Central Michigan University students took part in celebrating the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. during the MLK CommUNITY March and Peace Vigil.
What started out as a small group of students outside the Bovee University Center grew to well over 200 people as marchers made their way throughout campus and downtown Mount Pleasant Monday. Students and residents joined in and showed their support by carrying signs and photos.
Jamie Brown, interim director for the Multicultural Academic Student Services, celebrated her first year working on the march.
“The march is a good reminder and a great celebration that brings us all together,” Brown said. “This march gives us a reason to stand united.”
The marchers turned out, despite very cold temperatures, and the march continued to grow as the afternoon progressed.
Gladstone sophomore Katie Thompson volunteered to help put on MLK Jr. Day events that took place earlier in the day but also participated with a friend in her first CommUNITY March.
“It is important people are aware of the diversity on and around campus; diversity is always going to be around,” Thompson said.
L’Anse freshman Stephanie Raymond joined Thompson on the march. Raymond said this was her first CMU CommUNITY March, but she had participated in MLK Jr. Day events in recent years in her own community.
“We need to bring awareness and promote diversity in our communities,” Raymond said.
The march ended at the corner of Broadway and Main Street downtown. It was followed by a peace vigil featuring motivational speaker Shawn Blanchard.
Blanchard touched on Martin Luther King Jr.’s work and the impact he had on civil rights and race relations in the country. He also stressed the importance of diversity.