EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT)– The Tri-State honored Martin Luther King Jr.’s life and legacy on Monday in a variety of ways, from a march, to reading his speeches, to raise awareness about social injustice.
The University of Evansville held several events throughout the day, including a one mile march. It was the last leg of an initiative called “54 miles to Social Change”, which started in December. Organizers got the idea from the Civil Rights March of 1965, where roughly 25,000 activists came together in Selma, Alabama to complete a 54-mile route to the state capital.
Today’s march began at the Meek’s Family Fieldhouse. Dozens of people brought umbrellas and marched with signs along the streets on the campus.
“It is important to come celebrate and pick up the lessons that he has left for us,” says Michael Ikejani, a third year English major.
While in class, Ikejani has been able to read several of Dr. King’s speeches, including “I Have a Dream.”
“It is an extremely important speech for me, in terms of how to be a role model for others. I want to be a teacher as a profession, so his lessons of how to handle yourself, how to encourage and help others, those are important lessons,” Ikejani says. “He was doing this at a time where a lot of people were not on the same page as him. So being able to stand up and speak his mind, I think that is really inspiring.”
Several of the university’s sports teams also joined the march. Eyob McFarland plays soccer and says that Dr. King cleared the way for opportunity.
“He has given me a lot of opportunities that nobody had back in the 60’s,” McFarland says.
After the march, the crowd headed indoors for a luncheon and a speech about King’s legacy and how it is still relevant today.