A buzz filled the air with people’s excited voices mingling with one another and creating an inviting atmosphere for people of all ages to come to the Student Union Building (SUB) to make posters and start preparing for the annual walk to the capitol steps. The MLK Living Legacy Celebration kicked off at 8:30 a.m. with a week of activities to come.
The march to the Capitol began at 10:45 a.m. with a police escort to ensure the safety of those walking. Once at the steps, a rally began with remarks from Francisco Salinas, director of student diversity and inclusion, and was followed by student speakers. Once the rally ended at 12:00 p.m., people were invited to join inside the Capitol to recognize Human Rights Day.
Michel Sousa, a junior public health major, has served on the organizational committee for the march in the past. Excited to walk in support of something that matters to the Boise State community, Sousa’s involvement was a no-brainer.
“I am not originally American but I am southeast African, so I didn’t grow up with this,” Sousa said. “So, for me as an international person coming here, I think walks like this are very important for us to be able to remember and talk about all that has been made in terms of progress for minority communities in the states, but also still remembering there is work that needs to be done.”
For second-year participant Adam Thompson, a sophomore psychology major, these events are a way to get involved on campus and make an impact on topics that matter to the community.
“There is still a lot of injustices in the world and there is still a lot of racism and there is still a lot of people being affected unequally,” Thompson said. “Also, realizing there is a community, and this is the most important part to me, realizing that there are other people that feel the way we do.”
Emily Her, a sophomore global studies major, has attended the event the past two years and believes that remembering the legacy that Martin Luther King Jr. left is important.
“I think marches like this are really cool because it is a time and space to get together with our Boise State community and acknowledge Martin Luther King Jr.,” Her said. “And also acknowledge the power of us as students and feel empowered in this and to know that people care.”
Other events happening this week include Talk-O Tuesday, where students gather for free tacos and drinks while facilitating conversations about topics that have been put off or “swept under the rug.” On Friday, Jan. 24, an MLK Living Legacy art exhibit will showcase students’ takes on what King’s legacy means to them.
On Monday, Jan. 25, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People organizing breakfast, where students will be able to host conversations about the largest civil rights organization in the nation. To wrap up the events, keynote speaker Eric Love will be coming to the Special Events Center in the SUB to give a speech on “Lessons From the Past for a Path to the Future.”