. Based on his Christian beliefs, he is best known for his role in the advancement of civil rights using nonviolent civil disobedience.
Martin Luther King Jr. Day is an American federal holiday marking the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. It is observed on the third Monday of January each year, which is around Dr. King’s birthday, Jan. 15. The holiday is similar to holidays that have been set under the Uniform Monday Holiday Act.
The march itself was very well attended and was one of the biggest the college has seen since 2012, according to Jason Benitez, Director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs. He also shared that this year participation increased and a broader section of the student body took part.
The Office of Multicultural Affairs put together this event, although Benitez stressed that it was a team effort which relied on numerous other administrators, faculty, staff and students. Other offices, groups and organizations that assisted in the march include: the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, Media Services, the Kenney Community Center, the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life, Black Student Union (BSU) and the Heavenly Voices Gospel Choir.
In succession of this march, Benitez also noted that his office and other groups have put together a series of other events throughout the week. Almost all programs are focused on a particular aspect of Social Justice. The week will culminate with the “Next Step Social Justice Retreat,” which is scheduled to be held this upcoming weekend.