MARQUETTE — Students gathered on NMU’s campus today to honor and remember Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with a day of service.
The day kicked off with a March for Equality, where students gathered in the main foyer of Payne and Halverson Residence Halls and march across campus to the Peter White Lounge. The march is meant to draw attention to the inequality that people face each day because of race, gender, sexual orientation and beyond.
“The march is to inform those who are ignorant to the fact of what’s going on in the community,” said Azairian Cartman, a junior in International Studies. “When we put it out there it would give them more knowledge about the situation that’s going on.”
“It was powerful, the numbers that we had,” said Julian Gaines, a senior studying Drawing and Painting, “just showing that people do read the posts, that people do care about what Dr. King taught and believed in, and that even, well, he died in ’68, even today in 2015 he is still prominent in our society and that’s how it should be.”
Several speakers talked either about Dr. King and his continuing legacy or delivered impassioned oratory about equality.
What everyone agreed on was that despite the strides that have been taken in the past 50 years, there are still many to go.
Cartman said, “Public segregation, public discrimination, they no longer exist. They exist within the social structure of this community and so it’s more so reading between the lines to see discrimination.”
“Dr. King, he fought for equality for all, but the fact of the matter is there are levels in our society, and the sooner we can bring attention to that, and people are aware of that and don’t shy away from the responsibility of treating people in a positive manner, then we’ll be able to continue to make steps ahead,” said Gaines. “We can’t wallow in the things that we have done well already. We need to think about what we can do, ahead, to continue to be progressive.”
The day of service continued at a number of locations where NMU students made use of their day off to serve the community.